In the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the Founding Fathers created a vision for a land of equal opportunity and justice for all. More than 200 years later, we are still far from achieving that goal.
Racial animus runs deep in certain segments of our society, which makes solutions to the problem both challenging and complex. However, there is sufficient societal understanding of the problem and support for solutions to enable us to begin to tackle racial justice and equality on an institutional basis. Some of the actions we can take as a society are:
Police reform. The case of George Floyd and others like it cry out for major police reform. Sporadic efforts around the country have already begun but much more needs to be done on a comprehensive, coordinated basis.
Criminal justice reform. In 2018, Congress passed reforms aimed at reducing the federal prison population. Some states have also been successful in passing modest reforms. But the United States remains the world leader in incarcerating its citizens. Much more needs to be done to reduce racial disparities in sentencing and providing better alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.
Education. College education and skills training needs to be made more affordable to reduce the inequities in the system that hinder opportunities for minorities in obtaining good paying jobs.
Economic equity. As we rebuild our economy following the pandemic, investments made in infrastructure, housing, energy and federal procurements must be directed to advance racial equity.