After a week where many in the country are left shaking their heads, wondering why we can't seem to do a better job healing our country's long standing racial divide, the question lately being asked in this political season is, "Which presidential candidate will do a better job on this issue, Clinton or Trump?" Frankly, the question is aimed in the wrong direction. One president has not, and can not make the difference needed on this issue. Change must come from the greater society writ large, regardless of who we elect. Let's look to the very beginning of our country's founding to unpack this.
How Our White Forefathers Saw Blacks in a Burgeoning American Democracy
The original sins of inequality and discrimination were written into our country's very founding document, the Constitution, which sanctioned the enslavement of Africans through the three fifths clause and the fugitive slave clause. A little under a century later, the majority of our society (still predominantly white, thus enjoying the claim to the country's dominant culture) would still subscribe to the belief that whites were superior to blacks. Lincoln, who reinterpreted the document's phrase, "All men are created equal", who "emancipated" the slaves, still didn't think blacks and whites deserved the same social and political rights.
Robin S. Smith is a psychotherapist practicing in Bethesda, MD. Robin created The Couple and Family Clinic Blog to provide useful articles on issues related to mental health as well as articles on local, national, and international news stories. Learn more about Robin on the About Page.