America is still struggling to overcome its "legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, colonialism, and racism," President Obama told Comedy Central Monday night.
Obama Asks White America to Acknowledge Slavery's Effects and the Fact That "Jim Crow Didn't Suddenly Vanish"
- In President Obama's farewell address Tuesday in Chicago, he told America that in order to improve upon the country's democracy, maybe more of us should try and see things from the points of view of other races.
Those included in his suggestion were who you'd expect, but he also called upon blacks and other minorities to try and walk a mile in the proverbial shoes of the average middle-aged white male.
Partial Transcript from India Today:
Going forward, we must uphold laws in hiring, in housing, in education and the criminal justice system. That's what our Constitution and highest ideals require. But laws alone won't be enough. Hearts must change. If our democracy is to work in this increasingly diverse nation, each one of us must try to heed the advice of one of the great characters in American fiction, Atticus Finch, who said "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
For blacks and other minorities, it means tying our own struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face the refugee, the immigrant, the rural poor, the transgender American, and also the middle-aged white man who from the outside may seem like he's got all the advantages, but who's seen his world upended by economic, cultural, and technological change.
For white Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn't suddenly vanish in the '60s, that when minority groups voice discontent, they're not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness, that when they wage peaceful protest, they're not demanding special treatment, but the equal treatment our founders promised.
For native-born Americans, it means reminding ourselves that the stereotypes about immigrants today were said, almost word for word, about the Irish, Italians, and Poles. America wasn't weakened by the presence of these newcomers, they embraced this nation's creed, and it was strengthened.
- Photo credit(s): indiatoday.in
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