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The Elephant In The Room: Race Relations in the U.S.
So you finally noticed the elephant in your living room; put a lampshade on her head and hung your jacket on her tusk; but oh! the mighty smell. What will the neighbors think?!
Prior to 2008, many African-Americans were sure there would never be a black president of the United States. It is a shame for such a rich culture to be underrepresented politically for generations after the emancipation of slaves and decades after the civil rights movement uncovered the ugly bones of America’s tumultuous past regarding race relations. Our melting pot has become a cauldron of racial tension that tends to boil over during times of extreme injustice, yet otherwise lies dormant.
On a good day, this strife may appear non-existent although under more scrutiny one may notice the disparities in employment rates, incarceration rates, education, poverty and mortality between African-Americans and the rest of the citizens of this great country. These things mostly remain beyond the comfort of conversation, and are often shrouded with hateful attitudes along with the memories of a painful past. Beyond the political spectrum and the ongoing turmoil between conservatives and liberals lie the implications of having a black president; more specifically a half black, half white commander in chief.
Many Americans are infinitely proud of Mr. Barack Obama and his mixed heritage makes him palatable to the white majority, as well as representative of what a black man can accomplish. Our president’s ability to unite the country is a blessing. We the People have been provided an unprecedented opportunity for an honest and necessary conversation. Americans must examine the skeletons in our proverbial closet in order to progress our nation in the new millennium and become the beacon of freedom and equality that we are capable of being.