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Your Views: Are Americans forgetting lessons of racial turmoil?

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November 10, 2013

The impression is some of the anti-Obama and anti-Obamacare talk has elements of racism, hate and disrespect. Apparently there are people who cannot cope with the reality that we have an African-American president.

Racism is again growing and spreading unchecked. In the National Football League, we have Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, who has stated, “We will never change the name.” Atlanta Braves’ fans continue the tradition of the “tomahawk chop” when their baseball team is doing well in a game. Are there elements of racism in voter ID laws and stand-your-ground laws?

To some extent, this racism is fueled by Fox News, tea party extremists and far right-wing talk show hosts who deliberately spread lies and misinformation. Recently in the U.S. House of Representatives, tea party representatives voted unanimously to cut billions of dollars from the food stamp program. Did racism and lack of considerations for the poor play a role in this vote?

Not too long ago, my wife and I toured the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Ala. The 16th Avenue Baptist Church is located across the street from the institute. This is the church where the bomb exploded in the 1960s, killing four young, innocent African-American Sunday school children on a Sunday morning.

The impression is racism and lack of concern for the poor are again rearing their ugly heads. Are we forgetting the lessons we should have learned from the racial turmoil of the 1960s?

LEON K. FREEBURG

Janesville



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