Chapter 1

A Reckoning

Furthermore, it is broadly believed that separate brands of citizenship exist today for Black
Americans and white Americans. Therefore, since the 1860s, a virtual tug-of-war has been sustained
between our races related to differing perceptions of what is socially right and wrong with the United
States. Although progress related to race relations has consistently overcome regression to the norms of
those hopeless days of legal lynching, blatant segregation, and Jim Crow laws, the United States is, in
many ways, still broken. In this regard, so long as all the people of the United States are not free and
freedom here seems tiered—by race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and other factors—the United
States can never be the “perfect union.” There’s more work to be done—work clearly linked to the
accountability of individual United States citizens.