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Updated 2:00 PM January 19, 2004



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To the Editor:

To realize the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, as President Coleman puts it incisively [Record, Jan. 12, 2004] there remains "a great deal of work" to do. Right. The issues of educational access and equality, as Associate Vice Provost John Matlock puts it, "are just as appropriate today as they were 50 years ago." Right. And the program associate of the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, Silvia Carranza, hits the nail squarely on the head when she says: "I hope this year's event will cause people to continually question what may seem unfair."

We can sum it all up with the words of Thurgood Marshall, later Supreme Court justice, who was executive director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund at the time of Brown v. Board, and who (with Jack Greenberg) conducted that litigation to unanimous and stunning success at the Supreme Court. In his brief to the Supreme Court Thurgood Marshall wrote:

"Distinctions by race are so evil, so arbitrary, and so invidious that a State bound to guarantee the equal protection of the laws must not invoke them in any public sphere."

Thurgood Marshall was right then, in 1954, right also in 1864 and 1964—and no less right in 2004. The principle of the equal treatment of the races does not change and must not be ignored. Good intentions do not justify racial discrimination. Preference by race is odious in all its forms.

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