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One false claim being made by the far left in its efforts to tear America apart is the appeal to have a conversation about race because there never has been one.

This is easily disproved. In truth, no public policy has been discussed more in America or in Jacksonville over the past 50 years,.

There have been countless task forces, blue-ribbon committees, academic studies, and endless media rants about race.

Meanwhile, most Americans get along just fine.

An example of local focus comes to mind. Jacksonville Community Council Inc. was a local organization that studied various aspects of the area for decades until it folded a few years ago.

It always leaned left, usually finding that higher taxes and more government apparatus would cure whatever problem it was studying.

Some 20 years ago it decided to examine race relations in Jacksonville. I was invited to be on the panel.

Being the editor of the editorial page of a local daily newspaper at the time, I was questioned by the audience about why I didn’t have an editorial writer with black skin. (I had one other editorial writer at the time, who was doing an excellent job. In essence, they wanted me to fire him because of his skin color.)

I explained to them that, indeed, I had wanted to hire an editorial writer from another city in Florida, who happened to have black skin but also was a conservative and a good writer.

Unfortunately, I could not afford to because he already was being paid a higher salary than I was.

That didn’t seem to satisfy them. What they wanted was for me to hire a liberal black person to write liberal editorials because they didn’t like the conservative viewpoint and didn’t want anyone else to hear one.

I explained to them that I used a number of liberal columnists on the op ed page, but that didn’t satisfy them either.

Also on the panel was a liberal black college professor, who launched into the usual complaint that the city needed to have a conversation about race. She also mentioned that she had lived in another city for the previous 40 years.

When I followed her, I said I did not know where she had been but Jacksonville citizens had been discussing race frequently and at length for the previous 40 years.

Immediately, several members of the audience wanted to know if the professor always was treated so rudely.

Apparently it was considered rude to contradict an assertion by a black professor.

This is why conversations about race relations, no matter how often they are held, tend to go nowhere. Liberals only want white people to confess that they are evil and deliberately keeping black people from achieving – despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

The next step liberals want after the confession is a promise to redistribute billions, or trillions, of dollars to Americans with black skin – even if they are descendants of black people who owned slaves.

It also is going to get even murkier as more and more Americans are born with parents of a different race.

JCCI went on to publish a report. I don’t remember the content very well except that it said we should all get along, and the city should spend more money in black neighborhoods.

Of late, race relations has replaced Russian collusion, Chinese virus and impeachment as a topic of public discussion – at least in the media if not on Main Street.

That’s fine. There is nothing wrong with talking. But to say it is a new and fresh topic is fanciful at best. And it won’t go anywhere unless it is an honest discussion and not a one-sided lecture based on predetermined conclusions and emotion.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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