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Letter: Allies can come from many places

President Barack Obama speaks during his final presidential

President Barack Obama speaks during his final presidential news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. Photo Credit: AP

When I saw the cover of Newsday’s “The Obama Years” special section [News, Jan. 13], I recognized right away that the photo was from the March 7, 2015, 50th anniversary march across the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Alabama.

What a sad commentary on the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King that all of the people in the front row of your picture are black and that the Rev. Al Sharpton appears over then-President Barack Obama’s right shoulder.

If you had extended the frame a bit to the right, you would have seen former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush marching as well.

As the photo reminds us, Obama tended to surround himself with those who agreed with him and dismissed others. As we say in the “diversity and inclusion world,” anybody can be an ally, including the Freedom Riders of the 1960s and the 43rd U.S. president.

Daniel B. Kerr, Stony Brook

Editor’s note: The writer works with industries to develop cross-cultural workplaces.

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