Fifty years after the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, no one can argue that America has not seen big advances in race relations, but no one can argue that we have reached the promised land.
Gone is the overt racism and segregation of the Jim Crow era, and the country has twice elected an African-American President with a cabinet populated by those of other races. Yet people of color today face a very different, and in some ways, more complex form of “polite racism” that still works deep in the minds of people who would never think of themselves as racist and would never dare say the “N” word. And a more subtle form of systemic racism still surfaces throughout society and proves hard to root out.
It’s time to Reinvent the Civil Rights Movement to deal with this new form of 21st-century challenge.