Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

August 16, 2013

RONNIE ELLIS; Race and politics

FRANKFORT —  Recent comments by Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul and by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have me thinking about the taboo subject of race in America.

Reid was asked about the monolithic opposition by Congressional Republicans to anything proposed by Barack Obama, America’s first African American president.

“I hope – and I say this seriously – I hope that’s based on substance and not the fact that he’s African American,” Reid answered.

Republicans howled and accused Reid of playing “the race card.” South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott – the Senate’s only African American – called Reid’s comments “shameful.”

Still, consider this. One 2008 presidential candidate was born outside the United States: John McCain was born in Panama. But it was the candidate from Hawaii whose eligibility was questioned.

Paul was asked about election laws passed in some southern states in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act. He rightly called Jim Crow-era literacy tests “an abomination,” but went on to say that there is “no objective evidence” of current efforts to suppress African American voters.

Last summer the Pennsylvania House Majority Leader, Republican Mike Turzai, said that state’s new voter registration and I.D. law would “allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” (Courts threw the law out prior to the election.)

I’m not accusing anyone of racism. I genuinely believe Paul’s political philosophy is based on his belief that his positions are intellectually justified and not based in anyway on caste or social superiority.

But my life is full of personal examples of how whites and blacks perceive the world very differently.

A couple of months ago, I pulled into a parking lot to take a call on my cell phone. As I talked, I absent-mindedly flipped the lock-unlock button.  Suddenly, there was an angry young black man yelling outside my car. At first I was confused – until it suddenly occurred to me why.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0420singer2web.jpg Young Johnson singer strives for ‘tears of joy'

    Marlana VanHoose says she was humming “Jesus Loves Me” before she could even talk.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Second trial delay sought

    The lead attorney for Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley has requested his client’s trial date be pushed back again.

    April 20, 2014

  • Accelerating the positive

    One thing Sherry Jacobs knows about herself is she is not a quitter.

    April 20, 2014

  • Bike season in full swing

    A recent short cold spell didn’t keep kept cyclists from venturing outdoors to explore the new bike trails snaking through Greenup County.

    April 20, 2014

  • What's happening: 4/21/14

    Fan Fest, an open house at King’s Daughters Medical center’s Specialties Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and Marshall Orthopaedics, will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at offices in Suite G30 of Medical Plaza B, 613 23rd St.

    April 20, 2014

  • Crime victims’ group to host conference

    Kentucky Voices for Victims of Crime, an advocacy organization for those who have suffered at the hands of criminals, will have its annual memorial conference next week.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Boyd FFA to have test drive fundraiser

    The Boyd County FFA Chapter will have a test-drive fundraiser at Superior Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Ashland from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday to raise money for the National FFA Organization in support of local FFA chapter leadership programs.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • newwendy1.jpg Ashland woman develops pregnancy journals for mom, dad

    An Ashland woman has a way of helping parents everywhere.
    Wendy Sparks, 47, wrote The journals, which are for parents to keep for themselves and their children during pregnancy.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0420eggs0051.jpg Acres and acres of eggs

    A dozen volunteers spent the morning Saturday scattering more than 6,000 plastic eggs around the Greenup County Farm Bureau’s 10-acre field Saturday morning.
     

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Volunteers to pack thousands of meals for hungry Haitians

    Members of the First Baptist Church in Grayson are planning for the third year in a row to pack thousands of meals for starving people in Haiti, and they need help to do it.
     

    April 19, 2014