It is not just a fact that unjust privilege exists - it is a toweringly obvious fact, but the biggest lies are the ones people swallow. Sometimes, the biggest lies fall under our hardest-held virtues.
Everyone is equal.
In America - that's both. It's a biggest lie, to the degree we fall short. But it's a hard-held and absolutely vital virtue, in that we must hold it to be true, even in the face of generations falling short. It is something that will change over time. It has changed. Every generation has fallen short. But every generation has fallen forward.
We die in the direction we give our lives, and the strong majority of Americans believe in freedom as well and as actively as they've been able to understand it. They live in that belief, and their attitudes and actions are suffused with it. Their outrage is suffused with it, when it can be woken.
Equality will be a greater and greater ideal, as it remains held true and the effects of our hard hold upon it continue to tell, continue to radiate, continue to pull us forward. Its denial will be a weaker and weaker lie, as we fall less short.
The change began with the adoption of the ideal, and it has continued with the ideal dragging us forward through mire after mire of bigotry and inequality. It continues today as we grow in our refuse to extend our tolerance to bigotry. It will grow all the more as we are accepting of and embrace bigots themselves. Those who come to realize are willing to admit what an idiot, shit deal they got shoveled into their braincase ages ago by the jerks who were responsible for it ten, twenty, thirty years prior. It will change BECAUSE they have woken up and realized - I am responsible now. I reject this, because it is shameful. It has always been shameful to be a bigot. I don't know now why I bought this lie.
Or, it will change because they die! And as they are loaded into the furnaces and graves of our nation's funeral homes, the kids will be alright. They'll cry. They loved the old bat, the old coot! But at the wake, over clear plastic glasses of white and red, cans and bottles of various kinds and white paper plates of cheese cubes and fried crab-doodles, somebody'll definitely have some cracks to make over "GOD, though! What a fucking BIGOT good ol' grandpop was!" And a wide circle will exhale and laugh a sad laugh at that. Because it was sure true, and we are all glad THAT part is over at least. And remember all the embarrassments they gave us all, we family of men and women? We survivors.
Requiescat en pace.
As everybody nods and conversation moves on, watch for the one uncomfortable dude a little off to the side. Glum and scowly. Indignant, biting his tongue. You can tell what he's thinking, but you don't want to engage him? Don't. Don't do it. He's not ready yet. Let him steep in the stigma and shame of it all a bit. The shame of his bigotry, which he'd love to raise in some way to defend, and holler, and start a tussle at the wake, if he could conceive of a great way to frame it in honor of the departed! Let him off easy. Everyone has cause to be sad today. He just loved the old guy, like you did, too. As to those nasty-ass benighted views, have some hope! He's alive! He has the chance to get better one day. He'll realize.
Or, he will die, into the dust, with the rest of his kind, and that part of him at least will be increasingly unmourned by any of his survivors.
Good riddance to bad rubbish. ONWARD HUMANITY.
In another two hundred to one thousand years, that memebreed will be classed as incomprehensibly benighted. Kids will be assigned term papers on "What the fuck was up with those bigots?" And you know damn well, some irritating kid in the back of the incorporeal classrom will pipe up "Well, what about the bigotry we have towards the Refusoids?"
"Johnny don't use that word! For those who have fought and won a sanctioned exemption from mandatory gene-grafted appjack 'port installs, we say 'Unevols' or 'Incompatibles'."
Um. Yeah. Onward humanity!