(NEW YORK) Rev. Al Sharpton sent an open letter to consumer activist and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader today following comments he made about Sen. Barack Obama, in which Nader claimed Obama "talks white" and ignores issues of poverty.
In the letter, Sharpton said he found Nader's comments divisive and "most troubling."
Nader's comments were published today in an interview with the Rocky Mountain News and quickly spread on the Internet, in which he said, "(Obama) wants to show that he is not a threatening . . . another politically threatening African-American politician...He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful."
"I don't know how one "talks black or white," wrote Sharpton in an email which was emailed to members of the press.
"There are clearly different styles and speech cadences in every community."
In closing his letter, Sharpton wrote accused Nader's comments of being "beneath the respect many have had for you and more importantly below the level of political discourse we need at this point in history."
"Those of us that deal with real people in real pain in the black community every day need real answers and real change and that is more important than the volume or style in which it is presented."
Earlier today in Chicago, Obama dismissed the comments by Nader, who has announced earlier this year that he is running for president as a third party candidate.
"He's somebody who is trying to get attention and whose campaign hasn't gotten any traction," said Obama. "So what better way to get some traction than to make an inflammatory statement like the one that he made."