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It’s Not Even Past

Writer William Faulkner knew what he was talking about when he said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Yesterday, the pronouncement by Boston Globe writer Jeff Jacoby that Rev. Fred Luter’s election to head the Southern Baptist Convention “proves” that racism is gone is a perfect example. As any non-white resident in this country will tell you – and plenty of thoughtful white ones – racism is neither dead nor past.

Funny that the pronouncement should come just as the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed Arizona’s right to find undocumented immigrants by using what amounts to racial profiling.

And while the case against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin still is in limbo.

And as the Ku Klux Klan wants to “adopt” a highway in Georgia. They say they want to “dispel the negative images” of the Klan. They only want to be with white people, they say, but that doesn’t make them racists. Really?

And in Arizona (oh, Arizona!), a radio host said of President Obama: “I don’t believe in calling him the first black president,” she said, “I voted for the white guy myself. I call him a monkey.” Sorry, Mr. Jacoby. Racism can’t be dead when people like this still are granted air time.

And, and, and –. If you’re lucky enough not to experience racism directed at you, all you need to do is look around and you’ll see examples of it everywhere. Not the least in another Southern Baptist, Richard Land, who recently lost his radio show over his claim that racism is a “myth.” By reprimanding him, the SBC may well be trying to remove the logs from their own eyes before they point to the speck in anyone else’s.

If so, good for them. They’ve got a long way to go, both within the Convention and outside of it.


© 2012 Stephanie Harp. All rights reserved.


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