ILLUME :: 50 Years After Freedom Rides, Race Drives Debate on U.S. Future

ILLUME :: 50 Years After Freedom Rides, Race Drives Debate on U.S. Future: "During a week when the national media are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides and the progress made since then against racial bias, concerns persist about deep-seated racism in the United States.

Recently, for example, leaders of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation were faced with accusations that their $75 million initiative to address structural racism in America was unnecessary. They answered their critics during a forum on race and racism hosted by the Hudson Institute.

Quoting author William Faulkner, Kellogg Foundation President Sterling Speirn told the audience that structural racism in America continues to affect people of color. “The past is not dead. The past isn’t even in the past. The past is alive now,” Speirn said at the forum entitled, “Race and Racism in America: Are We Now a Colorblind Society?”

Gail Christopher, the Kellogg vice president overseeing the foundation’s “America Healing” initiative, said, “Racism is a set of beliefs that helped to shape this nation. To suggest that centuries of institutionalizing those beliefs could suddenly be eradicated in less than 75 years is, I believe, simplistic, misguided, na├»ve at best.”"

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