Yes, racism hasn't died and hate still exists. Still... this column today from my friend Jeff Jacoby rings true.
I HAVE A DREAM, said Martin Luther King in 1963, that someday “on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” King was a prodigious dreamer, but even he might have found it hard to imagine that thousands of those listening to him that day would live to see a black pastor elected — unanimously and enthusiastically — to lead the Southern Baptist Convention.
Last week, a gifted and charismatic black minister from New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, the Rev. Fred Luter Jr., was chosen by acclamation to lead the Southern Baptist Convention. Luter is not the first African-American to head a largely white Christian denomination in the United States — the Rev. Geoffrey Black has been president of the United Church of Christ since 2009, for example — but he is the first to head a church that was founded in support of African bondage and white racism.
We live at a time, after all, when a black president lives in the White House and a black justice sits on the Supreme Court. When the success of black supermodels and Fortune 500 CEOs is taken for granted. When celebrity magazines and websites routinely chronicle the lives of black athletes, entertainers, and movie stars. America today is nothing like it was in 1963, when King could only dream of black civil equality and the death of Jim Crow. The pervasive racism he confronted is primarily a historical memory now, while King himself is in the American pantheon.
Thank God that most Americans really are free at last.