Is racism America’s Berlin Wall? Question tackled at MLK Jr. Day breakfast

Is racism America’s Berlin Wall? Question tackled at MLK Jr. Day breakfast
January 20
00:00 2015

In photo: Cindy Smith Gordineer, president and CEO of the United Way of Forsyth County, and Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines listen as Dr. John Mendez, a civil rights advocate and pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, speaks Monday, Jan. 19 at the MLK Jr. Day Breakfast Forum held at the Benton Convention Center.

Is racism America’s Berlin Wall? This was the topic at the 2015 MLK Jr. Day Breakfast Forum, sponsored by The Chronicle. The forum attracted more than 1,300 people and a number of community and business leaders who helped start the discussion on the topic.

Questions were at each table to spark small group discussions, also.

One question was: Do you think having an African-American president has helped race relations in America?

One person said: No, I think it has brought more prejudices to the forefront and more “in your face”! Also, I have never heard or seen so much outward disrespect for a U.S. president. Anybody saying such things about any other president of the U.S. would have been put in jail!

Another person said: Not really. People are so content in their prejudices and preconceived notions that they are not open to even trying to understand one another. Not any one race is all good and not any one race is all bad.

Another question was: What do you think should be done to improve race relations? How do we begin? What, who, where and when should be our focus? 

Some of the responses were: 

*Express the importance of education.

*Get right with God and live by His guidance and His leadership.

*Parents and grandparents be committed to teaching the children Black History.

*Stop catering to people because of positions and demand respect from all.

*We need to find a solution to stop young boys and men from wearing their pants below the waist.

*Parents, take time and teach your child/children manners and respect. Then support the schools.

Find details of the event in the special section in this Thursday’s (Jan. 22) issue  of The Chronicle.

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