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Is America ‘Backsliding’ on Race? – New York Times

A worshiper with a copy of the service program at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was co-pastor of the church in the 1960s.

What do you think of the state of race relations in the United States today? Do you think the presidency of Donald Trump has affected them onewhy or another? If so, how?

What are some of your recent observations and experiences?

In “In Trump’s Remarks, Black Churches See a Nation Backsliding,” Sabrina Tavernise writes:

On the day before Martin Luther King’s Birthday, African-American churchgoers gathered as they always do, to pray, give thanks and reflect on the state of race in America. But after a disheartening week and an even more disheartening year, black Americans interviewed on Sunday said they were struggling to comprehend what was happening in a country that so recently had an African-American president.

“I’ve been involved in the civil rights movement since my college days, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been more confused than I am right now,” said Sterling Tucker, 94, a civil rights leader in Washington. “There’s not a lot of honesty in the country now about who we are and where we are.”

In interviews at churches in Washington; Atlanta; Kansas City, Mo.; Miami; and Brockton, Mass., black Americans expressed frustration and disappointment about the direction of the country in Donald Trump’s first year in office.

They said they saw America slipping into an earlier, uglier version of itself. And when Mr. Trump used crude words to describe Haiti and African countries in an immigration discussion, they said, he was voicing what many Americans were thinking, even if it was something they no longer felt comfortable saying: America prefers white people.

Students: Read the entire article, then tell us:

— When Sterling Tucker states, “There’s not a lot of honesty in the country now about who we are and where we are,” how do you interpret this? What do these words mean to you?

— Do you feel that America is ”slipping into an earlier, uglier version of itself”? Why do you think the people quoted in the article feel that way?

— Do you believe, as the article contends, that Donald Trump was voicing what many Americans believe when he used crude language last week to describe African countries as well as Haiti?

— Have you seen, heard or read racist opinions about immigrants or any other groups?

— Do you feel racism is on the rise in the United States? Explain.

Students 13 and older are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

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Is America ‘Backsliding’ on Race? – New York Times

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