“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” ― George Santayana
To truly excel in the United States of America, it is imperative to learn her history. To know how to contribute, one needs to know where the country has been and be properly informed of some of the unfortunate aspects that are part and parcel of the history of the country.
Before you understand your place in the history of the United States of America, you MUST take a serious look at the past. It is only after you understand the past that you will appreciate the present and participate in shaping the future.
This is not an easy exercise, but ignore it at your own peril.