If the South is honest with itself, it may well outdistance the North in the improvement of race relations.

… The Northern white, having had little actual contact with the Negro, is devoted to an abstract principle of cordial interracial relations. The North has long considered, in a theoretical way, that it supported brotherhood and the equality of man, but the truth is that deep prejudices and discriminations exist in hidden and subtle and covert disguises. The South’s prejudice and discrimination, on the other hand, has been applied against the Negro in obvious, open, overt and glaring forms—which make the problem easier to get at. The Southern white man has the advantage of far more actual contact with Negroes than the Northerner. A major problem is that this contact has been paternalistic and poisoned by the myth of racial superiority.  — MLK, Playboy, January 1965, “A Candid Conversation With The Nobel Prize-Winning Leader of The Civil Rights Movement – Martin Luther King, Jr. Interviewed By Alex Haley”

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