This essay is running in The Washington Post on Monday, July 11. I try to say what I believe. This is part of of it:
Democracy has always been contentious; it will not get less so. There is no ideal point we will reach where strife ceases and people live without anger or grievance; but often, it seems like the past was such a place. The past seems particularly pleasant to people who once enjoyed greater privilege and power. In most ways we live in a better world then the one our grandparents lived in. But not in all things. It takes discernment to know what is worth preserving; the humanities, which are in danger in many places in America today, are the practice of that discernment.
And there is also this:
Black Lives Matter is a slogan that calls attention to pervasive and immoral bias against people of color; All Lives Matter is a truism used to deflect attention away from the fact of racism (see above: demanding that they say things as a ritual submission to your worldview will only alienate them). Injustice that has lasted centuries won’t disappear today, tomorrow or any time soon. All people are equal before the law; but history did not deliver us a society in which wealth, opportunity and dignity are equally available to all people. It may take decades to root out racism; but there’s not a minute to lose when it comes to the guarantee of civil equality.