During my college years in the late 1960s, the high tide of black militancy, some of my more cynical and deeply embittered black classmates were given to remarking that the only difference between a liberal and a conservative was that “a liberal will hang you from a lower tree.” It was a grotesquely unfair characterization, of course. The fact is that the civil rights movement and the effort to secure equality among all Americans was a (...
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