The arc of the moral universe is long. And winding. Sometimes it zigzags. Sometimes it goes in a circle. Sometimes it misses its exit and has to make a U-turn. Sometimes it gets confused listening to Google Maps and ends up driving the wrong way down a one-way street. But it usually figures out where it’s going. Eventually.
The arc of the moral universe is crooked and irregular. Mostly because of gerrymandering. In fact, it kind of looks like earmuffs if you turn it on its side. Sometimes the arc gets the popular vote right but still messes up the electoral college. Sometimes it all hinges on a county in Arizona, and you just have to wait — hoping the arc can get its shit figured out soon.
The arc of the moral universe is actually pretty lopsided. It often bends toward justice for some people but not others. And even when everybody posts black squares, it doesn’t magically straighten out the arc. Because a month later, they’re asking why racism isn’t solved yet. And you have to remind them that fixing systemic injustice means making systemic changes. The arc can’t travel fast enough to fix 400 years of oppression overnight.
The arc of the moral universe takes a nosedive every time that one guy you went to high school with decides he’s qualified to interpret COVID mortality rates and posts his findings on Facebook. In fact, the arc of the moral universe takes a nosedive every time anyone logs onto Facebook. It’s nosediving right now.
The arc of the moral universe is following a pretty weird trajectory these days. Honestly, based on the way it’s weaving between lanes, it probably wouldn’t pass a sobriety test. But sometimes, it still manages to elect the better candidate. And even though he’s not everything you hoped for, he’s a lot better than the other guy. So you breathe a little sigh of relief.
The arc of the moral universe is really less of an arc and more of a big squiggly line. With lots of loop-de-loops and weird angles. It looks like it was drawn by a three-year-old hopped up on four glasses of Hi-C.
And the thing about the arc is that you can’t ever really see the whole thing at once. You can look back to see where it’s been. But from where you’re standing, you can’t look ahead to see what’s coming next.
But sometimes, it really does bend toward justice.