There comes a point in most Martin Luther King Jr. Day speeches when the speaker must acknowledge the current level of racism in the land.
And it usually goes something like this: Yes, we have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go.
In fact you can Google the search terms “Martin Luther King” and “long way to go” and find endless examples.
Or, the speaker notes that we have made progress, but there is still much work to be done.
But the racism yardstick is always imprecise. Yes, we no longer have separate drinking fountains, and we have elected our first Black president. That’s clearly major progress and worth recognizing.
But what’s far harder to measure is the level of racism that usually goes unspoken, but which we know remains buried in the hearts of many Americans.
And, in some cases, not so deeply buried, as was remarkably apparent twice recently.