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U.S. Still Fighting the Same Old Battles Over Race, Identity

When I hear Joe Wilson scream "You lie" at this president when he is talking about health care for all, I wonder how our values got so distorted.

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For my dad, it was his faith that gave him those values. To feed the hungry, to give water to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick and those in prison. To welcome the stranger. To be our brother's and sister's keeper. To proclaim good news to the poor and let the oppressed go free. To show mercy and love kindness. Those are the values I was raised with, and when I hear Joe Wilson from the buckle of the Bible belt scream "You lie" at this president when he is talking about health care for all, I wonder how those values got so distorted.

So, Dad, wherever you are, thank you for raising me with those values and not the bitter angry ugliness of the Glenn Becks, Rush Limbaughs, and Joe Wilsons of this world. A lot has changed since you left this good earth, but we're still fighting the ugliness. But I honor you and all those famous and unsung pioneers for human justice who have gone before us. I am thankful that there were people like you and my mom who welcomed the stranger, people who welcomed Barack Obama, Sr and so many other immigrants who have contributed to the quality of this country, and still are. The next time I write, I hope I'll be telling you that we finally have decent health care for all, and that we live in a country where immigrants are finally welcome.

Mike Lux is the founder of Progressive Strategies LLC and a director of the Center for Progressive Leadership, the Proteus Fund and the Arca Foundation.

 
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