Alabama is progressing toward MLK's dream
A recent poll suggests Alabama has taken an important step toward racial equality.
The poll, conducted by the Alabama Education Association's Capital Survey, concluded 73 percent of white voters and 81 percent of black voters were "very positive" or "somewhat positive" about the idea of a black governor.
That's a big step forward for the state. It suggests we have progressed toward the dream described by Martin Luther King Jr., a dream that seemed unrealistic in 1963.
U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, correctly cautions that what voters believe in theory may not translate well into a particular candidate. Prejudice dies hard, frequently weighing down those who think they have escaped it.
But not so long ago, Alabamians were conscious of their prejudices and saw nothing wrong with them.
Mr. Davis's view of the survey results is important. It is hard to imagine a better candidate for governor — black or white — than the Harvard-educated politician who has embraced public service while shunning more lucrative options.
Some will point to the survey as proof that federal civil rights laws are working in this state. Such laws have helped, but honorable statesmen like Mr. Davis do more to eradicate racism than any law ever devised.