Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals.And which ideal was that, Dubya -- The Three-Fifths Compromise?
Yes, I know the arguments that the Founders' rhetoric of liberty and equality provided an intellectual foundation for civil rights movements, that MLK called upon the nation to put the ideals of the Founders into practice, etc, etc.
But instead of -- or even in addition to -- recalling the more ancient generation which did not practice what it preached, why not recall the generation of activists and average citizens -- many still living, some gone and some killed for their troubles -- who, unlike the Founders, fought the Thurmonds and Lotts of this country to end segregation.
If Bartlett's needs a quote, the pure and undiluted original serves much better than Dubya's pale copy:
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. ... But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt....
Update: Edited per this comment.