I don't think Americans view these sites as a celebrations of our legal system! In fact, I think these sites are a testament to how divided these United States were, and evidence of a time when systemic racism throughout US Government Institutions were a tool to maintain Jim Crow. As you say, some goals of the Civil Rights Movement have not been fully realized when considering major flaws in the US Justice system today, modern-day segregation, etc. Indeed, the US is still struggling to create a more just and free society, and there are plenty of bumps along this windy road.
Of course, we celebrate MLK, Rosa Parks, Bayard Rustin, Angela Davis, Dorothy Height, and John Lewis amongst others. Yet, it must be stated, as the first multi-racial democracy on Earth the US Civil Rights Movement is a turning point in world history.
That a country and its legal system come around to abolish segregation by the 1960s, though, is nothing a western country should be proud of. It's really way too late.
Its not a question of being proud. I do not think a comparison with other Western Countries is particularly useful. The Atlantic Slave Trade began under the auspices of European Colonial powers long before 1776. The claim that Western European countries who abolished Slavery earlier, or did not implement segregation, are somehow more enlightened or less prejudiced than their US counterparts is a stretch at best considering their relatively small non-white population. Moreover, having colonial holdings where minority whites ruled the colony has been an all too recent practice by Spain, France, and Britain.
I would be remiss, to not mention that the "North" (Northern States) had fully abolished Slavery by 1804. Nor was official segregation practiced in the North, though life for African Americans was extremely difficult after Reconstruction regarding racism and discrimination, even lynchings occurred in the North. Being less racist and discriminatory than the South was not an accomplishment.
In 1860, there were 4.5 million African Americans in the US, roughly 15% of the entire population. The UK in 2017, is about 3% African and 7% Asian. Nearly 90% of the population is White, while virtually all other ethnic groups became UK Citizens during the 20th Century through immigration, not bondage. With the emancipation of 4 million slaves in 1865, the US had the tremendously difficult task of reconstructing a society based on racial equality and justice. Tragically, Reconstruction ultimately failed and the Civil Rights Movement became Reconstruction 2.0 nearly a century later.
The current justification for OUV for this nomination is:(criteria vi) This movement both drew from and had a profound influence on human rights movements elsewhere in the world, particularly insofar as they embody techniques of non-violent social change hitherto most powerfully expressed by Mahatma Gandhi.
Nothing is highlighted here of the US Government, legal system, or civic institutions. The OUV is therefore a product of the Movement itself to stand against the barriers and gatekeepers of the US Legal System in allowance of equal rights and justice under the law.
This may be altered or refined when an actual nomination dossier emerges, but its hard not to agree with it. The challenge will be selecting the most appropriate sites for a serial nomination, coordinating management practices across four states, and the question of whether these tangible remains authentically demonstrate OUV when linked to an entire movement as complex and enduring as the US Civil Rights Movement.
Its fascinating the evolution that has taken place in regards to "Dark History" in the US. NPS officials have also been in talks and have discussed adding sites associated with Slavery on the US Tentative list. These 3 sites in particular are associated with brutality, terrorism, murder, and mob mentality. The bridge is actually named after a Confederate General and Ku Klux Klan member who later became a US Senator.PETTUS, EDMUND, BRIDGE (AL)
- site of Bloody Sunday (Selma 3/7/65)SIXTEENTH STREET BAPTIST CHURCH (AL)
- bombing committed by 4 white supremacists as an act of terrorism, four children were killed (Birmingham 9/15/63)LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL (AR)
- 1200 soldiers were mobilized by the President to escort 9 African American students to school after an angry mob of 1,000 or more white citizens protested integration. (Little Rock 9/23/57)