“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”
–Alexis de Tocqueville
Historically we have addressed our biggest faults from the beginning, but active resistance or indifference made progress slow or effectively nonexistent: Slavery and the racism that enabled it was able to thrive for centuries and to outlive its end into segregation, Jim Crow, redlining, and mass incarceration, Native American genocide and economic inequality are ongoing. If de Tocqueville’s early 19th century observation is true, it is to the credit of reformers, protesters, radicals, and all those who resisted at the cost of their popularity, their fortunes, and even their lives. It is to the credit of those who don’t accept injustice when they see it, or the status quo when it is in defense of something morally or ethically wrong. To be clear, these are always minority voices, and the struggle to reach majority opinion on such issues is a struggle that is ongoing. But it is how we reach greatness.
Read yesterday’s Thought. Thought of the Day (TOD) is selected by Rick Larios, Monday-Friday, minus public holidays and an arbitrarily chosen summer vacation. Saturday and Sunday, Stacey will be selecting TODs from the archives of past postings. Often, but not always, a comment comes with the quote. TOD originates as a personal email list-sharing and is further shared here with permission. A poem appears in full on Fridays; the copyright belongs to the poet and/or publisher. Buy poetry you like. It will be good for you, good for poets, and order from your local community bookstore and it will be good for them too.