The recent shootings in Minnesota, Louisiana and Dallas testify to how we still have a long way to go to establish good race relations. Of course, it isn't easy, since the United States was born with a defect: Racism.
Today's racism against Blacks/African Americans is an echo of past racism going back to slavery. Today's racism isn't as bad as slavery, but its institutionalized and overt forms still exist.
All the struggles and reforms for equality have preservered, but today the racism that exists threatens them. The "umbilical cord" between past and present racism hasn't been cut. It is evident in the behavior of some police officers, who are conditioned by racist stereotypes and even upbringing. They have become the problem while Black/African Americans continue to endure their racism.
The civil rights movement continues. The protests are a burning reminder that the "fire" of racism hasn't been put out. The protests are so needed. The anger is justified. Civil disobedience still plays a part in the quest to achieve racial equality.
But some people out there aren't listening...or don't care. Thus, it becomes necessary to get their attention, even if it becomes a little inconvenient for them. Racism isn't some minor irritation. It is a systematic and social problem. Some people live in bubbles. They are unaware of the content of issues. If one tries to burst their bubble to wake them up to the fact that we are connected one way or another, they may become offended. But on the other hand, they may wake up and realize the importance of knowing what's going on. Racism cannot be solved in a bubble.
Not meaning to sound overly pessimistic, but the U.S. as an empire continues to decay. It comes from attitudes which are bound to an exceptionalist past. Ultra-nationalists of all kinds want time frozen: They want a revival of the 1890s or 1950s. Forever. Racism, whether they like it or not, has a historical connection to exceptionalism. In the U.S., both go hand-in-hand. The decay emits an overt hypocrisy. Freedom is preached, yet inequality still persists and has grown. All men are created equal? Sometimes that has been a hollow slogan.
Inequality not only encompasses race, but class and gender as well. Class, in fact, is the most neglected of the three. All should be addressed. But sometimes it is difficult to focus on all three. One could be such an emotional driver that it puts the other two in the background. For Blacks/African Americans, race right now takes center stage with these shootings. But despite the circumstances it is very important to focus on all three, and the connections between them.
One way of challenging racism is to reject U.S. exceptionalism. As I alluded to, the latter has been more a perpetrator of racism than otherwise.
It is still possible to achieve a basis for racial harmony. But the struggle continues to evolve to that level.