i thought this was a great article. here are the first two paragraphs and you can follow the link to read the whole thing. a well timed challenge to obama in light of one of our regions most pressing justice issues - mountain top removal. (geoff)
In the eyes of most pundits, the upcoming primaries in Appalachia -- including western Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky and West Virginia -- will most likely deal a blow to Sen. Barack Obama's ability to transcend the brewing racial quagmire in presidential politics. Didn't Sen. Hillary Clinton score a landslide victory among white voters in rural and Appalachian areas of Ohio? Conventional wisdom says Obama will never have a chance in "redneck" Appalachia, even among the Democrats.
Perhaps. But Appalachia could also provide Obama a historic opportunity to move beyond our racial politics with a truly new vision. Instead of offering worn out ideas for poverty relief, like Clinton, or succumbing to the anachronistic schemes of the dying coal lobby, Obama should shatter these artificial racial boundaries by proposing a New "Green" Deal to revamp the region and bridge a growing chasm between bitterly divided Democrats, and call for an end to mountaintop removal policies that have led to impoverishment and ruin in the coal fields.