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King, Obama and Racism

It's one of those amazing coincidences that forces one to wonder. Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Tomorrow is the inauguration of Barack Obama as the first African-American president of the United States. The Post is full of articles and commentary about both events and how they are intertwined.

The comments of our readers in these and other stories show clearly that racism remains alive in the American psyche, the election results notwithstanding. I have chosen a smattering of comments from five of today's articles:

-- A poll testing attitudes.

-- Dana Milbank's take on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

--The Obama family attends services at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church.

--The hopes and fears of those in the impoverished Mississippi Delta.

-- Commentary from Martin Luther King III.

First, the comments on the poll story.

marecek wrote, "Yes, there is still racism... So, it is still a "problem" we have to cope with. It will continue to be a problem as long as we think in terms of races rather than just people... Will it ever be completely gone? Doubtful, as there will likely always be some small amount of the population that holds on to this irrational, harmful and useless ideology..."

patmatthews wrote, "Either nationally or locally, Blacks are higher represented in jails and lower representation in society. If I was white i would not be concerned with racism, but I am not and racism is in my daily work environment. I do not concern mkyself with racism, but I wish whites would concern themselves with the outcomes..."

ConcernedCommunity said, "As a white woman, I have never seen so much black predjudice towards whites since this election. It saddens me."

All comments on the poll are here.

Comments on Milbank.

expat2MEX wrote, "Oh brother Wright. You are way out of your league... You won't find what you think in Washington. Sorry to say it, Preach. You are now among people who have passed you by..."

injunjimmyswaggart said, "wright is a race bater. he's the blackman's david duke. and alot of people admire duke too."

caniholdadolla wrote, "Wright speaks to that part of the black population that would like to place the blame for the lack of progress in the black community on whitey. Wright gave Obama "street cred" when he needed it to get elected. It's very simple."

And nicekid said, "This is one of the rare occasions when we actually have something to celebrate, and you have drag Reverend Wright out of his spiderhole? It must have taken a fair amount of work to come up such a disagreeable slant on this of all days..."

All comments on the Milbank column are here.

19th Street Baptist Church

RPMMinistries said, "19th Street Baptist under the leadership of Pastor Harkins is a church unlike Rev. Wright's church. Stereotyping churches is unhelpful. They are Evangelical in theology and very socially conscious in methdology and outreach."

PMMM asked, "Why is the press focusing so much on all of the Black-ness surrounding Obama and the inauguration? I thought he was supposed to be everyone's president? After all, if every single black person voted for Obama, he still would not have had enough votes to win..."

But edioedio asked, "Why is there such hatefullness about someone and his family going to church?... Give him,his cabinet and all of us a chance.We can do it-YOU can help!"

All comments on the church service story are here.

The Mississippi Delta

merganser wrote, "The first step to attaining any kind of success in life is to leave places like Hollandale. Those who are not willing to take that first step are correct that their lives will not change in the next 4 to 8 years..."

To which EliPeyton replied, "that's pretty arrogant, even if you're from Key West"

bghgh said, "I was born in Mississippi and partially raised in Mississippi and am well aware of the misery and depression there. But, I think just seeing a black man in the White House doing his best will help these people a lot -- at least the black ones... I believe this country needs Obama to help heal the racial divide in this country. I wish him the very best..."

All comments on the Delta story are here.

Martin Luther King III

adifferentpointofview wrote, "...People like Dr. King...fought evil as well. but they did so with good. They preached love and non-violence and turning enemies into friends. I fear for a world where we continue to fight evil by becoming evil ourselves. I hope for a world with heroes like Dr. King who teach us that good can triumph over evil without being corrupted in the process."

timscanlon said, "When I was a child my father took me to watch Washington DC burn after MLK's assassination. I am glad to see my generation do better. I am pretty proud of my country right now too."

We'll close with FedUp1, who wrote, "...Oh, yes... Bigotry and hatred remain alive and well in America, a number of posters here and in other articles in the Post are proof of that! And still, the world rejoices and will be with us as Barack Obama is sworn in tomorrow."

All comments on Martin Luther King III's commentary are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  January 19, 2009; 7:48 AM ET
Categories:  Obama , Racism , Transition  | Tags: Obama, Racism, Transition  
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