We are all children of the civil-rights movement, whether we want to be or not, whether we are its direct descendants or whether we were adopted into it through the profound changes that movement wrought in the definition of what an American is. We are all children of the civil-rights movement, and this weekend is our national holiday. There is nothing mysterious about that. We make ourselves mysteries to each other because the cost of knowing our solution may be too ugly to bear.
Read the whole thing, because this cannot be hammered enough – and we can be too nice about it. Good thing Johnson decided not to be. But you can see it did not get in the way of his eloquence, which arrives in tact even today.
Democrats and most other decent people (see Venn diagram) are just too damn passive about all the racist crap hardening the arteries of our culture. Enough. It’s killing us and needs to be called out – there is no benefit of the doubt to give to people who poke around with euphemism about ‘other’ people. And there’s barely any euphemism, it’s not even offered with any delicacy any longer – check any group of headlines from the Republican primaries. The nature of this bypass surgery needs the courage of King and the brutal honesty and arm-twisting of Johnson. Celebrate by looking the haters in the eye and not looking away. They already know that you know, and are merely counting on you to let it go. How about taking a break from that?