And no doubt better than 1787, when we adopted a Constitution that codified those inequalities. No doubt we’re better than 1860, when we warred amongst ourselves over slavery, and 1865, when we ended slavery, and changed its name to Jim Crow.
Than 1920, when women finally won the right to vote, but were still not equal in the eyes of the law in any other respect. Than 1954, when Brown v. Board set about the process for desegregating our schools, but allowed for “all deliberate speed” in so doing. Than 1964, when we passed a Civil Rights Act that ended the formality of Jim Crow, yet did nothing to confront institutional racism.
Fifty-plus years later, even the most stubborn amongst us are beginning to have to acknowledge that institutional racism persists, that women are still treated as second-class citizens. That’s progress, as is the continued advancement in acknowledgement of equal rights for LGBTQs.
We’ve taken a huge step forward in that area because we addressed it head-on, and while at first we got that one way wrong (with all those same-sex marriage prohibition amendments in the 2000s decade), getting it wrong then led us to getting it right eventually.
That’s why I hash-tagged a post earlier today #americaisnotbroken. Progress can be frustrating when it doesn’t come fast enough, and it never comes fast enough, but we’re still moving in the direction of progress.
The arc of the moral universe, indeed, is long, but it bends toward justice.
Keep that faith.
Column by Chris Graham