During his rebuttal to President Biden's speech before a joint session of congress, Senator Tim Scott made a declarative statement: "America is not a racist country." That prompted journalists to ask other elected officials whether they think America is a racist country.
Personally, I wouldn't touch that question with a ten-foot pole because it is the wrong one to ask. That is the point Jay Smooth made so powerfully years ago in this video where he distinguished between the "what they did" conversation and "what they are" conversation.
What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than [Selma]? What greater form of patriotism is there than the belief that America is not yet finished, that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals?...
It’s the idea held by generations of citizens who believed that America is a constant work in progress; who believed that loving this country requires more than singing its praises or avoiding uncomfortable truths. It requires the occasional disruption, the willingness to speak out for what is right, to shake up the status quo. That’s America.
American is — and has always been — a work in progress. The real question is: "What have you done lately to perfect our union?