We are witnessing the final death throes of Jim Crow America, but it is draining to have to keep explaining that fair is fair and equal is equal, and that is a proposition that requires the country to change from what they so fondly remember.
I expect that the fallout from Carter’s comments is a wider, uglier debate about how racist we are as a country, and we just had one of those in 2008; the right side won and the Obama presidency is the result. Why can’t the losers learn to live with that? Why can’t they see the progress for what it is?
American racism is a distorting agent, and like so many times before when we start basking in the glow of racial progress, something happens to remind us that the journey behind was only preparation for the one ahead. Here we go again.
Terence Samuel is deputy editor of The Root.