In my lifetime:

  • POC have come from Jim Crow laws and segregation enforced by law to winning — twice — the presidency of the United States.
  • POC have come from the shadows and fringes of society to the forefront, to being not just accepted, but expected in every walk of life — not just in sports and entertainment, but in every profession I can think of, including in local, state, and federal government. Is their level of representation what it should be? Of course not. They’ve got a long way to go…but it’s a hell of a lot better than the NOTHING they had when I was a child.
  • I myself attended a segregation academy. Only whites were allowed to do so. You can read about it here.
  • Today — outside certain mostly-rural areas — nobody blinks an eye when a biracial couple walks by. Oh, you’ll hear some far-right Karens and rednecks whine when there’s a biracial couple on TV, but it’s pretty much accepted as normal today. Compare that to 1968 on Star Trek, when Captain Kirk kissed Lt. Uhura…and most television stations in the Deep South wouldn’t even air the program.
  • For women, when I was young, the very idea of women being accepted as professionals in the workplace was seen as a joke. If a woman was sexually harassed at work, she had ZERO options, and if she spoke up, she’d have no job and her reputation would have been ruined. Sure, that happens today…but today, women do have options and resources and advocates. Movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp would have been not only unthinkable, but would have been considered fairy-tail fantasies. Oh, and it was almost universally accepted that anything a husband did to his wife couldn’t be considered rape.
  • When I was young, long before Roe v. Wade, one of the big “women’s issues” was ‘bra-burning’. They had to protest just to get society to accept women not wearing brassieres. And then there’s the laughable health care — you mentioned ‘unicorns’…and that term could have easily been applied to women being treated by doctors who were actually women.
  • And when it came to birth control, the IUD was still controversial and the birth control pill had just been invented, much less widely available. In other words, if a woman wanted to get laid (with all the far-greater societal risks then than exist today), she basically had to depend on the man to use a condom…and hope it wouldn’t break. And if she wound up pregnant, it was coat hangers or nothing. Oh, and let’s not forget that child support was not nearly as common or enforced as it is today.
  • And then there’s the LGBTQ community. When I was young, homosexuality was not just the quickest way to get fired (which I witnessed even in the late 1990's), but it was a criminal offense punishable by years in jail. Just for having consensual gay sex. And if those in the LGBTQ community got beat up or murdered, it would hardly have made the papers, much less been investigated and the perpetrator(s) prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Read up on Harvey Milk’s experience sometime.

In other words, your claims only evince the depth of your ignorance (not stupidity, but ignorance — note the difference). As I said above, the level of representation for POC and women and the LGBTQ community has a long, long way to go, but it is truly FAR better than it was.

I strongly suggest that you learn history…because when it comes to racial/women’s/LGBTQ equality, the world has changed more in the past 50 years than it has in the previous ten thousand years of human civilization before.

And please understand that I’m not trying to get you to stop pushing for change — please keep pushing, absolutely! But you would be far more *effective* if you’d educate yourself on just how far not just America, but humanity has come, and how quickly we’ve done so…because as bad as everything seems to you right now, and even including all the wars and atrocities that have occurred between 1990 and now, the past thirty years have been (relatively speaking) the most peaceful, the happiest, and the healthiest 30-year period in human history.

Yeah, your head might be exploding as you read that…but that’s not an indication of how good we have it now, but of just how bad it was before.

Written by

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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