Busting Bigotry Then — Racism Now?

From my personal experience racism is still deeply embedded in American culture. We have been making tremendous headway since the days of lynching which ran past the middle of the 20th century. But xenophobia aways dies hard since it is instilled in children before they have reached an age to make decisions about people on their own.

I recall my father, a stock broker in the era when Wall St. was neatly divided by corporate religious dispositions proclaiming that some of his best friends were Jews. I don’t particularly recollect any of them, but he was showing respect for his own family heritage which had in fact fought against anti-Semitism. One of my grandfathers had as a leading scholar opened the doors to Jewish and African American scholars long before the civil rights era and the other, as a small businessman in Hanover, NH, had fought the Klan in the 1920s when it was thriving all over America.

Our immediate family has been engaged in fighting against racism one way or another since my wife and I were college students. Our family has intermarried with all of the principal minority groups. So we know the experiences that people still have.

As a reminder the election of 1960 was a battle to elect our first Catholic president. I venture that we are seeing a similar race today with a brilliant African American contending with a guy who would not make a sound small business owner — can’t cope with computers — he married all those hundreds of millions, remember. Hopefully Obama can pull it off.

………………………..

OP-ED COLUMNIST
Racism and the Race
By CHARLES M. BLOW
So why is the presidential race a statistical dead heat?
The pundits have offered a host of reasons, but one in
particular deserves more exploration: racism.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/09/opinion/09blow.html?th&emc=th

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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