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Fear not, U.S. is slowly becoming a ‘more perfect union’ | READER COMMENTARY

Rehearsal of flag-raising ceremony inside Fort McHenry with National Park Service rangers and U.S. Army "Old Guard" of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment. August 31, 2020. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun).
Rehearsal of flag-raising ceremony inside Fort McHenry with National Park Service rangers and U.S. Army "Old Guard" of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment. August 31, 2020. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun). (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

Our Founding Fathers recognized that the creation of the United States was an experiment. Never before had a government been created to give so many people a say in how their nation was run. They knew it was an imperfect beginning, but that it was worth the effort beginning in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution with ““We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union …”

Over the years, our nation has moved toward that goal, sometimes way too slowly. Non-land owners were given full rights. Slavery was outlawed, though the institution continues to survive in subtle ways. Non-Northern Europeans were reluctantly admitted. It was only a century ago that women were nationally given the right to vote, though property ownership rights were slower to obtain. Sexual orientation is still a hot issue.

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While it seems like racism, nationalism and sexism are still a part of our nation’s fabric, our nation is inexorably moving toward that “more perfect union.”

Immigrants and descendants of almost every country are right here in the Baltimore area, and we’re not that different from the rest of the country (”‘How did I not know this?’ An Eastern Shore community reckons with the lynchings in Maryland’s past,” June 3).

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Cultural and ethnic mixings aren’t always smooth, but it’s happening here as with nowhere else. There is and will probably be those who resist the experiment as the way it is now benefits them. But the experiment is hardly over and just because we haven’t achieved the goal is no reason to stop trying. The ongoing success of our experiment is the true measure of “American Exceptionalism.”

Jim Martin, Middle River

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