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“Race is the Rubicon we have never crossed in this country.” That’s David Billings’ thesis in his provocative new historical memoir, “Deep Denial: The Persistence of White Supremacy in the United States History and Life.” It documents the 400-year racialization of the United States and how people of European descent came to be called “White.” Billings tells us why, despite the Civil Rights Movement and an African-American president, we remain, in his words, “a nation hard-wired by race.”
Secretary of State John Kerry made headlines this week when he suggested, at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, that President Obama might soon be visiting Africa. Kerry gave no details about when or which countries. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney about the president’s relationship to the continent of his father’s birth.
Ann Garrison asks, “What do you think of the first four years of the administration of Barack Obama, the first African American president?” Silvio Michel of the Green Party of Mauritius' response is typical of conversations with people on the African continent, Green or not, though there are certainly exceptions who still admire Obama’s defeat of the color bar to become this country’s highest elected official.
As bad as the last recession has been for Blacks in America, recovery might be worse. In the absence of federal policy interventions and without an effective “trickle-up” stimulus plan, Blacks will not only have lost ground during this recession, they will also continue to lose ground during and after the recovery.
The current economic crisis requires more than a color-blind stimulus. It demands a complete economic restructuring that addresses the racial wealth divide.