Last summer, after the outrage over the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, I was wondering: Why does it take death and tragedy for us to have a conversation about race in this country? And here we are again following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Yet another tragedy repeated.

There is no need to discuss the prison rates for African-American males, nor the out-of-control unemployment rates -- they are already a matter of record.

My fellow Americans, look at our segregated lives. Think of your neighborhoods, schools, places of work and Facebook friends. How diverse are those places? How many people whose skin color is different than yours do you mingle with? It so sad that 50 years after the Civil Rights Act, we are still dealing with and confronting the issue of race.

Calvin Barthel