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“Never have I had a Thanksgiving come where I have had so little and felt more thankful and blessed.” Rachelle Sanders, on having lost her home in the California wildfire, but surviving with her newborn.

After a year of heartache we have come to a troubled Thanksgiving. People recovering from homes flattened by hurricane winds and floodwaters on the east coast, or burned to the ground in California wildfires. Coast-to-coast disasters. People facing the Thanksgiving season after losing the accumulation of a lifetime or perhaps several lifetimes of memory-holders, gone. Left with the clothes they had on, racing on both coasts, away from the effects of a warmer climate.

And the mass shootings. Racial and religious killings of African Americans and Jews, here in America. Children separated from parents and held in cages, some never to be reunited. And there is the endless vitriol, hate and ignorance coming from the country’s president.

Here in 2018, we have a candidate in Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), who said at a campaign event, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” Then she tried to clean it up by saying it was simply an, “exaggerated expression of regard.” This, in a state with the worst lynching record, where people once jockeyed for up-front positions so they wouldn’t miss the fun of lynching African Americans.

Her opponent, African American Mike Espy, called the comment “hurtful and harmful,” and his campaign issued a statement saying, “For a state like Mississippi, where voting rights were obtained through sweat and blood, everyone should appreciate that this is not a laughing matter.  Mississippians deserve a senator who represents our best qualities, not a walking stereotype who embarrasses our state.”

The appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court may have delayed for a couple of generations much of the promised progress in racial and sexual fairness that we thought was inevitable. But what are a couple of generations in the life of a nation or an empire?  The empires of Africa and Asia lasted for thousands of years. The question is, how close can it come to achieving an ultimate goal of the development of the full potential of all its citizenry?

The Good News in the Losses

The lesson to be taken from the candidacy of Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Andrew Gillum in Florida, is not that they lost. It is that the South is ready to embrace progressive ideas, but the remaining vestiges of the old apparatus has managed to suppress the Black vote and hold back the future – but not for long. The true will of the people will be heard and the scoundrels will be cast out of office.