The Civil Rights Act was passed forty-three years ago. The feminist movement was more or less officially launched about forty years ago. And yet today in the Democrat Party there are serious voices complaining of racism and sexism among Democrat voters (and, presumably, among the American people.) How many "civil rights" leaders talk as if racism is an immutable, eternal characteristic of American society? How many feminist leaders talk as if sexism is an immutable, eternal characteristic of American society?
The mere passage of years, the mere enactment of statutes or adoption of polices, the decades long public relations campaign against bigotry -- none of this can be allowed to make a difference.
Why? Because the sins of America are a religious article of faith to self-appointed black leaders and to self-appointed representatives of the female sex. And it is crucial that the sin is not racism or sexism, but specifically American (or, perhaps, Western) racism and sexism. There is a reason why black leaders long ignored the genocide in Sudan, in which whites were enslaving and murdering blacks: the whites in question were not American. There is a reason why feminist yawned when told about honor murders, female circumcision and the imprisonment of rape victims: the men in question were not American. The catechism of the Left is that America is evil.
Actually, America has been very good to women. Men and women are different, and every human society has reacted to those differences in some fashion. No society provided equivalent rights to men and women. Whether that meant that women were treated unfairly is a matter of judgment. Women in America have never been subject to a wartime draft. The first labor laws protected the health of women and children. Currently federal laws affirmatively discriminate in favor of women. The Violence Against Women Act, for example, only provides funds for violence against women, not violence against men. The Child Support Enforcement Program does not enforce family law orders, but only family law orders related to support -- and the vast majority of custodial parents are women. Title IX requires that women sports in college receive funding far out of proportion to actual interest in those sports.
None of this is necessarily bad, but it is certainly evidence that the unequal legal status of men and women often discriminates against men, not women. That should lead a sensible person to determine that the different treatment of men and women in society is not bigoted sexism, but rather a serious attempt to be fair to classes of Americans who have basic and natural differences.
The record of American on racism and ethnic discrimination is different. Blacks, undoubtedly, have faced hateful bigotry on account of their race. The enslavement of Africans was a sin, and it was recognized as a sin while it was happening by many American leaders. The foundation of Liberia under President Monroe was an early attempt to rectify that wrong. The carnage decades later in the Civil War was a more desperate attempt to rectify that wrong. The history of black Americans for a century after the Civil War was largely a battle between whites who wanted to elevate the black man and whites who wanted to degrade the black man. Ultimately the former won.
Blacks were not the only Americans who faced discrimination because of their race. Even Europeans -- Germans, Irish, Jews, Poles and Italians (among others) -- all went through a cycle of disdain and yet all rose above that and assumed a full measure of the American Dream. More significantly, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Koreans have all come to America with oral and written languages completely alien to English, with no common theological or philosophical system, and with a physical appearance that made them as distinct as black Americans. These Asian-Americans faced racism, but they rose above it -- and without much in the way of civil rights laws, affirmative action programs or similar government advocacy. In fact, Asian students, themselves once the victims of racism, are made to stand aside in some state college systems for less-qualified other minorities.
The words of Emma Lazarus "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddle masses yearning to breath free" are true about America: victims of bigotry throughout the last two centuries have flocked to America precisely because it was a global haven for those who were persecuted and despised, denied equality and fair treatment. These people sought America. These people, emphatically, never damned America.
This is not a defense of racism, but rather an observation that racism has proven very easy to transcend in America, when a group adopts American values or when a group adheres to its own values of work, family, study and thrift. This formula has worked well with all different colors of Americans, including many black Americans.
The outspokenness of civil rights leaders and feminists -- indeed, the outrageousness of their comments -- is the best evidence that racism against blacks and misogyny are very weak in America. If we lived in the land and time of the Taliban, feminists would be silent and shuddering. If we lived in the land and time of Jim Crow, then blacks would be overly polite and subservient. Thank goodness we do not.
Hating America is a religion with radical feminists and militant blacks. It is a very bad religion. It is a religion immune to any cure. It is a religion founded upon lies. It is, in fact, more like a sick cult than any religion that normal Americans might follow. The greatness and goodness of America, as has so often been the case, is well defined by its mortal enemies.