To be sure, as president, he treated race the way President Carter did, interpreting policy differences between him and his Republican opponents as inspired by the Republicans' presumed racism. Now, after his repeated acts of treachery in South Carolina, we see a Bill actively turning whites and blacks in his own party against each other. Moreover, he wants to encourage ill will between Hispanics and blacks within his party. He is making these invidious efforts purely to bring his family back to power. Though I have called him a sociopath, I thought that when it came to the issue of race, he might be more scrupulous.
Race is the cruel burden this country has borne since its inception. We fought a bloody civil war over it. The evil of Jim Crow followed after that war, featuring widespread injustices against blacks and violence between the races. From North to South, race riots have broken out in this country for generations. After the heroism and idealism of the civil rights movement, the country has moved steadily toward racial tolerance and an improvement of the material condition of all minorities. Admittedly, there remain instances of unspeakable cruelty, hate crimes committed by brutes on both sides. Yet with a growing sense of tolerance and a growing economy offering jobs and other opportunities, we have reason to believe that racial harmony is replacing the racial strife of the past.
Now comes the Clinton quest for the Democratic nomination, and what journalists politely call "the race card" is being practiced. It is a dangerous game. Thankfully, racial tolerance is probably too far along for the Clintons to screw it up. The divide between the races will continue to narrow. But perhaps you will understand my astonishment after the Clintons' demagoguery in South Carolina: They are actually worse than I have been saying.
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