Client Notre Dame Alumni Magazine
As Obama finishes his term, one push of African Americans — and as such, because blacks are so deeply entwined in the history and daily life of the country, the nation as a whole — will have come to a close. The story of that push began in Virginia in 1619 with the advent of black slavery in Jamestown; it continued through the revolution and the establishment of the United States as a separate nation, on through the bloodletting of the Civil War and Reconstruction, to the moral apotheosis of the 20th century and the civil rights movement.
Making America great again is in truth yet another re-litigation of the social contests of the 1960s and ’70s, yet another battle over the challenges and gains of the civil rights movement, and whether they will be a permanent fixture in American society.
I have thought for some time that the next moment of progress in building our more perfect union was going to have to come from whites. Whites are going to have to decide among themselves what kind of nation they want, whether they want to pursue a chimera of the past and try to maintain a position of dominance that will trigger reaction and conflict or whether they can imagine and work toward “liberty and justice for all.” They have to decide whether they truly believe that “all men are created equal.”
~Anthony Walton, excerpt from Hope at Risk