The Saratoga Sun -

Time to act now

 


Editor,

You only need turn on your TV News to understand that America stands poised on the brink of a violent explosive period in race relations. We are experiencing that the problem of race relations in the United States cuts to the very core of our definition as a people. America, although founded on the ideals of individual liberty and personal dignity, we cannot bring ourselves—through either law or social practice—to treat the descendants of slaves as equal to whites.

The dilemma that this attitude has always posed for us in American was that these racial attitudes have become so deeply ingrained that even if our leaders wanted to get rid of them, it has always seemed politically impossible for them to do so. In 1964, we enacted the Civil Rights Act which was enacted to assure equal opportunity for black people. We could not have possibly imagined that, after four decades, the goals of his law would be so completely discredited both legally and morally.

I am concerned that if our leaders at the federal, state and local levels and the American public do not seek to understand the nature and sources of black alienation and racial intolerance—and respond sensitively to these problems in policy, law and practice—that we are in danger of making our racial dilemma worse and continue the violent upheavals in our country. Until we act, this racial American dilemma will continue to fester in our society and we will have lost a historic opportunity to finally correct these racial issues.

I do not think that either white society or black society can afford more years of wishful thinking from its leadership and the public about the drift of political ideas on the issue of racial inequality in contemporary America and take no timely and positive steps to correct this social problem. Our leaders and the public at large must find the courage and wisdom to heed the growing racial division and isolation and seek to address what is required to form a mature and varied set of ideological positions, strategies, policies and laws consonant with the shifting political and economic realities that we will face in the future.

Until they do so, the new American Dilemma of racial problems will continue to be perpetuated by black and white societies alike to the detriment of the Nation itself. This may be the last chance that we will have to heal our country’s most divisive wound.

John O’Grady

Saratoga, Wyoming

 

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