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James W. Loewen in the LA Times, on sundown towns, towns where blacks had to be out by the end of the day:

Calhoun County, in neighboring Illinois, has a similar tradition of violence toward African Americans lingering after sundown. It voted for Barack Obama 53% to 46% in 2008, the same proportion as the nation. Nevertheless, it boasts not a single black household, and some residents suggested to me last year that it would not prudent for one to move in "just now."

To recover from this sundown past, a community needs to take three steps:

Admit it. "We did this."

Apologize. "We did this, and it was wrong, and we’re sorry." 

Promise never to do it again. State, "We don’t do it any more," and the statement needs to have teeth.

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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