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The Rev. Al Sharpton: Government must remedy what government did

CBS News asked noted figures in the arts, business and politics about their experience in today's civil rights movement, or about figures who inspired them in their activism.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, Activist, host of MSNBC's "Politics Nation"

What needs to happen in the next 50 years for equality to be fully realized in the U.S.?

Courtesy Al Sharpton

There must be a government commitment to having laws and enforcement of laws that will lead towards equality.

The reason we are unequal now is because government enforced unequal laws -- segregation and the like, and preferential treatment for others based on color. Then, when they tried to have government laws and enforcement to reverse that, they stopped those things (like Affirmative Action and other things) before they had established or achieved an even playing field.

You must have government and enforcement by the government to un-do what government did. Because the results of what government did was an unequal, unfair society. Government must remedy what government did.

When it comes to equality, what is important to me is we must have equal protection under the law -- everything from mass incarceration, to judges, to who is given parole and who is given time, all the way across the board to racial profiling -- and equal opportunity.

If we can just deal with those basic things -- equal opportunity with jobs, contracts and education; and equal protection under the law -- we can make it.

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