Celebrating the Holidays With an End to Discrimination
I was overjoyed to see the nation enter this holiday season with two important victories in the ongoing struggle for civil rights and respect for human dignity. The U.S. government’s settlement of Pigford vs. Glickman acknowledges and denounces the Department of Agriculture’s many years of discrimination against tens of thousands of black farmers who were denied loans. While the cash payments to the plaintiffs in the case will help to put those farmers on a path to economic empowerment, just as important is the government’s firm position that discrimination in lending will not be tolerated. The nation continued on a forward path with the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which barred gay and lesbian Americans from serving openly in our nation’s armed forces. This holiday season, it feels as if we are a step closer to realizing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a nation where we are judged by the content of our character. I wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Feliz Navidad … and peace and health for 2011.
Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League