If you are old enough, think back to about 1970. If you are not old enough GET OFF MY LAWN! No, no. Come, pull up a chair and let an old guy talk a bit.
In 1970 the life expectancy for a newborn White boy in the USA was 67.94 years; White girl? 75.49 years. NonWhite boy? 65.63 years. NonWhite girl? 69.05 years. In 2011, all those rates were higher, by between 5 and 8 years.
In 1970, in the building where I lived in New York City, my mother had a Black friend visit. The doorman made her ride the service elevator (OH BOY did that doorman hear from my mom!).
In 1970, the Soviet Union still existed. Germany was still two countries. South Africa had apartheid. Today, none of those things is true (and they all happened without a major war).
In 1970, the idea of an openly homosexual person getting elected to Congress would have been strange. Homosexuality was still considered a psychiatric disorder (and listed as such in the DSM).
In 1970, it was illegal (in Chicago) for “deformed” people to show themselves on the streets.
In 1970 the Americans with Disabilities Act had not been passed. Today, many buildings are required to have ramps for wheelchair access and all children are entitled to a “free and appropriate education” in the “least restrictive environment”.
In 1970 Roe v. Wade was still in the future. Today, abortion is legal.
In 1970, “with all deliberate speed” was long on the deliberate and short on the speed. Today, an African-American is in the White House.
In 1970, there was no internet. In 1970, there were no personal computers.
In 1970, Edgar Ray Killen was still a free man. (Don’t know who he is? Go to the library! Oh, it’s 2013. You can Google).
It was in 1970 that the United States got its first female generals. In 2013, women were finally given combat status.
Are we done fighting? NO WAY.
Are things perfect now? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME
In all of the areas I outlined, there is work to be done. FORWARD!
Have we made progress? YES WE HAVE.
Can we make more? YES WE CAN!