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The Race Issue Is Alive And Well In America

By James Donahue

As indicated by the caustic remarks that recently flew from the mouth of Senator Barack Obama's black pastor, the hateful remarks uttered by radio talk-show host Don Imus last year when talking about black members of the Rutgers women's basketball team, and that once hot-button issue concerning the white Duke University soccer players falsely accused of raping one of two black dancers at a party, the race issue in America remains alive and well.

Thanks to federal laws the divisions aren't as raw as they once were. Blacks now mix with white students in public schools, they sit together in public places and they all use the same public restrooms. But the deep feelings that caused those divisions, intensified by the days of slavery, have not gone away.

It has been said that you cannot force people to love one another by passing laws that say they must. Love has to come from the heart.

In my years of reporting I have mixed with people of all races and creeds and I bear witness that the sentiments about skin color and even religious differences are still there and deep rooted. They can bubble quickly to the surface in mixed company.

The whites appear to harbor a feeling of superiority over the blacks and express this on the job and in social contact. The blacks harbor a deep resentment and have no problem expressing this when they meet up with whites.

There are many troubling contemporary signs that the race issue is beginning to boil again, perhaps as hot as it once did in the days of the Alabama marches and the terror reign of the Ku-Klux-Klan. Now, however, there are different colors and different issues involved.

If you examine the issues behind the 300-mile-long fence we are building at the Mexican-American border to keep out "illegal immigrants," and think of the way we have stereotyped bearded young men of the Moslem faith as budding terrorists, it is easy to find new and very different racial tensions spilling out all over the place.

That America, as a nation, has not resolved its racial differences after over 200 years of existence, is a shameful example of our immaturity. We have long boasted that because of our wide-ranging heritage of people who came here from all over the world, the United States is a "melting pot." But this is not true. And we have to ask why.

We believe it has a lot to do with our unwillingness to give up that childish zeal for materialism and our dependence on outdated and false religious systems as escape routes from the wrongs of our fathers, and subsequently, of ourselves. We fight with one another for the best paying jobs and we are taught by religious leaders that certain races on this planet are superior over others.

As the world reels into chaos, as nations struggle to deal with one another over dwindling natural resources on an overpopulated, over-farmed, over-taxed and dying planet, there is a critical need for the human race to get its act together and learn how to get along with itself.

True spiritual leaders teach that as humans, we are all the same. We are children of the Mother Earth. We do not have the luxury of possessing a soul that is superior to that of our neighbor. Thus no matter what we look like; fat or thin, black or yellow, bald or hairy, all humans are spiritually connected. There is a critical need for us to understand this, and to learn to practice unconditional love for one another if we expect to have any chance of escaping the looming threat of extinction.

There may be irony in the fact that two of the major news networks, Fox and CNN, have successfully played Democratic candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama against each other as party front-runners, selecting them from a broad field of viable candidates.

Now that Senator Obama appears to be standing out as a candidate of exceptional quality, who is not only edging out Senator Clinton for the Democratic nomination, but may have the skills and charisma to win the Presidential office in November, notice how the race issue is cropping up in our nightly news.

We believe that secret powers in America planned to skillfully play the sexist and racist candidates against one another, and thus assure that a white and faithful Republican follower of the Bush doctrine, such as John McCain, would be a sho-in for the vacancy.

Hopefully the race or sexist issues, whichever claims the Democratic victory, will not prevent voters from making the right choice this time around.