“Race is an issue that … this nation cannot afford to ignore right now.…
“And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.” [Barack Obama, 3/18/08]
Have you read The Speech? I have. And I believe this may be the most important political speech of the past forty years.
As editor of the Twin Cities Daily Planet, I want to invite you to join with us in fostering Community Conversations on Race. We have begun by posting Barack Obama’s speech on race in America here and accompanying it with important local contributions to dialogue on race. The first two come from the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and from La Prensa de Minnesota.
Ralph Remington, Minneapolis city council member, writes in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder about his personal and family experience of race and racism and issues a call to “remind ourselves and others that we stand for something” and to “let the healing begin.” Read his riveting personal story at The case for reparations: Fixing the damage done by oppression is everyone’s responsibility.
Almost two years ago, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and La Prensa came together to form the Voices United newsroom. In March 2008, La Prensa de Minnesota published a lengthy and important summary of a forum sponsored by Voices United about race and immigration issues in Minnesota. The report from the forum is re-published here in four parts:
Stopping the Spread of Hatred: Final thoughts from …
• Luz Maria Frias
• Katherine Fennelly
• Velma Korbel
• Nekima Levy-Pounds
• Alberto Quintela
• Peter Reyes
• Tyrone Terrill
The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and La Prensa de Minnesota and the Twin Cities Daily Planet join in inviting you to become part of this community conversation on race. Read Barack Obama’s speech. Think about it. Send us your personal stories and considered reflections on race in the United States, race in Minnesota, and the intersection of race and immigration issues, of racism and xenophobia. (Send your articles to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
We will publish articles in this series throughout April. In May, we plan to hold face-to-face community conversations on race in libraries or coffeeshops or other venues in the Twin Cities.
In 1903, W.E.B. DuBois wrote that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.” More than a hundred years later, we still grapple with that problem. Let us address the problems of the color-line together.