Getting Sober from Racism and Bigotry

There was one (among several) serious mistake in establishing America 1.0. Despite its founding words, our Constitution allowed inequity for certain classes of citizens, and to be direct, it has allowed racism, sexism, ageism, and all other forms of bigotry to persist. Because of the systemic nature of these injustices, America is effectively drunk on racism and bigotry, and it’s time to sober up and recognize the harm that this drunkenness has caused and act accordingly.

Not unlike the 12-step process, America 2.0 needs to repair this mistake, not by forgetting its past (which should remain in books and museums), but by recognizing it, admitting tribalism is a natural human characteristic, taking individual and collective ownership of and responsibility for the mistake, taking inventory of the ways we have systematically perpetuated this mistake, admit that we, individually and collectively, need help, and ask forgiveness from each other (and perhaps our founders) for having not made repairing this mistake a priority. We need to make specific, direct, and fair reparations to all those affected by this mistake. And we need to put in place those systems that will seek to prevent this mistake from continuing or returning again, ever.

Along the way, we have to realize that we are all born into a democracy and that implies that we are all obligated to understand, scrutinize, and support making improvements to our democracy. We can’t opt out of this as Americans, and no other nation should feel this obligation greater.

We have to recognize that even though the founders erred in their day, they envisioned “a more perfect union” that did, indeed, hold to its words and respected the rights and privileges of its citizens “with liberty and justice for all”.