Dr. Thomas Sowell has been both a friend and a colleague of mine for over a half-century. On June 30, he will have completed his 90th year of life, and I want to highlight some important features of that life. Sowell was born in Gastonia, North Carolina, in 1930. As part of the great black migration northward during the 1930s and '40s, he and his family moved to Harlem, New York. Sowell attended the prestigious Stuyvesant High School but dropped out. In 1951, he was drafted into the military and assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps where he became a photographer. Photography remains his hobby today.

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Many whites are ashamed, saddened and feel guilty about our history of slavery, Jim Crow and gross racial discrimination. Many black people remain angry over the injustices of the past and what they see as injustices of the present. Both blacks and whites can benefit from a better appreciation of black history.

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No decent person can support George Floyd's mistreatment, or the mistreatment of anyone else, at the hands of police officers with the sworn duty to uphold the law. The Minneapolis authorities moved quickly, and Derek Chauvin was fired from the Minneapolis police department, placed under arrest and charged with second-degree murder and other charges. The three officers who were with him were also fired and charged two counts of aiding and abetting -- one for second-degree murder and one for second-degree manslaughter.

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While it might not be popular to say in the wake of the recent social disorder, the true plight of black people has little or nothing to do with the police or what has been called "systemic racism." Instead, we need to look at the responsibilities of those running our big cities.

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