Tuesday , August 4 2020
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America’s Struggle

Summary:
Our Home Owner’s Association puts little flags out in front of all of our houses. This year, that flag symbolize for me how proud I am of the United State of America that in quick succession, it has confronted some of the worst abuses of sexism through the #metoo movement, and now is confronting the continuing abuses of racism in a way that seems to me especially powerful compared to most of the antiracism efforts I have seen since, say, 1980. Our republic was born unfinished, with a huge fraction of its people (notably African Americans and women, but others too) disenfranchised and treated as lesser beings. But the ideals articulated at the founding of our

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America's Struggle

Our Home Owner’s Association puts little flags out in front of all of our houses. This year, that flag symbolize for me how proud I am of the United State of America that in quick succession, it has confronted some of the worst abuses of sexism through the #metoo movement, and now is confronting the continuing abuses of racism in a way that seems to me especially powerful compared to most of the antiracism efforts I have seen since, say, 1980.

Our republic was born unfinished, with a huge fraction of its people (notably African Americans and women, but others too) disenfranchised and treated as lesser beings. But the ideals articulated at the founding of our republic—even when articulated by men who acted in abhorrent ways, such as holding slaves—were universal in their application and appeal, and the charmed circle of those treated as full human beings is expanding, though still far short of where it needs to be.

One frontier of social justice that is near and dear to my heart is the struggle to get people to view and treat individuals who were born outside the United States as full human beings. I know that some are angered by people immigrating in ways that flout our laws. But if that is the concern, then dramatically increase legal immigration! If people have a fair chance to immigrate legally, then there is less temptation for them to immigrate in an unregulated way.

I know it is a matter of dispute, but I think our immigration laws are driven in important measure by racism. If we had large numbers of immigrants—even illegal immigrants—from Northern Europe, I don’t think the push for immigration restrictions would be nearly the same. And I think that would run into less opposition than immigration that brought in people who had excellent English of all ethnic backgrounds from all around the world.

May we quickly extend the charmed circle of those we care about as full human beings to all the people on this planet! Only when we care deeply about all human beings will we have a chance at social justice.

Miles Kimball
Miles Kimball is Professor of Economics and Survey Research at the University of Michigan. Politically, Miles is an independent who grew up in an apolitical family. He holds many strong opinions—open to revision in response to cogent arguments—that do not line up neatly with either the Republican or Democratic Party.

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