The O.J. Simpson case was not so much a wake-up call as a rousing affirmation that our society is deeply divided. It has been four decades since Rosa Parks chose her seat on the bus and ignited the civil rights movement, yet the conflicts continue. In Los Angeles, in the space of one generation, there have been two deadly riots, both with promises of better days ahead. And still, the pot simmers on the brink of a roiling boil, with Mark Fuhrman reminding us that progress is not at hand. Why must this be? Must race be at the center of so many of the major issues of the day? Education. Welfare. Politics. A double homicide. At what cost can this continue, our compassion and common sense undermined by ethnic polarization?