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Minnesota Opinion: Moving in a civil rights direction in America

From Forum News Service

An editorial from recent Minnesota newspapers.

Minnesota Opinion: Moving in a civil rights direction in America

RED WING — The Civil Rights Act of 1964 proved that determined everyday citizens can change the nation.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in a grand East Room ceremony with Martin Luther King Jr. by his side. Until that moment, having a black man stand as an equal among the nation’s dignitaries had seemed impossible. Today, a black man lives in the White House.

President Barack Obama spoke Thursday at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. The 50th anniversary summit brought together four living presidents and numerous civil rights leaders. Obama acknowledged the past but stressed the importance of what’s yet to be done for — and eventually by — American children, including his daughters, to further the nation’s ideal that all people are created equal.

“If there’s one lesson I hope that Malia and Sasha and young people everywhere learn from this day, it’s that with enough effort and enough empathy and enough perseverance and enough courage, people who love their country can change it,” he said.

When not caught in the political barrage surrounding the Affordable Care Act or staring down international aggressor Vladimir Putin, Obama has made addressing inequality and economic opportunity for all Americans a focus for his second term. Some would say he’s the right person at the right time and it’s about time he acted.

But let’s also remember that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation of schools, restaurants and water fountains, but not racial hatred and discriminations. Those are left for us to battle every day.