NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T here are many different ways to look at the history of U.S. race relations. One extreme, for example, compares America’s past and present state of race relations with a future when all of America’s remaining imperfections will have been ironed out. Let’s call that the “future perfect” perspective. The other extreme compares the flawed present with a past scarred by still greater injustices. Let’s call that the “past imperfect” perspective. Both can be illuminating and both can be held at the same time. An appreciation of the past-imperfect perspective provides an understanding of history as a complex and messy process
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