Let me plagiarize myself:
What I am annoyed about is that [this is] being intellectually and historically dishonest about where America is and where it used to be. [This is] attempting to appropriate a conservative, even reactionary, meme and use it to advance a point of view that is radically unconservative....
A few years ago John Stossel...played a couple of television commercials from the late 1950s and early 1960s for various products, laundry soap and canned coffee. I was aghast at their sexist bias and insensitivity. What was worse, I remember seeing the commercials when they first aired, and they were completely unremarkable in the cultural context of their day. Younger people who don't remember this time could fall into the "America I Knew" meme because they have no direct memory of those times. I do. Shame on those, conservative and liberal, who trot that old warhorse out.
America is a wonderful country. My favorite! And I have wonderful nostalgic memories of my boyhood. But I cannot generalize from the specific of my own experiences to say that America was better back then.
Look, if you are a progressive at least espouse a doctrine of progress. It is conservative to look back. It is silly, politically, for progressives to engage in nostalgia.
This is especially true if you are trying to sell a "post-racial" message!