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Racial equality: One step forward and two steps back?

Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation 150 years ago but recent events indicate racial equality in the United States remains a precarious issue. In spite of the re-election of the nation's first African-American president, activists believe racial equality has suffered setbacks.

Recent court rulings regarding job discrimination and voting rights, have resulted in a divided Congress. This atmosphere has been exacerbated by racially-charged media events including a murder trial and a career meltdown of a leading television celebrity. Many human rights activists have been left scratching their heads at diverse public opinion surrounding these national events.

Representative John Lewis of Georgia, has expressed dismay at the ongoing struggle to uphold human rights. Others claim the resultant atmosphere questions the nation's commitment to freedom and equality of opportunity. A spokesperson for a project sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, blames the setbacks on a country that is still unable to deal with a consistent belief in racial hierarchy. The project nonetheless has allocated $3.8 million in community grants as part of ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life for young men of color.

A spokesperson for the NAACP states the Kellogg foundation grants are signs of progress, that underscore the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr., are still viable in this country. The widow of Medger Evers, an NAACP field secretary killed in 1963, stated on the anniversary of his death, that based on the current landscape in this country, there is still much work to be done to guard the progress that has been made.

In spite of these controversial events, the country continues to uphold progress made since the abolition of slavery. It is still a violation of human rights to deny or restrict employment to any person based on skin color. If you suspect you or a loved one has suffered a basic violation of human rights, you should speak to attorneys who specialize in race discrimination as they can help to protect your rights under the law.

The towntalk.com, "A racially challenging week in america" Suzanne Gamboa, Jun. 30, 2013

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