The election of Barack Obama was the Lexington and Concord in the latest great battle of race in America. We are a nation at war with itself. For all of our desire to move beyond the narrow confines of many of the events of our tragic history, we cannot. The president's election gave new life to what had been lying dangerously dormant for the better part of 50 years.
In Mississippi ,at least, the civil rights movement was not primarily about desegregating schools or removing separate waiting rooms, water fountains and other symbols of racial apartheid. Its fundamental thrust was registering and organizing voters to dismantle a system of white supremacy upheld by state-sponsored terrorism.