Days before the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture near the Washington Monument, a couple of bizarre political developments illustrated why we Americans need it.
And I do mean all Americans. "Even if you think this isn't your story," as the museum's director Lonnie G. Bunch III recently told the Washington Post, "it is."
That's a reasonable response to the cynical wags and trolls who pepper Internet comment threads with sarcastic objections like, "I thought segregation was over" and "When are we going to have a museum for white people?"
We've got 'em, pal. But having visited museums of various sorts across this great land of ours, I am happy to report that the contributions made by Americans of color to our national narrative are increasingly included. Diversity is in. Conscientious curators like Bunch, former head of the Chicago Historical Society, have made a difference.
Yet too many of us Americans still harbor woefully incomplete views of life on the other side of our racial divide.