232 years later.
232 years ago, a country that held "all men are created equal" was self-evident.
Till 143 years ago, a country of "slave-warehouses":
A slave-warehouse in New Orleans is a house externally not much unlike many others, kept with neatness; and where every day you may see arranged, under a sort of shed along the outside, rows of men and women, who stand there as a sign of the property sold within. Then you shall be courteously entreated to call and examine, and shall find an abundance of husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and young children, to be "sold separately, or in lots to suit the convenience of the purchaser;" and that soul immortal, once bought with blood and anguish by the Son of God, when the earth shook, and the rocks rent, and the graves were opened, can be sold, leased, mortgaged, exchanged for groceries or dry goods, to suit the phases of trade, or the fancy of the purchaser.
A 100 years ago, country of lynchings.
Till a half century ago, a country of Jim Crow and segregation.
In a little over 2 months from now, a country with a negro president.
This last does not erase or excuse what preceded it. Far from it.
What it does is give meaning to the American national commitment to perfect their union. It proves, in the words of the man himself, that "a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth".