Your New Society/Will We Be One Nation, Indivisible?; Your Bionic Future; Scientific American Presents; by Agnew; 4 Page(s)
NEARLY 100 YEARS ago the African-American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois predicted that the challenge of the 20th century would be "the problem of the color line." Echoing Du Bois, historian John Hope Franklin, who headed the advisory board of President Bill Clinton's 1997-98 Initiative on Race, wrote recently, "I venture to state categorically that the problem of the 21st century will be the problem of the color line."
Will we solve it this time around? No, say many who have studied, worked against and lived with racism. "I would think people sitting down in 2099 will say, 'Well, how much progress have we made? And how much longer do we have to go?'" says Roger W. Wilkins, who headed the Justice Department's Community Relations Service during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration and now teaches history at George Mason University. "I do not believe that we will have a racially equal society 100 years from now. Antiblack racism is too deep, and it's too entrenched."