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Dr. King’s dream and journey continue today

During recent 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 today of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, many Americans will be involved in activities emphasizing our commitment to supporting anti-racism. Of course, the COVID factor will play a role in how many public observances honoring MLK will be held. Dr. King was born in 1929.

Dr. King was a pioneer in leading the movement to remove institutionalized racism in America. But he recognized banishing bigotry from the hearts and minds of all Americans is a much, much more difficult task. Hatred continues to widely percolate and often times reaches boiling points. It can be generational — passed down through each wave of family members.

It is easy for many of us to assume our nation is a much different place than it was when Dr. King was marching for justice right up until his death in April, 1968.

But bigotry still is a factor in how too many of our friends, neighbors, co-workers and even family members think and act. Those who believe otherwise are blind to reality.

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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