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Emotional growth needed to achieve racial equality

Acceptance and respect for others require compassion, clear thinking and emotional growth. A post-racial society, along with gender equality and acceptance of others’ sexual orientation, will not be attained without it. We live in a climate where ideological beliefs are deemed to be the “truth” and very little is forthcoming in the form of compromise, with bullying becoming the order of the day.

We have made much progress in the way of technological innovation, but struggle deeply with tolerance and racial equality. Many tolerate others, but there is a distinct difference between putting up with others and being tolerant of them. One requires compassion and one does not. As a relatively young nation, this dichotomy has always existed, to the detriment of all we have achieved.

Ignorant and droll behavior is often rewarded with book deals, political power and control of what the “order of the day” will be. The bar of critical thinking is being lowered. The same nonsensical thinking and phrases I heard long ago still permeate with astounding resonance today, as we marginalize and dehumanize large groups of people. The projection of caricatures, distorted images and figments of someone’s imagination often pass as being “newsworthy.” It is a matter of portrayal, and the consequence it has on the consciousness of both the victim and those who perpetuate it.

Larry E. Salley

Buffalo