The Civil Rights Act may have been passed in 1964 (Thank you, JFK and LBJ!), but racial discrimination is still a fact of life in America.
A skirmish to end yet another bastion of segregation is going on right now in Atlanta, GA -- led by a Racine native, Michael Bjelajac (pronounced "Bee Logic.") Born and raised in Racine -- his father, Atty. John Bjelajac, still lives here -- the younger Bjelajac is a police officer for the city of Atlanta.
It is in his role as the head of an Atlanta Masonic Chapter that Michael Bjelajac is fighting racism. His Gate City Lodge No. 2 chapter, with roots going back to the 1880s, just did the unthinkable (for Georgia): it admitted a black person into its membership, the first time that has happened in the history of the state.
And all hell broke loose: the Grand Lodge of Georgia Free and Accepted Masons wants to dissolve the 190-member chapter and expel Bjelajac from membership; he in turn has gone to court to prevent that from happening.
You can read all about in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. And the Associated Press.
Michael's father tells us: "Michael`s mother (Carrie Payne, of Mount Pleasant) and I are very proud of him."