Something good to think about...
From Prof. Joe Olson, who began his background with guns as a civil rights worker who didn't intend to get killed and buried in a dam somewhere. (BTW, my late father held the first sit-in on a segregated bus, when he was stationed in a State with those requirements, back in WWII. He sat in the back and refused to move when threatened with arrest. In the end they just drove on. Sorry Ms. Parks, someone was going to tell you some day). Here's is Joe's take:
America really is an amazing country.
America just elected a black President.
In my life time,
(1) I've seen "Whites Only" water fountains and toilets in Texas in 1959.
What a shock that was because I was only 14, just discovering race, and just back from four years in Europe where nationality mattered a hundred times more that skin color. I made a lot of social errors, so to speak, in Texas because I simply didn't/don't "see" race at all.
(2) My father's co-pilot, who was a black officer, had to live on the east side of Abilene (20 miles from Dyess AFB) because that's where the nice black neighborhood was located.
(3) In my first real post-college job, in 1967, I had folks in bed sheets shooting at my co-workers and harassing me until I bought a gun and waved it at them. Merely because was I was white, had Missouri plates, and was helping Negroes (time-warp term) gain equal opportunity . (Yes, I was an "outside agitator" to them. Deliberately.) People like me had been killed just three years earlier.
(4) In another job during a law school summer I almost got a shitkicking because I picked up "the nigger" (the older black man who did the crap details on the painting crew) since I drove past his house on the way to our work sites. I think I was saved by two things: I could speak in the distinctive Piedmont accent (with expletives) and the white boys knew I was out of their social class (after all, I'd never been to Central Prison in Raleigh). Hurting me would bring bad karma (not their term) on them.
(4) While in the Air Force, 1970-74, (AF officially color blind since 1948) I had to tell a number of clients that the AF couldn't control what they thought, but we sure as hell could and would control how they acted. As I used to put it "You don't have to like them or invite them home for dinner, you just have to act like you do. Understand." Apparently, "acting" continued for a long enough time brings real change.
The White side of the civil right movement got it's kick-off during Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964 although MLK and other Southern Blacks started much earlier in Birmingham, Selma, etc.
1964 to 2008. A mere 44 years. There are three new generations out there who have never seen a "Colored" water fountain. That's good.
UPDATE: I read somewhere that the 3/5 compromise came about in the opposite manner from what we'd expect today. That is, the slave states wanted a slave to count for zero in the population, and the free states wanted a slave to count for one. That was because in the 1780s, the big concern wasn't power in the House of Reps, it was how to pay off Revolutionary War debt. Each State's population would determine not only its votes in the House, but also how much federal tax could be allocated to it, viz., how much it would pay toward that debt.