I love to read Leonard Pitts Jr.'s column each Monday in the Houston Chronicle. He's a columnist living in Florida. Here's a few lines from today's:
"We are . . . a nation of short memories and cherished myths. For us, history doesn't matter -- right up until it does."
He's recommending a history book called A Dream of Freedom by Diane McWhorter that takes readers back to the years when civil rights were a battleground. She says, "We now look back on it as a form of social insanity, but it felt normal at the time. It felt normal to whites and most blacks. The African Americans who fought to overthrow this were a tiny minority and really revolutionary and didn't get the support of the general black public until it was pretty clear they were going to win."
To which he concludes and challenges, "So McWhorter's book is valuable for more than just the obvious reasons. It's good that it will present young people with a history they ought to know. But it's also good that it will encourage them to look beyond the blinders of present day. If they begin to understand how inequities could have felt normal 40 years ago, maybe they'll question the inequities that feel normal today."
Wow! And what might those inequities be?