Our nation has adopted a host of policies aimed at rebalancing the cosmic scales of justice that were skewed by slavery. From racial set-asides in gov't contracting to affirmative action programs in college admissions, each of these ostensibly to offset disadvantage rooted in the echos of slavery.
However, the problem with such programs is that no one has ever bothered to define success. How do we know when the scale has balanced? How do we know when we've done enough modern discrimination and racism to offset previous years of discrimination and racism? Most importantly, who gets to define the criteria that define this point?
I think having a black President is probably necessary for full racial healing, but it is not sufficient to bring healing about. For healing to occur in society, as in the body, further hurt must stop. As our parents told us, if you keeping picking at that scab, it will never heal.
Unfortunately, there are people in our society who have become quite wealthy convincing black people that someone is continually "picking at the scab." By fomenting racial unrest and training people to see things by race first, they have enriched themselves and bankrupted race relations in this country.
I do not think that there will be healing of race relations in this country until Black Americans decide to stop looking for or fabricating reasons to feel victimized. Blaming all of life's ills on a racial injustice can only take you so far. The fact that it took so long to elect a black man President may very well be a sad legacy of slavery. But is every ill in Black American similarly part of that legacy? Illegitimacy? Black-on-black crime? Disproportionately high abortion rate? Low levels of academic achievement?
In the end, racial healing in the US requires not only the end of racism in white America, but also the end of many self-destructive behaviors in the black community that are destroying it from within.
No goverment program can heal the black community-- it can only come from within.
Black Americans have a rich heritage and plenty to be proud of. But they have their greatest days still ahead, on the other side of the culture of victimization.