Yascha Mounk and Ted Johnson discuss how to foster civic friendship and why Americans should remain optimistic about building an inclusive democracy.
We are well past the point where one could say that the seat of the expression of "the experiment" of liberal democracy was or was even close to being America -- which is somewhere in the mid-20's on the most optimistic index of democracies, where it isn't even considered a "full democracy".
From the perspective of the Enlightenment/English Common Law, individuals don't require America for "access to rights". They are intrinsic to being human. This is of course, in turn, reliant on the conception of the sanctity of the individual, which is antithetical to postmodernism, collectivism, and race/gender essentialism.
One doesn't have to put a value judgment on the 'isms' above to observe that none of them were present until the relatively modern era. One could not reasonably expect a product of the Enlightenment, which is to say the constitution, to be anything but anathema to that parasitic school of thought, postmodernism, and all of its progeny. This use of parasitic is not a pejorative use, but rather the observation that postmodernism has no intrinsic meaning or position -- it is entirely a reaction in opposition to Modernism.
It is not obvious to me, how one could imagine these 'isms' producing any 'change' or 'policy' within a modernistic society. The first step, by necessity, would be to destroy the existing society. It is unclear to me, what would replace it, but it is hard to imagine it would be a liberal democracy, since this too is rejected by that school of thought.
As far as choosing between the horrors of the past and the ideals of the future, why not start with the horrors and ideals of the present? For example, how could someone with a concern over ancestral conditions of slavery, prioritize that over the concern of something on the order of 400,000 slaves living in the US today (or in 2018 when the assessment was made).
It may be true that the ideals as expressed in the DOI and the Constitution were a fig leaf for what was 'actually going on' or it may be true that they were an expression of a path to 'what our principles have to be to get to what we want to be going on'.
Of course the words written at the founding of the country didn't accurately characterize the state of the country it was written in. It couldn't -- that country didn't exist until after it was written. This is how constitutions work. Ideals as well. They are not mirrors. They are not paths. They are the foundations that paths may be built upon to lead to a desired future state.
The Constitution was indeed written from the perspective of equality for all. It was modified in flight, with respect to slavery, because if it had not been, it would not have been ratified, and the US would not exist. One can say that might have been the right move, but it is hard to imagine some more equal society arising from those ashes.
If new generations agree with the precepts of Liberal Democracy, it may be a good thing that new generations have the ability to advance those ideals. If the new generations decide to let the field lie fallow, or to pave it over entirely, it would not be as good a thing. Not if one values Liberal Democracy.
It is not "we" who have interpreted our founding documents in the service of a stronger liberally democratic society. It is our predecessors. "We" have lived our entire lifetimes (depending on one's age) with liberal democracy in retreat in the US, along with its decline against the measures and ideals of Western Civilization for decades. If one is older than say -- 50, one might remember a more liberally democratic US.
I don't agree at all that is is obvious that we all agree on the principles that undergird the America that we hoped for. There are some pretty explicit statements from insurgent culture to the contrary. After all, you can't use the master's tools to fix the master's house.
You aren't giving lessons from the black American experience. It is impossible for you to do so. The black American isn't a single common experience, nor is it a monoculture. You are holding up your experience as a black American as a lesson. It isn't the same thing. This is important as this is the conceit of collectivism, not of liberal democracy. In liberal democracy one's identity is as an individual, not as a member of a group. Individuals in liberal democracies may or may not choose to freely associate, but those choices inform individuality -- they don't end it.