Bridging the Race Divide; That Race Continues to Be a Major Source of Anxiety and Division in America Is an Undeniable Fact. While Some Politicians Continue to Use Race to Divide, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Is Trying Again to Bridge the Gap in His Latest PBS Documentary Series "Black America since MLK." [Derived Headline]

By Thomas, Cal | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 30, 2016 | Go to article overview

Bridging the Race Divide; That Race Continues to Be a Major Source of Anxiety and Division in America Is an Undeniable Fact. While Some Politicians Continue to Use Race to Divide, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Is Trying Again to Bridge the Gap in His Latest PBS Documentary Series "Black America since MLK." [Derived Headline]


Thomas, Cal, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


That race continues to be a major source of anxiety and division in America is an undeniable fact. While some politicians continue to use race to divide, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. is trying again to bridge the gap in his latest PBS documentary series "Black America Since MLK."

As a conservative white person, what I like about this program and Gates' previous programs is that he doesn't judge or preach. He lets facts and people speak for themselves. Many whites do not understand the black struggle because they have not lived it. They should listen to the stories.

The story that gripped my heart most is told by Ronald Day, a man who grew up in the projects and dropped out of high school because he saw no future for himself. Day turned to selling drugs and made a lot of money before he eventually was caught. He served 15 years in prison.

A legitimate point is made that blacks go to prison more often than whites for selling basically the same drug -- crack cocaine in mostly urban areas, powdered cocaine in middle- and upper-class neighborhoods.

The program notes that between 1983 and 1997, the number of blacks incarcerated for drug crimes grew by 2,000 percent, more than six times the rate of increase for white Americans.

While I wish there had been more conservative black voices in the series -- I've heard enough from Cornel West, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, whose perspectives are familiar -- we do hear the Rev. Calvin Butts denouncing the misogyny and language of rap music and businessman Armstrong Williams noting that blacks have let government "overtake their lives," unlike, he says, the Jewish community, whose members look out for one another. …

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Bridging the Race Divide; That Race Continues to Be a Major Source of Anxiety and Division in America Is an Undeniable Fact. While Some Politicians Continue to Use Race to Divide, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Is Trying Again to Bridge the Gap in His Latest PBS Documentary Series "Black America since MLK." [Derived Headline]
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