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
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
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materialism and our dependence on outdated and false religious systems as escape routes from the wrongs of our fathers, and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.