Jon, the professor’s backward thinking is sad. No doubt there will always be people in this world who don’t view everyone as equal, yet incredible progress has been made since the 1960s. To focus one’s eyes only on the past, only on the problems, is futile. In my view, the man who put things in perspective best is Maryland’s Lt. Governor, Michael Steele, an African-American who addressed the GOP convention this summer. Here is an excerpt of his remarks:

“My journey to this moment has been inspired by men and women who remained forever vigilant in their pursuit of equality and opportunity. Individuals like Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan and Maebell Turner, refused to accept the poisonous path of complacency. They each had dreams, but more important, they all had plans for turning those dreams into an American reality. The promise of America is the promise of endless possibilities. America remains that place President Reagan called “a shining city on a hill.”

But while the promise of America is real, the challenges we face to secure that promise for every American are no less real. We must continue to be vigilant in our fight against the blight of poverty, poor education and lost opportunity. What truly defines the civil rights challenge today isn’t whether you can get a seat at the lunch counter. It’s whether you can own that lunch counter in order to create legacy wealth for your children.”