The notion that we’ve “come far” only seems to be one held seriously by people who don’t fully understand the extent of the exploitation and oppression of minorities in the US in general, but especially African Americans. Whenever I hear someone complain about affirmative action or political correctness or whine that it’s all fixed now and people are just milking it or “playing the race card” I just want to stand on a table and scream.
265 years of slavery.
100 years of segregation and apartheid.
The civil rights act was passed only 53 years ago, there are people alive today who spent almost half their lives in a country where white people had the legally protected privilege to tell them where they can live, what they can do, who they can marry, what bathroom they can use, the fucking drinking fountains they can use.
The passage of the civil rights act wasn’t the end of fixing the problem, it was the beginning. You can’t undo 365 years of institutional racism and slavery in 53 years, and our present political climate is proof fucking positive that a significant portion of the electorate is just as racist now as they would have been 100 years ago, and all it took was the passive approval of an ignorant hate-spewing oompa loompa to rekindle their passion for being awful human beings and empower them to start acting on it.
Things have certainly improved, but we’re not even over the hump yet. We are still climbing, and probably will be for the rest of all of our lives.