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Yesterday, in the light of day, martyred Civil Rights activists Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner, were posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama in a White House ceremony.

Last night, in the dark of night, the St. Louis District Attorney announced there would be no indictment of the cop who killed a black teenager there, 103 days ago.

Two scenes. One day. One takes place in the light of day. The other hides in the dark of night.

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice," the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. often said, quoting the 1853 words of Theodore Parker.

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Like the revival of a stage play with a new cast, when history leaves something unfinished, it often seems to repeat itself until it plays out.

"How long, not long," are the words Dr. King often used to preface Parker's "arc" statement, and that's the popular name given to one public speech in particular, that delivered by Dr. King on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. It concluded the successful completion of the Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March on March 25, 1965.

Like the revival of a stage play with a new cast, when history leaves something unfinished, it often seems to repeat itself until it plays out.

Parker was a 19th century Bostonian champion of social progress whose grandfather commanded the racially-mixed Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington in the American Revolution of the 18th century. The causes for which Theodore Parker worked nearly six decades later remained largely unfulfilled in his time. In the 20th century, Dr. King became a student and fan of Parker, using his words to conclude a key Civil Rights march.

In the 21st century, how long before we see marches to renew the call for the arc to bend towards justice? How long? Not long.

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Larry Wines