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OpEdNews Op Eds    H5'ed 5/25/21

Can America Rise Above Racism & Embrace a Higher Vision of a Common Humanity?

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From Hartmann Report

Much like America gave the world democracy in 1776, our experience today may well determine whether the world moves forward or backward in the all-so-human struggle for equality, dignity and peace

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Today is the first anniversary of George Floyd's murder at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

At the Founding of America we set two goals: A democratically-run nation and equality for all citizens. We've largely put into place the democracy part over the years; now we must make the "equality" part happen.

A white man busted for passing a bad $20 wouldn't get murdered by the cops -- in fact, a white person in America is safe doing pretty much everything else that Black people have been killed by cops for doing just in the past few years (playing, eating, driving, parking, sleeping, walking, standing, selling cigarettes, seeking help, etc.).

Which raises a question that's both existential and practical:America set the example for democracy in the world; can we now set the example for racial justice and harmony?

Or will the possibility of that dream die if the GOP regains power in 2022 or 2024 and pushes America back into being an openly apartheid white-run ethnostate, as we were pre-1965? Will Republicans gain enough power to revert America back to their "Southern Strategy" 20th century roots?

President Ronald Reagan justified his defense of apartheid South Africa by pointing out that the country was "a democracy," and even though Black people couldn't participate in that democracy, it was still all good -- just like in much of America at the time. This was the world-view of America just a generation or two ago.

Congress, in 1986, however, overrode Reagan's veto of an act condemning South African apartheid. Bishop Desmond Tutu, after he won the Nobel prize in 1984 and on a visit to America, referred to Reagan's policy of supporting apartheid as "immoral, evil and totally un-Christian."

Tutu was right and Reagan was wrong, and South Africa is now a multiracial democracy. But world and US history in this regard have moved with glacial slowness.

South Africa's apartheid government fell in the years immediately after the end of Reagan's presidency, and has had both successes and difficulties in building a multiracial society. The same is true of Cuba and, at various times, Malaysia.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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