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After Baltimore riots, time for racial soul-searching

As an ex-Baltimorean, I was deeply perturbed by the violence that ensued after the killing of Freddie Gray and how it cascaded to a point that it had to be clamped down with a declaration of emergency and night curfew. Baltimore riots have brought the issue of tense race relations in the limelight once again. Nationwide, the recurrence of deaths of black men (allegedly at the hands of police) is quite alarming ("Policing Baltimore's police," May 4).

Death of individuals should not have been the reason to compel national conversations about racial equity. Fifty-plus years since the civil rights movement began, America should have ebbed forward in its quest and yielded fruits from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s struggle. However, that aspiration remains unfulfilled to date. The majority of African-Americans continue to yearn for an equal America, and it remains elusive for them.

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As President Barack Obama suggested, it is time for national soul searching. African-Americans have remained ostracized and have been relegated to the fringes of the society for too long. A complete systemic overhaul is needed to restore the dignity and honor of the black population.

Prosecuting the killers of Freddie Gray will be a good starting point.

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Mansura Bashir Minhas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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