Check your U.S. voter registration status or register to vote here.

The Uprising Marches On

Writers Have a Duty Not to Exaggerate Racial Progress

In an era where even the simplest truths are under attack, it’s up to writers to remind us that systemic racism never really goes away

Image for post
Image for post
Photo illustration. Sources: Brooke Fasani Auchincloss, Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images

After the protests there are always more protests, because the conditions that produce the protests remain fundamentally unchanged.

And then the volatility of the protests subdued, even as the numbers remained strong, and as has happened many times in the past, the news media’s thirst for violent imagery had been satiated, and once there was no more they packed up and went home. Social media feeds returned to their usual programming: Trump tweeted. Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris. Everyone and everything, seemingly, moved on.

Written by

Mychal Denzel Smith is the author of the New York Times bestseller Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching (2016) and Stakes Is High (2020).

Sign up for Flux


A weekly newsletter about the powerful forces reshaping America. Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

What matters now. A publication from Medium about politics, power, and culture.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store