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Reblogged:A Victory in the Good Fight

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Image by Nobel Foundation, Via Wikimedia, public domain.
It is difficult to find a reflection on the positive significance of today's holiday without also hearing something to the effect of, "but there remains much to be done."

This is true: The fight for liberty is never truly over. We could (and should) just as well say the same thing when we consider the significance of Independence Day, Memorial Day, or any number of other American holidays. I do not plan to speculate today about why we do not do this, but it is worth thinking about for a variety of reasons.

What I will do is relay from Ayn Rand's timeless 1963 essay, "Racism," the passage she quoted in conclusion, after praising it for its atypicality:
[T]he question must be not whether a group recognizable in color, features or culture has its rights as a group. No, the question is whether any American individual, regardless of color, features or culture, is deprived of his rights as an American. If the individual has all the rights and privileges due him under the laws and the Constitution, we need not worry about groups and masses -- those do not, in fact, exist, except as figures of speech.
Yes. And regardless of the fact that racism continues to exist today, as it always will; or that the legal emancipation of the individual from his ancestry is far from complete; we should celebrate today as an important victory for individual rights over the most unfortunate circumstance of our nation's birth, slavery, whose consequences haunted America long afer the Civil War.

We are all freer -- politically, culturally, and psychologically -- thanks to the courage and determination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and many, many others who fought for the cause of racial equality over the course of decades. They fought at a different time and place than our founders: These were only different battles in the same necessary war.

-- CAV

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