I grew up in the Middle East where I was the minority. Everyone got along fairly well. So, I make a mistake sometimes that when someone says racism caused something, I discount it. I did not grow up in a culture entrenched with race issues.

More often than not I think my reaction is right. Too many people use race as a comfortable excuse. People think they can’t excel because of their race, not because they are high school drop outs in a gang.

We have lost the ability to speak openly and frankly about issues of race in this country. That’s a shame. Until we can, until race is not the crutch excusing failure, I will not change my reaction of frequently discounting race.

But, I think sometimes I, and other Republicans, have to say, “Yes Virginia, there really is racism.” Of course, Democrats will never admit that racism is not as common as they make it appear. Folks like Jesse Jackson will never admit that black people can be racist too.

It’s a problem we must overcome.