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January 13, 1989

Mine Eyes Have Seen

Author Affiliations

San Pablo, Calif

San Pablo, Calif

JAMA. 1989;261(2):284-285. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420020138048

As I look at the United States of America and its 212 short years of existence as a free nation, I realize I have been personal witness to fully a quarter of those years, and it seems to me that the United States is nothing if not a nation of great passion trying, almost desperately at times, to achieve the added dimension of compassion as it pursues its destiny. When a nation feels so strongly about an issue that it will fight a war that will knowingly pit brother against brother—there clearly is passion. When the key issues of that war include the freeing of a people from bondage—there clearly is compassion. The birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr, in 1989 is an excellent time for JAMA to pause and examine the issue of black American health, the reason being that the thrust of King's work and the logical pursuit