Sunday, February 11, 2007

Beyond FACTS: “Barack Obama and the Springfield Race Riot” on

Still in its official infancy, Senator Barack Obama’s campaign is already raising awareness of race relations in our country, past as well as present. Historian Jim Rasenberger offers a somber (yet, in the end, hopeful) look at a slice of American history in his recent column “Barack Obama and the Springfield Race Riot.” The symbolism of the location of Obama’s weekend announcement that he’s officially entered into presidential politics hasn’t been lost on the general media, but Rasenberger does more than draw obvious parallels. “Though now largely forgotten,” he writes, “the events and aftermath of the Springfield Race Riot, as it came to be known, are as relevant to the hopes of Obama as is the legacy of Abraham Lincoln.” This entire article is worth reading, regardless of your political leanings. My favorite line has to be Rasenberger’s last—but I’ll let you read that for yourself, and I hope you will.

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