Everything you said is quite true. I should have included what you rightly pointed out. With my knowledge of history (which is certainly less than your own), I have no excuse for not including the state of racism at that time in America’s history, so I sincerely thank you for the richly-deserved rebuke.
(you could see the “but” coming, couldn’t you?)
…unlike in 1882, there’s real hope today. I believe that you’re seeing in the resurgence of racism in America today is the last hurrah of white supremacy in America, not due to politics or religion, but to ongoing and all-but-inevitable demographic change.
You’re an historian (I really am jealous — that’s the one career path I wish I’d chosen above all others), and I suspect you’d agree that past normally informs future, that history rhymes, and all the other old (and accurate) aphorisms about the study thereof. Overall, I strongly agree with Theodore Parker’s observation that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice. Looking at ancient history through to the modern day, while humanity seems to take ten steps forward and nine steps back, justice — social and criminal — does indeed seem to be winning, and that (as I point out in the article to which you responded) America, warts and all, is leading in a way that no other nation could.
Yes, I am a glass-half-full type. But what is life without hope?
To be sure, that doesn’t mean that social justice will win. America is declining and China — where prejudice against non-Han Chinese is set in social stone — is in ascendancy. Where this will lead, I’m unable to say and unwilling to even guess, though I am grateful that historically speaking, when China has been united, it has generally tended to be more insular than imperialistic. I will only say that whether or not China becomes economically and politically dominant worldwide, it probably won’t be pleasant for those in China and in surrounding nations who aren’t Han Chinese.
But back to your response, I sincerely appreciate the correction and look forward to your articles and comments in the future.
P.S. I wrote a poem back in 2008, and it shows that I’ve held the above viewpoint for some time. It is more accessible to those familiar with history, and I’d really appreciate it if you would take a look and tell me what you think.