PEOPLE usually yawn when Washington politicians talk about appointing a commission. Typically, that's a substitute for real action. So the congressional call for a new panel on race relations in the United States in the wake of this week's "Million Man March" could understandably glaze some eyes.
Still, it has been nearly 30 years since the last hard, public look at race in America, the 1968 Kerner Commission. Things may no longer be as simple as "two societies ... separate and unequal." Another examination - of a country whose racial and ethnic mix is rapidly changing - would be useful.
But only if it's joined to the kind of individual and community changes urged by Monday's marchers. The building of a more perfect union remains America's central task, and it has to be tackled through the prayers, actions, and thoughtful attention of everyone. No one need wait for a definitive study.