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Still talking about race...
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We asked a pretty broad question on the show today: Are we talking about race in America enough...or too much?  The question comes after the publication (finally) of the report "One America in the Twenty-first Century," which was created by a Clinton administration commission on race.  Ten years after the fact, it calls for many changes in education and housing to help address the racial divide...but essentially calls for dialogue as the answer.  That's something the commission members, and editor Steven Lawson seemed to agree was a failing.  By just fostering more "talk" about race - are we really accomplishing anything?  Our guests, Lawson, former Hartford Mayor Thirman Milner, Wesleyan Professor Melanye Price all agreed that more discussion is helpful...if the tone is positive.  That's something that was not always the case during the campaign for President.  Among the online responses:

Yes, race needs to be talked about!  I  wonder if we ARE closer to Dr. Kings dream, 40 years seems like a long time & there's still a big divide. Sad!  Yes we have elected Mr. Obama to be President & perhaps that should be looked upon as progress????? I live in rural Ct. & find racism alive.  Many Americans appear fearful, whether it's ignorance, a fear of not getting "their share" or a combination.  I hate the blame circle although I think it needs to be looked at to untangle the chains.  It seems like greed has gotten out of proportions lately & when that fear sets in, I think it dominoes into many
other facets of despair.  In many ways I think America is perhaps not going backwards but certainly needs to move in a healthier more forward direction. No, I don't believe this is ONE AMERICA!

 

And...

I find that race plays a bigger part in life now than it ever did. One word, ELECTION. I am German and Jamaican, democratic and a working mother and it still saddens me that when a conversation came up about our 08' election, the ONLY thing that stood out to a re-born non-voter, or unconcerned citizen was the races of the canidates.  It was rare for someone to look into both McCain or Obama and even be aware of where they stood on important issues that will effect our country.  Change is good and should be embrassed but properly. Which means that I do not agree with anyone that voted without researching BOTH candidates and they're policies and beliefs.  It opened my eyes though, even in my most nieve moments I never thought racism or issues of race were of the past, but I didn't know the degree of intensity was the same if not worse.

To each his own, but I can't see myself soley making a judgement about someone, social, political or otherwise based on their race. 

Dont get me wrong; it feels good to know that when I look my child in their eyes, and reassure them that they can be ANYTHING they want, it's now possible without the laughs, jokes, looks,  or the "voice" in the back of societies mind that says, "well, everything but the President of America". 

To that end, both Price and Milner - talking after the show was over - agreed that Obama's election really has, and will have a positive impact on young African Americans.  But, both said that without some systemic changes - all that positive energy will go for naught...