Column: Campaigns flood us with reductive racial rhetoric. How can we push back?
The new year is an opportunity to begin with a clean slate and to embrace a new year of good health. The good news is that this clean slate is available to all of us.
The bad news — so dire that, before it is time to clean up the slate, I may need to make a resolution — is that we are running out of time. To make matters worse, in a year where we are inching closer and closer to a political environment that is toxic to our ability to address racism and inequality in our nation and our communities, we are drowning in the politics of fear. As a result, we are losing time to take important measures to make our country better and to move forward to a future of opportunity for all of us.
But there is a way out of this swamp. It is a way that requires us to ask ourselves not only how are we making America the place where all people can live and work in safety, but also what is our vision of how we envision America for the future?
This isn’t a new year’s resolution to create a more inclusive nation. This is a time to create a vision that can shape and influence what is to come. To do that, we will need to focus on building on and expanding the work we have started over the past year and a half. We will need to be able to build on the commitments we have made to make progress on the critical issues we have chosen to address.
We will also need to recognize that without making the necessary progress to achieve our shared vision of a just and inclusive America, we face the prospect that our democracy will fail. There is no room for complacency when it comes to issues like racism, criminal justice and inequality. And without a vision of how we intend to meet the challenges that lie ahead, we will be on a path that we will find hard to recover from.
It may sound simple, but the point is a simple one: How are we making America the place where all people can live and