Racism 150 years later

President Barack Obama sits on the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum.

Copyright Pete Souza, White House, from @petesouza. President Barack Obama sits on the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum.

Yesterday I referred to the Emancipation Proclamation’s 150 year anniversary, and today Charles Halton has a post challenging Americans, but especially those with religious conviction, to consider how racism is still a burning issue in our day, and how it should be confronted. I recently bought James H. Cone‘s second edition of his 1991 book Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare, a second edition prompted by the racism evidenced after the election of President Obama in 2008. The racism never went away, but re-emerged in a striking way. It is hard to believe that a professional publication like Investor’s Business Daily (though radically right-wing economically) could publish such hostile contempt as this, but Cone also shows how much of America’s continued infighting is subtler.

A better book to start with than this one (since many will see a book about Malcolm X and reject it outright; though if interested, one should read the 2011 Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley) would be Cone’s The Cross and the Lynching Tree, where Cone narrates the struggle African-Americans have had with both symbols, since both had been used by white oppressors in their hostilities against black communities.

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