A century and a half after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, it is clear that the damage done to our Black population is being repaired very slowly. African Americans are often criticized by Bill O’Reilly and others like him for not making more progress on developing strong families, for example.
To this we must respond in two ways. First, the flourishing of racism in America:makes it clear that white Americans are recovering just as slowly. Those who are still trapped in their racist sense of superiority have had the same century and a half to outgrow that evil.
Second, we are seeing signs all around us that white families are falling apart. It makes no sense to criticize black families for failing to achieve what white families cannot sustain.
When you think of America having had four centuries of experience in the New World and building upon many more centuries of European experience before that, it is amazing that we have made so little progress. This year’s presidential campaign season is making it painfully obvious that we have learned very little about how to be a democracy shaped by the idea that all men — and women! — are created equal.
We all have cause for a quiet humility, don’t you think?