The American Dilemma

05 Jun 2016 21:41

My was conceived and born in sin; or rather, two. One is that every inch of it is the product of conquest, on a spectrum from ethnic cleansing to genocide. This is not actually that distinctive as nations go. The other, which is more distinctive, was the practice of African slavery. Three centuries of maintaining a caste of people in bondage, in a country supposedly founded on equality and freedom, followed by another century of oppressing their descendants, that has shaped, and stained, everything about us.

(The name for this notebook comes, of course, from the great Swedish sociologist's book about this.)