This Just In: America Still Racist
When I listen to the rhetoric of the American left, I wonder whether their counterparts in other countries are as adamant about blaming citizens for the sins of their forefathers.
Do Australians sit around navel-gazing because their country was settled by deported criminals? Does today’s generation of Germans wear hair shirts for the atrocities against humanity committed by their forefathers within my lifetime? Do young Turks engage in self-flagelation over the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians a hundred years ago? Do the Japanese constantly remind themselves that their country launched a sneak attack against America that killed thousands?
I think not.
Yet at every turn, liberals are raking up the bitter embers of America’s past, rubbing our collective nose in them, and using them as pretexts for sanctimonious harangues about our Evil Empire.
There is a biblical proverb that says, “The fathers eat sour grapes, but the children’s teeth are set on edge.” The usual interpretation is that the innocent should not suffer for the wrongdoing of others. But for liberals, the moral seems to suggest that guilt continues interminably and is never sufficiently atoned for. The loss of a generation of men in the Civil War, for example, was not punishment enough.) This contradicts the democratic principle that frees citizens from becoming fettered to the shame of others.
But in the advancement of their broader negative view of America, liberals apply a harsher yardstick. It has become popular, for instance, to browbeat Americans over the establishment of Japanese internment camps during World War II. And to reprimand us for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But the WWII vet sitting next to me at a luncheon recently didn’t see it that way. He was fighting in the South Pacific at the time and figures that bringing a warned Japan to its knees saved his life.
Still, America’s faults are finding their way into history books at the exclusion of her successes.
The latest self-serving guilt trip laid on America is the charge that we are a racist nation. President Obama has even said it is “in our DNA.” This is a calculated part of the “identity politics” by which liberals hope to divide America and conquer the White House for the Democratic Party in 2016.
Of course, the vast majority of Americans’ ancestors weren’t even here when our nation was half-slave, half-free. Many of them were enduring harsh treatment themselves, lured to America not by the black marks on her past, but by the bright hopes for her future. Countless Americans wouldn’t be alive today had they not found sanctuary here.
As expected, Hillary Clinton is taking full advantage of the tense situation. She whines that “after all the progress we’ve made,” things still remain pretty grim in America. Not that any home-grown shortfalls ever stopped her from lecturing on moral issues to those in the rest of the world. Even before she became secretary of state, Hillary went to China to stridently meddle in their one-child policy, which she insisted took away a woman’s precious right to choose. (Imagine! Hillary the anti-abortionist!)
President Obama was quick to conclude that the actions of a deranged drug-addled young man in Charleston conjured up an image of the South that is every bit as violent and vengeful as it was in the days of slavery. Yet anyone who has traveled there knows otherwise. On the riverfront in Savannah, my husband and I were approached by a black minister who invited us to be guests on his congregation’s gospel river cruise, explaining that a couple of parishioners had not shown up.
The swift and heartfelt healing after the mayhem in Charleston refutes our president’s inappropriate comments. He did condescend to admit, however, that progress has been made in race relations in America…the kind, I suppose, that led to his being elected twice to the presidency.
Yet there are still professional race-baiters who enjoy milking an episode into an epic generalization. Tougher gun control is always an issue pushed to the fore in times of tragedy, except in the case, say, of the Boston marathon terrorists, whose weapons of choice were lethal homemade bombs.
Prolific liberals like MIT’s Noam Chomsky have long been setting generations of Americans’ teeth on edge for the sour grapes harvested in our country’s past. Specializing in linguistics, Chomsky takes offense even at certain words and phrases in the American English vernacular. Not the usual pejorative that Obama uttered, but more subtle allusions, such as the “Tomahawk” missile, which Chomsky feels mocks the race Americans humiliated and purged from their own land. He says it would be similar to Nazis describing their bombs as “Jews.”
Appeasing American Indians is hardly a political game-changer. But it is another layer, along with immigration, in the “white privilege” argument that Democrats will hammer home in the next campaign. Tarring America as a racist nation could, as they see it, solidify minority support. By harping on this incendiary message for the next sixteen months, Democrats are betting that it will turn fewer Americans off than it will turn out to the polls.
A recent article in The New Yorker called racism “endemic” in America. The definition of the word is “natural or characteristic of a specific people or belonging exclusively or confined to a particular place.” The other night I took an Uber car home from a party. When we approached my neighborhood, the driver asked me if there were many blacks living there. Ordinarily, I would have been stunned by such a question. But the charges of racism are so much in the news and in our minds that we are almost cajoled into a “conversation” wherever we find it.
Now, when I walk along the street, I have begun to wonder about the minorities around me. Do they see me – if at all – as just another one of those old white Americans who don’t much matter anymore? Do I represent some kind of “white privilege” that they long to wrest from my descendants by becoming the majority in our country? Will their children grow up loving America and willing to protect her?
Obama claims that before he became a recognized figure, white people would cross the street when they saw him and Michelle approach. Unfortunately, there are those who believe such fabrications, because they welcome perceived victimhood and the perks it demands. Besides, they know there are no reprisals for hating America. But those who pick constantly at America’s wounds to see them bleed anew weaken our chances of gaining cooperation from other nations in addressing problems such as terrorism and the threat of Iran’s nuclear capacity. Chomsky, in fact, considers George W. Bush a far worse menace to the world than Osama bin Laden ever was.
Painting America as a racist entity, skewed unfairly along social, economic, and gender-driven lines, justifies and emboldens those who would do us harm. As the Fourth of July approaches, there are warnings of possible terrorist activities that could mar the observance of the special day that brings together all Americans – or at least those who know a good deal when they see it.