During college, I participated in a march in Washington, as well as protests in my hometown, advocating for civil and human rights. I was sure that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "arc of the moral universe" would touch down by 2000.

But looking back over the past 45 years, it hit me: The arc is really a rainbow, and the pot of gold is an ever-moving target. Equality and justice -- just when you see them, the pot moves into the distance, and the journey continues.

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I had one of those moments when I saw the Confederate flag come down in South Carolina ["NAACP ends boycott," News, July 12]. The experience brought tears to my eyes that I didn't expect. The emotion jumped out from somewhere when I saw that member of the state highway patrol, a man of color, march the flag out.

But back to reality, with the story about this flag flying in a Florida county ["Confederate flag support," News, July 13]. Thousands of people rallied to support Marion County's decision to return the flag to a display outside its government complex.

This is the way we move forward. It's a dialectical process. It's slow, messy and meandering. But it's worth the effort and must continue. We may never reach the end of the arc, but those moments of proximity are so intense they spur us on!

Bob Detor, Port Washington