Are we a racist country? No matter your politics, the inescapable conclusion is if we aren’t today (a big if), we certainly have been for most of our history.
I do a lot of reading, especially about our past, and I keep running across these little reminders of how divisive our race relations used to be. I found another example this weekend: The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1922. It was a major event, with over 50,000 people attending. And yet, despite Lincoln being remembered as the “Great Emancipator,” the dedication ceremonies were strictly segregated. Even Robert Moton, president of Tuskegee Institute, that prestigious black institution founded by Booker T. Washington, was not allowed to sit on the speaker’s platform even though he was was one of the speakers. Fifty-seven years after the Civil War had ended, he was still relegated to sitting in the area reserved for African Americans (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Lincoln-Memorial-monument-Washington-DC).
Of course, I can’t imagine that happening today. But at one time, such segregation was considered completely acceptable, even in the nation’s capital. Such is the history of this country.