Posted by: skyward | October 13, 2008

“Full-Fledged American”?

A shop owner says he distrusts Obama.  The president has to be a “full-fledged American,” he asserts.

I run into people who genuinely (and naively, in my opinion) seem to believe that the civil rights movement and the resulting legislation have righted the wrongs in the past.   Whites and nonwhites are now on an equal footing, they insist, advocating a color-blind approach. 

Over morning coffee, I pore over a newspaper article depicting many voters who express  –some all too eloquently–  their disdain for the “black” presidential candidate.  This emotionally charged article serves as a keen reminder that yes,  race does matter in today’s America.  One’s skin color seems to speak far louder than his or her Harvard law degree, for instance.

How does one define a “full-fledged American”?  If my own boy became a political candidate four decades later, would many voters reject him because he is only half white? 

The article gave Daniel and me a chance to discuss and explore racial issues in our society. 

Here is an essay I wrote, having been inspired by Daniel’s pre-k class reenactment of the Montgomery bus boycott.  It is about a teen black boy brutally murdered as a punishment for whistling at a white woman:


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