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By jayscu2 on Nov 13, 2013 03:31 AM
2012 Election

(CNN) It not often that we toot our own horn, so please allow us a moment.

In America race, identity and politics series won second place in the Series/Project category from the Society for Features Journalism 25th annual Excellence in Feature Writing Contest.

Moni Basu, John Blake, Jen Christensen and Todd Leopold wrote stories that explored race, identity and politics ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

Read their awardwinning pieces:

The optics of politics: Seeing campaigns through a multicultural kaleidoscope

Last white House Democratic congressman in the Deep South fights for political survival

Civil rights Cyber Monday uggs outlet icon fighting for change one registered voter at a time

Parallels to country racist past haunt age of Obama

We are honored for the recognition and so grateful to our readers: Thank you.

See the full list of winners here.

By Halimah Abdullah, CNN

Washington (CNN) Republican K. Carl Smith is AfricanAmerican and he knows that the GOP racial reckoning won come from 100page reports from party headquarters with carefully worded prescriptions about to partners. the type of uggs Cyber Monday sea change needed to shake the GOP image as a party of old, white and culturallyinsulated men will require the type of profound grassroots shakeup that might make some in the GOP uneasy.

got your establishment Republicans who want to keep things the same, said Smith, an Army veteran who grew up in Alabama during the Civil Rights era. status quo needs to Cyber Monday uggs on sale go through some, I won say diversity classes, but I say liberty classes and learn about helping people on the bottom of the ladder. said the party also has to deal with small but noisy elements that coopt any message of inclusiveness if it wants to win the battle. She was manager for the GoreLieberman presidential campaign in 2000.

By Donna Brazile, CNN Contributor

(CNN) Politicians and historians love to use the word become as American, and cliched, as apple pie. The historian Shelby Foote, wrote, Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things. . It was the crossroads of our being, Cyber Monday uggs deals and it was a hell of a crossroads. have been thinking about the word, because this year Black History Month theme is the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington. Two pivotal events that shaped modern American history.

A is literally the intersection of two or more roads two or more paths to get to the same place. Metaphorically, it refers to the place the moment of a critical decision. Shall we go forward together? Shall we separate? Shall we fight?

We mark history crossroads not by road signs but by the documents that identify them. The Declaration of Independence is certainly one. Who has not memorized the opening of the second paragraph? hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Long morning commutes, after school soccer games and maybe a family dinner at Clyde Willow Creek Farm.

But, as Barack Obama begins his second term, the air is decidedly unchanged in this northern Virginia community of tidy subdivisions and endless rows of townhouses.

After a viciously fought, pavementpounding political campaign, the people are left divided, the gulf between them wide like the grassy medians that separate left and right sides of the roads that lead to the nation capital.

There is the reliably Republican old Ashburn. Some of those folks remember lush fields and woods brimming with redbuds and ash. Legend has it the place took its name from an old ash struck by lightning so hard that it smoldered for a week.

There is the new divided Ashburn that looks like America new normal. An explosion of growth in the last two decades turned this place from a largely white conservative constituency to one that is darkerskinned and comprised of more professional women. They call themselves progressive thinkers and are a big reason that Obama in 2008 became the first Democrat to win here and in the state of Virginia since Lyndon B. Johnson victory in 1964.

This time, the commonwealth again hung in the balance. Loudoun County was a battleground within a battleground. Ashburn was its epicenter.

In the end, Obama took Virginia with 51% of the vote to Mitt Romney 47%, but Obama won in Ashburn nine precincts by a mere 212 votes. In the Belmont Ridge precinct, the difference was six votes. That how close it was here.

The people in Ashburn hold widely differing visions of how to steer America in the next four years, but they are tired of the partisan bickering in the halls of power in Washington. They wonder what happened to the voices of Cyber Monday uggs reason, the voices of moderation.

About eight in 10 people see Cyber Monday uggs sale partisan divide as the largest conflict among Americans, according to a Pew Research Center survey released last week.

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