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Progressives believe in equal opportunity
It must be awfully nice to be born a couple of rungs up the advantage ladder and not even know it. Mr. Riddell talks about the veterans of D-Day and pleads for respect for them, and as the daughter of these men, I appreciate that. The stories we heard were of unbelievable terror, pain and deprivation.
But then those men came home, and the ones whose names were Spanish, whose skins were dark, whose families had been interned or confined to reservations and certain neighborhoods returned from those same sacrifices to find themselves shoved rearward in our country. Again. 
Not permitted to fully take advantage of and participate in the country’s march forward, they naturally resented this. Women, too, whose sacrifices were also dire, were displaced from their jobs and independence, and forced back into traditional roles.
When I was growing up, only white men were shown in front of the microscopes, at the controls of airplanes or in the bank corner offices. It was almost as if a deliberate effort was made to erase everyone but straight white men from our culture.
It is not the aim of progressive thinkers to promote, still less ensure, equal outcomes, in spite of the silliness Mr. Riddell cites. It is the aim of progressive thinking to provide as much equal opportunity as possible for everyone.  
Yes, there will always be those left behind due to inborn disability, disease, abuse, lousy family life or whatever. No one thinks everyone can be at the top.  But as long as there are minds that can grow, learn and achieve a satisfying life, we owe it to them and our future to nurture them. 
The very programs conservatives love to hate are designed to do this. They aren’t perfect, either, but it is far better to try than to sit back with “I’ve got mine, the heck with you” on our lips.
Carolyn Bredenberg