Progress in a lifetime |

Progress in a lifetime

Don Rogers

Coretta Scott King, who died Tuesday, once asserted that racial prejudice is humanity’s single worst affliction.That’s debatable, given our litany of worst qualities. But consider the Holocaust, Stalin’s purges, Rwanda and so on right through Darfur. She’s got a point.In this country, our own sorry record with blacks, who endured a couple of centuries of slavery, is pitiful right up to the civil rights movement within the lifetime of most baby boomers.Much of the angst about illegal immigration – accounting for 3 percent of America’s population – is fueled by antipathy toward brown skin, frankly. Not all, to be sure. But there’s a definite and ugly undercurrent not seen when the foreigners in question happen to be, say, Aussie or Czech.Yes, prejudice and discrimination are not inflicted by just one race or ethnicity or other group. Examples abound in all directions. No, this is an all too universally human flaw.Coretta Scott King, like her famous husband, Martin Luther King Jr., devoted her life to fighting for blacks and other minorities’ full participation in American society. There’s still a long way to go, but our country has come a long way, too, thanks to them.So there is hope, although we still do not enjoy that truly color-blind society captured in the full spirit of the Declaration of Independence. We may well need another Coretta and Martin Luther King Jr. to get us to that promised land.Vail, Colorado

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