Glossing over the Truth about our History
Marian Wright Edelman | 9/6/2012, 2:50 p.m.
We are once again at a critical turning point for our children and nation. Despite all the harsh lessons of the past and all the lofty rhetoric about who we want and need to be as a 21st century multicultural nation in a multiracial and multicultural world, we're heading in the wrong direction--backwards into a second Post-Reconstruction Era. We need to correct course and challenge the huge and interlocking economic and racial inequality that threaten the very idea of America.
Muhammad said, "We've heard so much from people over these last couple of years wanting to 'take the country back'--prompting many of us, of course, to think, 'Back to what?' . . . If you hadn't heard, Black and Brown babies are being born for the first time in American history at faster rates than White babies. The challenge here is to make sure that we don't move towards apartheid, with a White minority running a majority Black and Brown country." Are we up to that challenge? When it comes to racial inequality will we keep taking two steps forward and three back? Or, will America continue to move forward to ensure a level playing field for every child of every color and every income regardless of the lottery of birth?
Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.childrensdefense.org.