But work to fulfill the dream remains.
“We have a long way to go. … Many people think we are in a post-racial society,” he said. But changes in voting laws, legislative redistricting and other legacies of segregation linger and have thwarted progress, he said, and black and white communities remain separate, almost as if “two Americas” exist.
“Racism has become much more subtle and systemic,” he said.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively erased an anti-discrimination provision of the Voting Rights Act and raised the bar for consideration of race in university admissions. The fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, racial profiling and stop-and-frisk policies by police in New York City continue to be debated issues.
Miller said the city commission has been concerned about the lack of diversity in the public sector, such as the police and fire department, city staff and school districts.
The question before the commission is “how can we help it be different?” she said.