542 Gregory W. Streich
from in order to construct new identities and exercise autonomy. The other is that governments must remember historical injustices and provide some form of restitution as a way to promote reconciliation. Hill’s right to forget reects an argument against essentialized identities that I share, but also reects an argument against historically situated identities that I reject. If we de-essentialize identities and recognize how our histories and the groups to which we belong partially constitute our identities, then Hill’s moderate cosmopolitanism is a viable theoretical stance in itself.
To the extent that present-day inequalities are legacies of historical injustices such as slavery, we have an understandable debate about the extent to which our past shapes our present. Justice requires that we remember, not forget, where we—as individuals and as a collective—came from. Justice also requires that we ameliorate social inequalities that undermine, distort, and limit individ- ual choices and opportunities, whether these inequities are legacies of historical injustices or current policies. Even if individual and collective memories of the past are contested, partial, and imperfect, we must continually examine our past and come to grips with it rather than sweep it under a rug in a collective act of amnesia. As William Faulkner wrote in Requiem for a Nun, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”