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Honoring Dr. King and a wish for unity among us

During the past few years, it has become clear race remains an important point of separation for many Americans. Example: allegations that some law enforcement officers and agencies treat African-Americans differently than whites have brought to the surface complaints that had simmered for decades.

With the official celebration of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, many Americans were involved in marches and other activiities emphasizing our commitment to a nation where all men, women and children are treated equally. In homes throughout the nation, tens of millions of people not participating in such activities were in support of them.

Dr. King helped all but eliminate institutionalized racism in America. But he recognized banishing bigotry from the hearts and minds of all Americans is a much, much more difficult task.

It is easy for many of us to assume our nation is a much different place than it was over 50 years ago. It is. But bigotry still is a factor in how too many of our friends, neighbors, co-workers and even family members think and act. Doing something about that is the new civil rights movement. To paraphrase Dr. King, we Americans can see the promised land — one in which race is not a factor in our nation. Getting there, however, remains a journey we must take. The dream of Dr. King should be a dream of all of us.

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