The shootings and killing of Stephen Jones at the Holocaust Museum last week remind us that racism is still very much alive and well in our society. We need to be reminded of this ugly fact. There is still much work we need to do. While there have been advances, hate and racism of Jews, African Americans, Hispanics, gays and lesbians, other ethnicities and religions still exist. We have not yet overcome.
We place so much emphasis on foreign terrorists and their hate against Americans. We forget sometimes the enemy also lives within us. Remember Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma bombings?
We need to open up the dialogue of racism and hate in this country. It was opened briefly during the Primary Presidential election with the comments of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. President Obama tried to open up the discussion during the primary election. Sadly, it was a one sided discussion with much emphasis opposed to the comments of Rev. Wright. There are those who are quick to call racist the comments of minorities such as Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and now Sonia Sotomayor. Those same persons ignore their own racism.
When we ignore racism, we are in denial. Denial prevents us from seeing the enemy. The enemy is us. We are in denial when we think that by electing the first African American President that racism has ended. We are not in a post racial or post racist society. For those who think otherwise, you are sadly mistaken. We are in denial when we think no more barriers exist for African Americans. We are in denial when we think the Civil Rights Voting Act is no longer needed. We are in denial when we hear the comments of Rush Limbaugh and ignore them. Yet we scream racist when we hear the comments of Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
A dialogue on racism is a start. It is a road we rarely travel in earnest.