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April 5th, 2012
10:06 AM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Where does racism start, and what can be done about it?

Against the backdrop of the Trayvon Martin case, CNN is taking a look at race in America. We asked readers to post short video comments answering the question of whether racism still exists and where it comes from, in response to the study commissioned by AC360° to explore children's perception of race.

We got a number of fascinating responses that branched in three distinct directions.

1. We need to look at the black community's leadership

Jerome Almon of Detroit says he used to be a political science lecturer. He says the black community needs new leadership and is not served well by the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Russell Simmons and Spike Lee. He said he believes these men should be viewed with more skepticism.

"How do Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton make a living?" He asked. "You see them after a tragedy takes place."Almon went on to say that he believes these people have little credibility with black youths.

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Filed under: Kids on Race • Race in America
April 5th, 2012
07:49 AM ET

Letters to the President #1172: 'Enter Easter'

Reporter's Note: President Obama has gone to great pains to make it clear that he is Christian, despite persistent, false rumors that he is not. I go to great pains to write a letter to him every day.

Dear Mr. President,

We’re getting ready for Easter around our house, although I must admit that does not involve as much work as it did when our girls were small. Back then the process was a fairly exhausting spin on the gerbil wheel of putting up decorations, dying eggs, getting out baskets, buying new clothes, preparing for special breakfasts and dinners, and on and on and on it went. By Easter morning, the girls were hunting eggs and we were just praying that we could stay awake through church. Ha!

These days it’s not nearly so involved. Now we get to relax a good bit even though we still decorate, dye eggs, go to church, and do lots of other things to mark the day.

I would think in your job it would be very easy for any holiday, especially a religious one, to sneak up on you. After all, you’re plenty busy and must spend a lot of time dealing with matters which don’t even have a tangential connection to the workaday world: budgets, foreign affairs, legislative items, judicial issues.

I work a lot and I suppose my job is pretty demanding according to most people’s standards, but I don’t like it when duties press so much that I lose track of “life as we know it.” I’ve always felt that to be an effective reporter, you need to have at least some innate understanding of what you’re covering; to wit, it is hard to report on neighborhoods, schools, families, and churches, if you never have any time to be part of a neighborhood, school, family, or church.

I mean this in the most general sense. I wouldn’t say, for example, that only a basketball player should report on a basketball game. But I would think that a basic knowledge of athletics…what they feel like, what they involve, how they are enjoyed…would be a tremendous asset.

So, in other words, if you have not had time to think about Easter so far, you might want to make a little time over the next couple of days. Maybe you can buy a card, or help put up some decorations. Because if you want to stay connected with the people of this country, it is worth noting that that is what a great many of them are doing right now.

Hope all is well.

Regards,
Tom

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