On July 4th, 244 years ago, “America” was born. To many of the educational "elites" of our day, this is something we should be ashamed of, as well as "pay" for, as they rewrite our history in an attempt to "fundamentally transform" what we are as a nation. But what is America "really" all about? Are the detractors correct in their assertions, or are we simply being duped and divided as a means for them to reach their political ends?
While we do have "stains" on our history, it needs to be understood that those stains are not inherently what we are about. They are shortcomings borne of our human condition, not ideals/principles that we were founded upon. Our Declaration of Independence made clear the belief of the founders that ALL men are created equal and endowed by our Creator with the same "right" to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” even if the founders were not yet able to abolish slavery (although Jefferson did try to disavow it in his first draft of the Declaration) and also maintain the unity needed to form our union and the great American experiment. Furthermore, our Constitution set out to secure the “Blessings of Liberty” for all as it set up the structure and limits of our Republic. It did not in any way promote slavery; on the contrary, it was written specifically with the goal of eventually abolishing it.
Our founding fathers were flawed (as we are too), but they were also extremely wise, and far ahead of their time in many ways. We do them—and America—a great injustice when we try to judge them and the issues of their day by all the shifted morals and ideals of our day. Specifically, while Washington and Jefferson did "own" slaves, it was only because they inherited them. They both despised the institution, did not participate in the slave "trade," and did everything they could under the laws in their state of Virginia to free them. Jefferson himself was very active in trying to pass laws against slavery, but simply faced too much opposition within his state at the time.
Today, we face a growing number of forces who despise our founding, not because there is any legitimacy to their claims that we are systemically “racist” or grounded in “white privilege,” but because they abhor the idea of limited government, individual liberty, and power vested in We the People. To put it simply, they seek power only for themselves and their group of self-appointed elites. Furthermore, they completely despise Western Civilization and any idea of Judeo-Christian values. To this end, for decades, they have corrupted our educational system at every level, turning our schools into propaganda enterprises where false constructs (like "white privilege," among others) and "group think" rule the day. They demand "conformity" of thought, and anyone who dares critically think for themselves is publicly and privately destroyed, oftentimes under false pretenses.
However, this is not what America is about at all! America, and our flag, stand for freedom and liberty for ALL, regardless of color, sex, ethnicity, religion or creed! In spite of our past sins, our form of government is the greatest ever conceived of by man (through the divine providence of God, by the way), and problems that arise are simply a result of us being human, making mistakes, possessing apathy, and generally just not being as educated, informed, or involved as we should be. It's also to our detriment that we've removed God and the Bible (His Word) so far from our public discourse over the last 60 years!
We have made tremendous strides on the issue of race and the popularly touted original "sin" of slavery in America! We fought a civil war to abolish it. We passed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to help guarantee the rights of blacks. We passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to further protect those rights and ended the Jim Crow-era laws. We even elected a black president. America today is overwhelmingly post-racial/colorblind, just as the great abolitionist Frederick Douglas and civil rights activist Martin Luther King dreamed of; and blacks, as every ethnicity, have the same protections under the law to do anything anyone else can do and make whatever they want of themselves.
The problem in the black community today isn’t any perceived “systemic racism,” but rather the lack of fathers (family structure and discipline), education, and financial stability, and the high number of black men who resort to crime. This wasn’t the case back during the civil rights era. The black family was one of the strongest in society, but ever since LBJ and his “Great Society” with its creation of the welfare state, the black family has been in decline. Add to this the "disproportionate" number of blacks who are killed by abortion, and we have what is happening within the black community today: while blacks enjoy equal rights under the law, they have allowed themselves to become dependent upon the state and have lost the once strong family structure that could have helped propel them to so much more. I mean, when you look at the huge success stories of many blacks (Booker T Washington, for one) BEFORE they had equal rights under the law, just imagine how much more they could have accomplished if their families had remained strong. Instead, too many are quick to blame the “system,” rather than do the hard work it takes to pull themselves up. They have the "ability," just not the "will," in too many cases.
Considering the “plight” of blacks today, such as their lower economic situation, or the “disproportionate” number of blacks finding themselves having to deal with police and/or in jail, it virtually all goes back to the poor family situations that most of them come out of and the cold hard fact that blacks commit the majority of all violent crime. When you take into consideration those factors, the whole "idea" of “systematic racism” falls apart. The only thing “systematic” is the way the black community has been used as pawns by the Democrat party for the last 60 years. Democrat policies have heaped direct negative consequences upon black communities at large, and then Democrats point the finger of blame at the other side of the spectrum while purposely sowing division in attempts to keep the black voting block under their thumbs for their selfish political ends. That, my friend, is the "real" racism! Once again, though, the power is there under the laws of America for blacks to pull themselves up out of this situation, although doing so requires separating themselves from “group think” and tackling some very hard work. They need to think for themselves and just do it!
When it comes to the issue of blacks who are killed by cops, it all boils down to individual officers who cross the line. Some who make bad decisions in the heat of the moment, or in many cases have the story of what really happened distorted by the media and hyped for the purpose of creating racial division. In the case of George Floyd, it was bad cops who crossed the line and there was no evidence that "race" was even an underlying factor. It just so happened that the main offending officer was white. There was universal outrage all across America, and the officers involved were swiftly fired and charged. For the record, more whites are killed by police than blacks and one (Tony Timpa) was even killed recently in a similar manner as Floyd. It just didn’t get the same attention because it goes against the divisive "narrative" of cops just being “racist killers” of blacks.
Are there bad cops? Yes! ...but while there are "bad" people in every profession, most are decent and honorable human beings who are simply trying to do their jobs.
Is there still racism in America? Yes. There will always be isolated instances of racism as long as we are all still part of the human condition, but the vast majority of Americans are NOT "racist" in any fundamental way and we need to stop looking for racism under every rock.
Do “black lives matter”? Yes, ALL lives matter, and we need to stop dividing ourselves up by skin color. We are all part of the same human race and we need to focus more on the things that UNITE us, like being an AMERICAN! Also, the BLM group is a hardcore Marxist organization that cares nothing about “black lives”! They're using blacks solely for the purpose of dividing us and moving us toward their goal of completely undermining everything that is GOOD about America in favor of their Marxist ideology! These Marxists don’t deserve ANY credibility whatsoever!
On the issue of statues and our history, we don’t need to be tearing them down or erasing our heritage. History (good & bad) is important for us to remember, so we can learn from it and not repeat mistakes of the past. Of course, things like the Confederate flag shouldn’t fly from government buildings, because the Confederates (thankfully) lost the war, but when we start removing statues for no valid reason, there will be no end to it and NOTHING will be safe anymore!
A statue of a Confederate general or other figure of the era does nothing to "oppress" anybody! On the contrary, it can and should be an opportunity to teach younger generations about our history. Also, as alluded to earlier, it is unfair to judge all of these figures solely in the context of today's thinking. It was a very different time back then and these people were very nuanced in their thinking. Take Robert E. Lee, for example. He served the U.S. well prior to the war, didn’t personally support slavery, and was otherwise of good and honorable character, but he made an unfortunate personal decision when he went with the side of the Confederacy out of loyalty to his state. It was also his overall character that helped lead him to surrendering his forces when he did, instead of continuing to fight and needlessly causing further loss of life. There are many good lessons we can teach our children when in the presence of such statues. As it is, the "movement" is already out of control because what should be positive statues commemorating the end of slavery, and those who fought against it are senselessly being attacked too.
On "kneeling" for our anthem and the flag, it is, at best, a disrespectful and misguided attempt to “bring attention” to a non-existent "problem." It also divides us more than anything else it purports to accomplish. These million-dollar athletes have the freedom to display their ignorance, but it only serves to limit any positive impact they can have for their perceived issue, because it turns so many people away from what they may be trying to say.
In closing, I love America and the freedom that she and our flag represent. In spite of all of our flaws and imperfections—the good, bad, and the ugly—this is still the greatest and most exceptional nation on earth, with the most freedom and opportunity for ALL! When there are legitimate issues to deal with, we still have the means within the "system" to correct them. This Independence Day, we should all be thankful for those who have gone before us, as well as those who paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy!Here are some more resources for continued study:
Why It’s Not True That America Is ‘Systematically Racist’
America’s Founding Was Greatest Anti-Slavery Movement In History
© R.T. Johnston
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.