Renewed debates over history reveal the narratives that conservatives and progressives employ to justify or decry American history. One narrative insists on lionizing historical figures, the other on demonizing them—yet both distract from the ongoing pursuit of the American ideals of justice, liberty, and equality.
The conquest mentality that has shaped the Turkish government’s Hagia Sophia policy and rhetoric not only puts the sacred heritage of Turkey’s religious minorities at risk, but also threatens their lives.
King recognized that for nations, as for individuals, the measure of goodness is not perfection, but rather direction. America was born headed in the right direction—and continues to build a “more perfect union” dreamed up by imperfect men.