It was the second time I had thought about that familiar old song in recent days, and this time it made my stomach churn. As I had searched through every article I could find naming William Aitcheson, I came upon a 2004 article in Fredericksburg, Va.’s Free Lance-Star. Aitcheson was still my pastor then. He had presided over a memorial service for the Confederate dead, where he read “The Conquered Banner,” a popular post-Civil War poem composed by a Catholic priest who had been a chaplain for the Confederate army. Then, the Lance-Star reported, Aitcheson turned to the crowd and said, “Let’s sing the old national anthem.” He led them all in song.
Castro recognized that he was premature when he declared racism eliminated and admitted that, despite progress, there were gaps in the original reforms. In the documentary RAZA , Cuban citizens remark that there are equal rights before the law, but equal rights do not mean social equality: society is still racist because of widespread ignorance. [xx] While notable achievements were made in education and employment, areas such as cultural representation, police discrimination and housing lagged behind. Cuba still suffers from the legacy of centuries of discrimination followed by decades of silence.