James, in his first year of college, is taking an American history class. He and I recently have had a discussion or two about what they are studying in class currently: racial segregation in the mid-20th century, the Jim Crow era, and the civil rights movement, and, as we talk about it, he's a bit amazed that things were like that not that long ago. I remember it all well. And it's easy to think, how could this have all happened in this "land of the free"?
Then you look at one of the big issues of today: the recent killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida, and you hear people -- politicians, news celebrities -- excusing the shooter, trying to justify the murder. It makes me realize that things haven't changed as much as I'd like to think they have. Racism is alive and well.