‘Do you believe in the universal brotherhood and sisterhood?’

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The first African-American to be elected to the U.S. Congress from Minnesota visited Duluth on Monday to speak about “The State of Black America and the Way Forward.” Rep. Keith Ellison delivered his address at  St. Mark AME Church. He spoke about what people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds can do to move toward an equitable, just and peaceful future.

Ellison represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all of Minneapolis and parts of Ramsey and Anoka counties.

Ellison said that that racism and other divisive social strategies are used to manipulate vulnerable people and keep them stuck in limited economic and political power.

“The tactics of racism bewilder, confuse and divide the white working class," Ellison said.

He stressed that all need to move beyond blaming people for racism or feeling ashamed of racist heritage. "We have the shame and the blame but then we end up getting nowhere," he said.

The real question, he said, is, "Do you believe in the universal brotherhood and sisterhood of all people?"

The event was sponsored by the NAACP Duluth Branch.

To see a video of the whole speech visit the NAACP website: duluthnaacp.org, or visit Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6ixG4o_6wE