Chicago Sun-Times
Discussions across the racial divide

July 2006 Archives

"Shhhhhh," I hissed loud enough to get my son's attention.

We were trekking east on 18th St. on Saturday evening, making our way to the city's annual "Venetian Night" celebration. The chatter from our group, which included four excited children, was a bit over my comfort level. Funny thing is, I doubt I would have felt the same way had we been walking in the area surrounding Washington Park.

What is Racism?

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Having read every comment posted on this site, it's clear to me that most of us are frustrated when it comes to race relations.

For the most part, the majority of you are willing to express that frustration without resorting to nasty insults. Despite our reluctance to talk face-to-face about race, even people who said they didn't want to have this discussion posted a comment. What does that tell you?

Still, in order to have a real conversation about race, we have to be clear about what racism is and what it is not.

Themis, the daughter of Uranus in Greek mythology, evolved to be depicted as a woman holding a pair of scales in one hand and a sword in another. She is blindfolded to show that justice is impartial, and her sword represents the power that is held by those administering that justice.

Although known by many names, Themis is commonly referred to as "Lady Justice."

I'd like to think of Themis as a mother. Because only a mother can hold a sword in one hand and a pair of scales in another. But I've seen mothers, still weeping over a child's untimely death, who couldn't buy even the illusion of justice.

Whether you are a well-to-do white male from Lincoln Park or are a barely-making-it single mother living in subsidized housing, you are likely to hold some misguided perceptions about race and class.

How could you not?

We live in a city that is still divided by race--and class--to the point that wherever I go, someone reminds me that Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the nation. But do we talk about that? Nooooo.

That's just odd.

Earlier this year, when Men's Fitness magazine named Chicago the nation's fattest city, we got on it. Fitness programs popped up everywhere. And you couldn't go a day without reading or hearing about the latest dieting trends.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2006 is the next archive.

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