Author of “Civil Rights Baby” offers a prescription for racial healing: R-R-R

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The United States needs to undertake R-R-R, a concept for acceptance and cohesive living together, said professor and author Nita Wiggins, in the wake of the clashes between white supremacists and citizens in Charlottesville, VA and Seattle, WA. Wiggins, who lived in both Charlottesville, Va., and Seattle, Wash., —the sites of the violence and at least one death— said the seeds of the conflicts took root decades earlier but became more venomous after the last three presidential cycles.

Photo courtesy of Mary Julliard

“We need Race Relations Reconstruction, what I call R-R-R, to build our some kind of national unity after the elections in 2008, 2012, and 2016,” said Wiggins, a former broadcast journalist and author of the upcoming book Civil Rights Baby: My Story of Race, Sports, and Breaking Barriers in American Journalism.

“It is a very ugly thought, but there are some Americans who feel a black man should not be able to do something that a white man cannot do, politically speaking or otherwise…It’s as if when we, black Americans, try to live fully under the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, anger people who do not want minorities to benefit from the laws of the land.”

In addition to Seattle and Charlottesville, Wiggins previously lived in Memphis, Tenn., where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, and in Dallas, Texas, where President Kennedy was killed in the midst of formulating the Civil Rights Act.

Wiggins is a journalism professor at ESJ-Paris (l’Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Paris in France). She is writing the story of her 20 years on American television and will release Civil Rights Baby: My Story of Race, Sports, and Breaking Barriers in American Journalism in the fall. She can be followed on Twitter at @EducatingMsNita.