With the sum of today’s techno-centric capability at unbelievable levels of accomplishment, in this nation, it’s hard to believe that America’s biggest problem is still race prejudice – specifically and sadly, prejudice of Whites against Blacks. As the Nobel Prize recipient for literature, in 1992, Derek Walcott put it: “There are no large issues in America, outside of race.”
It is disheartening and shameful to hear political leaders of the opposing party refer to the current and eminently respectable United States President, as: “…That ‘Black’ man in the White House!” Derek Walcott’s keen perception is obviously and tragically still valid.
In his great treatise of 1900, “Up From Slavery,” the pioneer Black educator, Booker T. Washington observed: “No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” The brilliant founder of the Tuskegee Institute believed that social equality could be achieved through economic independence. Alas, as we have tragically learned, he was wrong.
In truth, it has remained for one of the few more insightful and sadly ignored Republican paragons, Wendell Wilkie, to articulate the most effective formula for the successful elimination of race prejudice in America. In his “One World” treatise, Wilkie noted that our Constitution does not provide for ‘First’ and ‘Second’ class citizens. “Freedom,” wrote Wilkie, “is an indivisible word. If we want to enjoy it, we must be prepared to extend it to everyone – whether they be rich or poor – agree with us or not; no matter their race or the color of their skin.”
How tragic, that Republican leaders of today are so politically and intolerantly deficient as to lack a single solon to awaken their scruples and intellects, to the successful route for putting this nation back on a certain and indivisible path to greatness. If miraculously, such a someone still exists, they might begin the process with a simple, sincere and believable apology.
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