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Melissa Harris-Lacewell: Can We? A Brief History of American Racism

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:11 PM
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Melissa Harris-Lacewell: Can We? A Brief History of American Racism
The whole piece is worth a read to get a sense of the history.

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion/473945/can_we_a_b...

Can We? A Brief History of American Racism
posted by Melissa Harris-Lacewell on 09/16/2009 @ 3:44pm

snip//

In 2008 the United States of America elected its first black president. He is the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya. He was born in an American state with a sizeable Japanese-American population. He went to grade school in Indonesia. He chose a Catholic man as his running mate. In the general election he won Virgina, a state that was once the capital of the Confederacy.

In 2009 he worked with Congress to craft legislation aimed at providing affordable health insurance coverage to all. While addressing a joint session of Congress he was called a liar by a Representative from South Carolina. Those who opposed his policies decried him as a socialist, a Nazi, a bigot and a murderer. They suggested that his ideas were dangerous and threatened the values of the United States.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we've been told that we're not ready, or that we shouldn't try, or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Yes we can.

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballot; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world. Yes we can.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:20 PM
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1. Yes we can, but not until the heart and soul of the 'puke mantra have been eradicated
from the face of this earth :P
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:37 PM
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2. We've made a lot of progress, but we have a ways to go. nt
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