Not everything about the past was bad and not everything about the present is good either. Things change and evolve. Some things certainly get better and other things certainly get worse.
I was born in 1959 and I remember the 1960s and '70s and I don't remember a lot of it as being of the "dark ages." Yes, a lot has changed for the better since then, but some things are worse today. A lot of people are definitely oversensitive today to the point of ridiculousness. I can't stand watching or reading the daily news anymore for the all the bullshit some people get worked up about. I think the public displays of supposed shared community grief is mostly insincere and fake. Indeed grief isn't much private anymore and often seems to be measured by what level of display can be put on television. Personal tragedy and grief are often hyped as some sort of community or collective experience.
There have always been slackers in school so there's really nothing new in that. And there are some very intelligent young people with us today. Yet there are also a discouraging number of intellectually lazy and often even incurious youth today with no interest or remote curiosity in the histories or sciences (in terms of wanting to understand how things work) or politics. Those individuals are just ripe for getting exploited in years to come. What's even worse are those who flaunt their ignorance as some sort of badge of honour. Yes, there does indeed appear to be a disturbing trend of anti-intellectualism afoot on this continent (the U.S. and Canada).
In terms of racism I don't know if things are really that much better. From north of the 49th parallel it certainly looked like a whole swath of Americans were doggedly determined to unseat and/or frustrate a democratically elected president using every means and excuse they could think of simply because they couldn't stand the colour of his skin.