And while much has changed since the 1800's, and new developments have been introduced that have sought to alleviate the racial divide not only in this State and in this country but in the world as well, it is incorrect to believe that the problem has been completely solved. We must be grateful that the world we have now is a better, more tolerant and more accepting world, but we must still try to think of steps to further reduce the racial divide.
I look around me and I see that members of my community look like me. White Americans easily form 70% of my community, though there are those of African American, Asian and Latin American descent around me. Caucasians look alike for obvious reasons - skin color, eye color and hair color reveal a common racial blueprint. Even the most idle observer would perhaps be able to distinguish among the races because of these distinctions. It is also worthy to note that the racial divide seems to extend to choice in fashion, music, and the like. African-Americans tend to dress alike, for instance, and have the same tastes in music. For example, Tennessee boasts of a long tradition of gospel music, commonly associated with African Americans. Jazz music is also another Tennessee tradition. The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's - the period wherein blacks made their mark in the artistic scene - saw black musicals and jazz music emerging in the mainstream scene. Indeed, the differences in the musical tastes run deep and add a colorful flavor to the Tennessee cultural collage. Of course, there are many songs of recent vintage that cut across race, particularly among the younger generation.
Our political office is comprised of African-Americans and Caucasians so it can be said that there is a healthy heterogeneity in the field of political governance. Moreover, we have a new Superintendent in our county schools who is African-American. On a broader perspective, much interest is being generated by the Beck-Miller contest, where the presence of a black Republican running for a seat at the Hamilton County Commission is forcing everyone - whether from the black community or outside - to rethink their paradigms and preconceived notions. Old but persistent issues are being resurrected and dredged up as individuals and organizations take polar-opposite positions. There is supposedly the sentiment in the black community that Republicans might not want to face the social problems of poverty, health care and the like - issues that are traditionally championed by Democrats. The black Republican candidate, Dr. Bernie Miller, is also being taken to task for taking a position against reparations for slavery, an emotional subject for African Americans. Dr. Miller has likewise disagreed with the proposal of conducting a racial disparity study.
Indeed, where policies and official pronouncements and actions are concerned, there is no class divide and individuals distinguished by race but otherwise similarly situated are given equal opportunities. Leaders seek to provide benefits for the members of the community, whatever race, economic status, gender, etc. The Superintendent I mentioned previously, for instance, has made