Since Sen. Barack Obama's speech, several articles and news features have discussed the need for a national dialogue on race. Many people seem mystified as to how to start. One place is to read a good, inclusive book on American history and then develop a comprehensive understanding of national and world events.
Our country is supposed to be America the beautiful, not America the dumb. One thing about American history that appears to make many people uncomfortable is how race and racism facilitated the economic aggrandizement of the white and wealthy. Many people say they had nothing to do with slavery. They fail to recognize that slavery, along with legally sanctioned discrimination and segregation, helped structure society so that African Americans and others could not take advantage of opportunities in education, employment, business and land ownership. The repercussions of this continue to this day, with large sectors of the population intentionally crippled by historical circumstance.
We need to learn all of the American story, the good and the bad; that way, we might be able to find common ground on which we can all stand.