The country that refused to change

Recent years have been particularly tough. Cell-phone videos have brought us a torrent of cruel images of Black death. Perhaps that is the source of the intensity of our current moment.

The videos of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks dying have combined with the vulnerability caused by COVID-19 and the feeling that the country is broken to bring us all to the brink of madness and, apparently, to the precipice of significant change. An odd admixture, but an understandable consequence of our troubled times. We now face a moral reckoning: Americans have to decide whether this country will truly be a multiracial democracy or whether to merely tinker around the edges of our problems once again and remain decidedly racist and unequal.

We have been here before. Martin Luther King Jr. and countless others risked everything to persuade the country to live up to its stated ideals and to rid itself of the insidious view that white people mattered more than others. They marched. They suffered the billy stick, fire hoses and police dogs. They watched as friends

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