I watched with great interest CNN's town hall meeting on race in Beaumont, Texas. It was originally supposed to be held in Vidor, Texas, long known as a racist city in Texas that's trying to overcome its image, but after CNN had a news story on it last week, where one resident proclaimed at the end of the story "I don't mind being friends with blacks, but when it comes to mingling with them or eating with them, that's where I draw the line", the town felt as though they'd been given a raw deal and decided they not only didn't want CNN back in their town, but that they weren't going to participate anymore.

So the show went on in an auditorium about 10 minutes from Vidor, and as I watched, I found myself hearing many things that I agreed with, a few I didn't agree with, but found many stories people were telling equal to a few experiences I've had, because the truth is racism isn't limited to the south. One thing in particular that hit me was a statement one of the panelists, Tim Wise, a Jewish educator and writer of a book called White Like Me, made, that being: "Actually, the point is, in this country, we've got to stop telling black folks to move on and get over it. I'm Jewish, we don't tell Jewish Americans to get over the Holocaust or Jewish folks around this country in polite society."

During the show, a video was shown that told the story of the healing of Philadelphia, Mississippi, the place of infamy where the three civil rights workers were killed, and how they've finally addressed their past, leading to better race relations and a healing the city desperately needed. If anything, this story showed the importance of bringing people together to discuss feeling about race by all sides, hoping for a positive dialogue towards healing.

As if this bit of idiocy by the senator from Virginia doesn't prove my point, because, unfortunately, even when it seems it's not about race, it is.