The recent passing of Mildred Loving reminds us that, as late as 1967, it was illegal for Americans to marry across racial lines in seventeen states of the Union. This disgraceful stain on America might not have been removed until well into the 'Seventies had that brave woman not taken her fight to have her marriage declared legal in her home state of Virginia to the Supreme Court.
I find it a sobering thought that the circumstances of my own conception were literally outlawed across a third of the United States just a year and a half before my birth. It is almost impossible to believe that, just a generation ago, a juridical offence against human dignity of the kind we naturally associate with Nazi Germany and Apartheid-era South Africa was allowed to spread its stench among so many Americans at the behest of racist state authorities and with the complaisant acquiescence of everyone else.
Morbid reminders such as these should leave little doubt as to which North American nation is best qualified to be considered the "land of the free".