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September 30, 2014

The Difference We Haven't Overcome: Why the Color Line Endures in America

When we talk about Ferguson in 2014, or Los Angeles in 1992 or Newark in 1968, we don't talk about institutionalized racism as a component of what happens or of why "they" are upset. Rather, we worry that "they" are out of control. We recite the sad litany of names of other young black men -- Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Ronald Madison, Sean Bell -- but we focus on these killings as isolated events. Meanwhile, the list continues to grow. Until we acknowledge that we all have race; that we vary within racial groups in how we understand our race; and that racism hurts and harms people emotionally, the numbers will continue to be too great for any of us to bear.

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