Friday, July 18, 2008

5721: Even Legally Blind See We’re Not Colorblind.

From The New York Times…

Paterson, at N.A.A.C.P., Warns of Racism’s Power

By Jeremy W. Peters

CINCINNATI — David A. Paterson, in his first major speech to a national audience since becoming governor of New York, said on Thursday that even as black Americans rejoice about the possibility that Senator Barack Obama could become president, they cannot lose sight of the serious social and economic ills that plague their community and should remain mindful of the racism that still exists.

“The gap between the haves and have-nots right in our own community is wider than it has ever been before,” Mr. Paterson told a crowd of thousands at the N.A.A.C.P.’s annual convention here.

“No matter how prosperous we are, no matter how well heeled we may be, no matter how ambitious and successful we have been, we still can be cast under the same net regardless of our circumstances.”

Mr. Paterson, who is New York’s first black governor and only the third black man since Reconstruction to lead a state, addressed the convention as the intersection between race and politics in the United States appears especially fraught. Recent polls have shown that whites and blacks hold very different views of Mr. Obama, and that despite the senator’s candidacy, blacks do not believe that race relations have significantly improved.

Addressing those fissures in his speech, the governor said that he was not sure whether Americans would be able to put their differences aside in this election and support Mr. Obama.

“Can America reject the crucible of race that has dictated and pervaded all of our history to embrace an African-American man who has the right policies?” he said. “We will find out.”

[Read the full story here.]

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