Race: A History Beyond Black and White by Marc Aronson.
Ginee Seo Books/Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster: NY, 2007.

There could not be a better time for an honest discussion of racism. Aronson maps out a history of the idea, plus preceding prejudices. He says his view is controversial, but that is not surprising considering the charged nature of the issue. I hope that people will read and discuss this book. I hope in the coming months people will take a hard and honest look at how easy it is to be influenced by prejudiced and hateful dialogue and learn to be more objective.

I think this book is important right now, because I strongly believe Barack Obama will be a great President, if given the chance. However, I also have a heavy dose of realism, even cynicism. I grew up in Texas, so I have no doubt the primary focus of McCain's campaign will be racism. It is the only way he could win, and it will be nasty. I do believe times are bad enough that Obama's grasp of what is needed, his message of hope, and his ability to ignore what is petty and stick to the issues may prevail. When given the choice between the hatred and cronyism of the Bush agenda (McCain has become no more than a parrot or puppet) and the chance to really fix some of our country's growing list of crises (not just talk about them), what do you think people will choose?

Obama's speaking and graciousness is reminiscent of Martin Luther King, Jr. But he reminds me even more of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln also spoke directly to the people. He was a popular candidate, with little experience, who won the nomination despite his Party insiders' distrust of him. He also took office during a time of great stress and exhibited wisdom beyond his years (I'll take wisdom over experience, anytime). We need this now, and I hope people will not let racism determine our future.

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