Special Opinion by Charles Landis
Diversity breeds division and disunion but, to borrow from Frederick Douglass,…if interpreted as it ought to be, it can be a glorious liberty thing.
The United States ,alone among all nations, is considered a nation of immigrants. Settler, indentured, bonded, immigrant…born or naturalized, all are citizens of the United States. Until recently, they were simply identified as American, an amalgam of people from everywhere but much hyphenated. Today the Left identifies everyone by race, creed, color, or gender. The purpose of this identity politics is to divide and provoke disunion as a leftist populist ideology called intersectionality which gives birth to large coalitions which include almost everyone who is not a heterosexual white male.
The Declaration declared all people were created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights. The Reconstruction Amendments addressed the issue of citizenship and right to vote. The Great Society established a welfare-entitlement state and spent $22 trillion on a promise of social and economic equality. When the democratic process failed, the courts and bureaucracies stepped in with a myriad of commissions and agencies to establish and enforce affirmative action, quotas, and a plethora of new rights and privileges based on ideation of identity politics and intersectionality of prerogatives of social and economic justice warriors.
One could well argue America is more divided today than at any time in our history, including the Civil War. Lincoln began with the imperative of preserving the Union, even if this meant a nation half free and half slave. While slavery divided, racial equality was denied in both North and South. Each side believed they were faithful to founding documents and battle hymns were much the same. Listening to the rhetoric of the Left one would conclude, reason aside ,equality and white supremacy is un-changed to today; disunion has evolved to a breaking up of all that bound together by history, culture, and founding principles.
Hamilton said, of the Constitution, one should not expect a perfect government by imp3erfect men. He was horrified by the French Revolution and Jacobin Committees of Virtue to punish the politically incorrect. Then they organized assembly line beheadings. Today, the Left organizes mobs to destroy almost everything that memorializes anything related to our history or western culture and tradition. From Jesus to Jackson they have found imperfection and it must be erased.
I do not much like the term racism especially when used in the pejorative with systemic to mean our system of governance. While the word is used synonymously with prejudice, the word connotes more as related to skin color, whereas prejudice goes directly to the issue of preconceived opinion and absence of reason or fact. Likewise as does systemic as well with chauvinism. For my purpose, here, if the race question today can be reduced to simply prejudice, resolution of problems of diversity, division, and disunion can be addressed more rationally and dispassionately. As long as racism is considered a matter of skin color and that color cannot change, racism will not change. If, however, a judgement is based upon a prejudice, the absence of reason, the color will rationally pass. It is the same as saying judge by values and not color of skin.
Everyone says diversity should be celebrated but identity politics forces focus on us vs. them…people of color vs. white oppressors. This is by design, divisive. The 1619 Project, for example, erases all our history and rewrites to begin with black slaves being brought to Jamestown. They have proudly claimed responsibility for causing mob rioting for destruction of monuments and memorials to our history and all that is western civilization.
History, as we have been taught, is muchly Anglo-centric beginning with East coast colonies and migration westward. In fact, immigration and settlement of America is much more diverse, complicated, and interesting, as historian Alan Taylor writes in American Colonies. The Settling of North America. Taylor, Professor of History at University of California, Davis, explains all the participants in the settlement of North America; native Indian tribes, African slaves, and the rival European empires of England, France, Netherlands, Spain, and Russia, in terms of a global interaction of peoples, cultures, and environments. Only in this manner do we have a fuller understanding of who we Americans are, and who brought what to the table. Only with this understanding is the Anglo-Centric and 1619 Project put in their rightful perspective.
It is said history is written by the winners. Today the revisionists are becoming the winners and we are all going to be the losers. No more evident, is what is being taught about our great experiment. Everything is reduced to race and the whole of the history of western civilization and the Judeo-Christian tradition is omitted.
Winston Churchill said “the Americans always get it right…, after they have tried everything else. It is time to get it right.