Since it has been 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation and nearly 50 years since the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we are painfully reminded of the reality of Sandy Banks' observation "that we can't undo the damage of generations of injustice simply by passing a law."
But each of us, while realizing it is not easy, can contribute to progress by accepting and valuing people's differences and committing to change our behavior toward those who are different than we are. This would be a wonderful way to celebrate the second inauguration of a black president, who earned the voters' support to lead our nation.
Doyle McManus' thoughtful piece about how different President Obama's second term will feel rings true. The president is more combative and disparaging of Republicans.
What the president ignores is that garnering 51% of the popular vote doesn't constitute a mandate. Plus, many of his voters weren't necessarily supporters but just didn't like his opponent.
By the same token, as Obama likes to point out, elections have consequences, and members of the House were also elected to represent the people and to make their voices heard. These people are also Americans. Minority rights are to be respected, not treated with derision.
Obama's goal should be to bring people together, not drive wedges between them.