Perhaps it's time for some in our area to take long, hard looks at themselves and reevaluate who they are.

Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.   Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of racial equality didn’t end 50 years ago at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis when the civil rights leader’s life was taken by a bullet.

It didn’t end, but the struggles he fought to overcome are not all gone, either.

We could not help but conjure up memories of Dr. King this week when a young black woman came into our office and told us of an experience she had just had at a business in the White Hall community. She said she was told that “her kind” were not welcome there and was asked to leave.

This person is someone with whom we have a professional relationship. She is a very reliable source.

We are not trying to cast stones at White Hall by any means. We love our sister city to the north and know that she is filled with wonderful, hard-working, caring folks. Unfortunately, just as in any community, there are bad seeds.

But this isn’t the first time we have had such reports coming from White Hall. We’ve heard of at least a half-dozen incidents where black people were made to feel unwelcome in that community. We have also experienced such racism first hand.

It’s inexcusable.

It makes us want to vomit.

We know racism still exists in many forms.

It’s in the form of revolting stares by a department store manager toward a young black man who is shopping but, in the eyes of the store, is about to shoplift.

It’s in the form of racial profiling by some police departments in the United States who pull over blacks at a much higher rate than whites.

It’s in the form of low access to quality education for kids.

But perhaps the ugliest form is when another person looks at someone who’s different from them and says, “You don’t belong here.”

Institutional racism is the product of failed bureaucracy, and it’s slowly but surely getting better over time.

But outright bigotry, the kind of hate that it takes in someone’s heart to be nasty to another’s face, seems to be getting worse. Look at comments on social media boards. The level of racism is appalling. And still more appalling is the fact that racists are in our own neighborhoods spewing their hatred.

Perhaps it’s time for some in our area to take long, hard looks at themselves and reevaluate who they are. We certainly won’t stand by and let this kind of behavior go unchecked. We may not be able to stop bigotry, but we can certainly expose it.