Thursday, July 16, 2015

The black president some worried about has arrived

By Janell Ross
July 15 at 12:08 PM, WashPost

There's this thing people sometimes say down South.

So-and-so is "acting brand new." Sometimes that's a reference to someone behaving like they don't know old friends and family — that they have evolved past their old crowd. Sometimes that's Southern speak for the emboldened, someone behaving like they either don't know the rules or have outright decided to disregard them.

In the past four weeks, we've seen President Obama take up residence in a place that sits somewhere in-between.

He's spoken off the cuff about race relations on a widely circulated podcast (even using the n-word) and then eloquently followed that with what can only be described as a sermon on race relations in America before breaking into song. He's challenged America to go deeper in its support of equality than retiring symbols of slavery (like the Confederate flag) and impolitic words (like the n-word).

While eulogizing a slain minister and state lawmaker allegedly killed by a white supremacist in Charleston, S.C., he outlined a whole raft of ways in which discrimination remains and inequality continues to grow. And now he's gone and announced two major reform packages — housing last week and criminal justice on Tuesday — in the span of two weeks that could, if ultimately implemented, be of particular benefit to people of color in the United States.

(More here.)

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