Friday, November 17, 2006

Racial Justice Didn't Win

We can -and maybe should- crow some more about the recent election. I have great confidence in the Democrats' ability to pull defeat from the jaws of victory, but we surprised ourselves this time. Nonetheless, something wicked this way comes. We weren't entirely successful at the ballot box.

Racial justice, in particular, took a hit. This one is a mystery to me. I would have said to you that certainly there is residual racism, but everyone knows by now that they aren't supposed to be racist. I thought people were ashamed of any leftover racism that they found in their own thinking. Alas... not so much. "Andrea" and "optimistically naive" all go in the same sentence, once again.

Michigan banned Affirmative Action in the public sector -and the initiative was spearheaded by a black man who "proudly" accepted the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan. I'm still shaking my head over that one. English is now the official language in Arizona. Undocumented immigrants are denied bail, public education, publicly-funded health care, and can't receive punitive damages from successful lawsuits. Colorado passed similar anti-immigrant measures. Wisconsin voters voted to become a death penalty state. Surely I don't need to recap the racist effects of the death penalty. And all of this is on top of the bizarre and punitive anti-immigrant measures passed by the House of Representatives (HR 4437) at the end of last year and the Senate (S. 2611) in May. 700 miles of border fence, anyone?

Questions in no particular order for successful candidates -and those of us who want to call ourselves progressives.
  • How do we eliminate racism -covert and overt- from public life?
  • A significant number of immigrants -legal and otherwise- and people of color live alongside poor whites in inner cities. What are we going to do about the conditions in which poor people live?
  • What is an appropriate level of intervention in the public schools to ensure that marginalized students reach their academic potential?
  • What should be done to eliminate street violence and hate crimes?
  • How can we (or can we) tweak Public Aid so that it assists with race relations?


Lisa :-] said...

Very, very good questions, Andrea. By the way...would you be interested in writing for an ensemble blog? email

Andrea Rusin said...

I e-mailed you, but the answer is sure! Tell me more.