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The Right Stuff: America remains a work in progress

By Jim McCully: published December 26, 2022 The Daily Republic

Jim McCully: The Right Stuff Now, as I have said before, I am a Southerner born and raised in Washington, D.C., then a very Southern city. It was a city President John F. Kennedy jokingly referred to as a “city of Northern charm and Southern efficiency” surrounded by historical monuments praising our forefathers and other political, judicial and military heroes.

One thing I believed from boyhood was America as an idea, something unique. The idea was individual liberty but also responsibility encompassed within a defined constitutional republic where “We the People” were the masters and the government our servant, seemingly the opposite of today.

This was taught to me by my family and by the community at large. The belief was reinforced by my formal education through high school but started to change in my university education. I was always fascinated by history and its lessons. I read constantly, learning to compare contrasting points of view to discern facts. Over the years, I began to see and hear the disconnect between what was said versus what was done.

I grew up with Black people. We went to school, church, and played sports together without my clearly understanding the real problems. I learned the federal government’s workforce was integrated in 1877 by President Ulysses S. Grant. This action, over time, resulted in more than 10% of Black people employed by the government. This provided opportunities in life, despite private social segregation, with thriving educational and communal institutions flowered in D.C.[ more]

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