What Happened To The End of Racism?

Many people in my all-white home town gave me some grief over my civil rights views in the 1960s. But it was mild, if pointed. And I survived driving through Mississippi a couple of times in 1970 with equal rights decals on my car.

But I thought momentum was building behind the idea of judging a person by their character rather than the color of their skins or other external differences.

There has been progress. Almost all laws in the US are now color-blind (and gender-blind–that was a problem, too). Most police no longer are a serious threat to the well-being, and even lives, of people of color.

The goal remains elusive.

We can change laws (good). Train people (good). Heighten awareness and provide peer pressure (good).

But we can’t change people’s hearts that easily.

Reports from Missouri suggest that the University of Missouri race relations have changed little since 1969. We still have too many incidents.

And now I expect my Facebook “news” stream to fill up with a reaction of hatred and verbal violence toward all people who are followers of Islam and/or of Middle Eastern descent because of the attacks by a few nihilists in Paris. (I quit reading most of that stuff  on Facebook. If you want to reach me in Facebook, you can use Messenger rather than just a post.)

I have some friends and many acquaintances among those groups. They are peace-loving people with a moral code not unlike many Christians (I wonder about the moral code of some).

It all makes me so sad. An entire adult life span, and we have actually progressed so little.

Can we take some time to watch what we say? Pray for those hurting? Pray for justice? Judge people according to character rather than this painting an entire religion and ethnic group with the same brush as brutal terrorists?

Thank you.

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