Here I tend to think of the idea of moral literacy as put forward by Barbara Herman. Her analogy is that our capacity for reading is merely latent when we begin to learn to read, but through practice and instruction we get better and better at it to a point that not only do others not need to read to us, but we become more and more responsible for increasingly sophisticated interpretations of what we read. Her view is that our moral capacities work something like this and this is how we become more moral and are also susceptible to being held responsible for what we do, for lapses in judgment. Thus, the kind of perfectionism I advocate is, analogously, a very rigorous literacy program – one wherein Americans better learn to not only rationally understand but affectively sympathize with the racial harms they are complicit in bringing to bear. This does require a more sophisticated moral apparatus; I will reserve my despair if ever I become convinced that we are not all equally possessed of the requisite apparatus.