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Patrick: Fight vs. racism in US is ongoing

Associated Press / February 14, 2009
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NEW HAVEN - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick cautioned last night that the election of a black president does not mean an end to the fight for racial justice in the United States.

Patrick, the Bay State's first black governor, spoke at a Black History Month event at Yale University, saying he believes the nation is at a crossroads in that fight.

"The quest for social justice is never static, never complete," he said. "Remember all those poor souls abandoned on rooftops after Hurricane Katrina. I ask you to consider whether they were abandoned before that storm."

Patrick described a piece of racist hate mail he recently received, which used a racial epithet to describe his wife and daughters and accused him of destroying the state.

Patrick, who spoke before a crowd of about 130 people inside a school dining hall, also praised those who fought for social justice in the past, including thousands of unsung heroes.

He told the story of how his grandmother, who could pass for white, would always enter restaurants ahead of her family and get a table for them, making it harder for anyone to ask them to leave.

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