keshaperry

Civil War = Barry Bonds?

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

What a combination. What a week. April 12 marked the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and a year ago, Mississippi’s and Virginia’s Governors Haley Barbour and Bob McDonnell were caught in the middle of a civil war proclamation controversy: seemingly, the issue of slavery and race were ignored. Recently, McDonnell received “positive response” for his condemnation of slavery in the revised proclamation. On April 10, 2011, Barbour stated “Slavery was the primary, central, cause of secession. The Civil War was necessary to bring about the abolition of slavery. Abolishing slavery was morally imperative and necessary, and it’s regrettable that it took the Civil War to do it. But it did.”

And on a day after former MLB star Barry Bonds was found guilty of an obstruction of justice charge, the minor of the felony indictments, the issue of race bubbles to the surface. While watching my morning addition of Mike and Mike in the Morning, several callers referenced race as the primary culprit for the government bringing charges against Bonds. Author and journalist Bill Rhoden believed “The trial of Barry Bonds has always been more than a simple case of pursuing a bad guy and proving that he lied.”

The complexities of race continue to be a sore and blind spot some 150 years later. Race is a challenging concept to grasp, the dynamics are so difficult that I believe at times we shy away from the probing questions–those questions that could lead to greater discussions rather than attacks on the other. We all have reason to celebrate; attend a reenactment, and yes, understand that we may disagree on the causes of the Civil War and the causes of the Barry Bonds trial, but race continues to be the sensitive subject that we all try to either ignore, explain away, or deal with it only with certain conditions. We all are one and intricately tied to the other, and for race to continue to divide us, well, is a travesty.

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