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Bill Clinton and Racial Reconciliation - Essay Example

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Date Bill Clinton and Racial Reconciliation Universally agreed upon as a sensitive term, reconciliation has over time called for a meaningful definition that does not polarize but rather fulfill its intended purpose…
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Bill Clinton and Racial Reconciliation
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Bill Clinton and Racial Reconciliation

Racial reconciliation demands sensitivity when being expounded because any loose definitions could lead people to supporting that which they feel closely relates to them. Yet it should be a unifying factor since it is a matter of humaneness rather than individual feelings. As human beings, we should seek to come together as one and respect each other regardless of color or any other divisive issues such as creed. However, emphasis must be placed on the fact that racial reconciliation primarily entails holding all persons responsible for the past injustices, accountable (Lawson 295). At the time of his campaign, Governor Bill Clinton came out boldly against race as a divisive issue and called upon Americans to embrace the diversity as a strengthening factor. Staying true to his word, when Clinton came into power he appointed more blacks and women than any other President in the history of America had. His idealism on racial reconciliation was founded on the fact that at the end of the day we are all human beings. That ought to be the connection we all ascribe to and not color. Racial reconciliation became more practical as President Clinton established a commission, aimed at convening dialogues at town halls to initiate further discourse into the issue of racism. He went on to enacting policies that saw employment opportunities for African Americans increase dramatically; besides that, he reinforced civil rights movements and appointed a significant number of African Americans and women into the judicial system. His dedication to this was visible until the end of his term where he was seen to make recommendations to health, education, civil rights efforts and overall social and economic evolution. In Elie Wiesel’s speech at the Millennium Lecture series in April 12 1999, he cited indifference as the greatest enemy to racial reconciliation as it is worse than anger and hatred, because it does not bring out any response. He applauded President Clinton’s efforts in intervening the suffering of people in Kosovo in partnership with NATO. This had a huge impact on his plight to Americans that the human connection is greater than any racial and ethnic differences as nowadays more leaders and international organizations are embracing their roles as human beings to intervening in countries where crimes against humanity are rife. Such intervention efforts point at the occurrence of racial reconciliation (Wiesel). There are considerable instances of racial reconciliation in America, starting with President Clinton’s apology to African Americans for the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment in 1997. He also alluded to an apology to slavery and launched an initiative that sought to give practices necessary for racial reconciliation. This made racial injustices more acknowledgeable by other leaders as more apologies were offered. Evidence to this is an apology, in 1999 by President Mathieu Kerekou of Benin to African Americans for the country’s participation in the European slave trade. More recently, the Jacksonville Journey an initiative established in 2007 to reduce crime rates in the town often referred to as the ‘murder capital’ of Florida; where its activities include youth development programs that turn the young population away from gang activities. This has been a positive step towards racial reconciliation as it eliminates the stereotype of African Americans as inclined towards violent and criminal activities. Still in the same year, the ... Read More
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