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All’s Well That Ends Well? Reflections on Liberalism and Race

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To study the past requires a sense of tragedy and perhaps a belief in original sin, “the imagination of disaster” as Henry James called it. The celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, our annual exercise in national amnesia and self-congratulation, by contrast, promotes the myth that “all’s well that ends well.” Only the most reprobate ever dared to oppose rights for blacks, so the authorized narrative runs, while the vast majority of Americans were steadfast in their commitment…

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