Saturday, March 15, 2008

From Many,One

Once again ‘tis the season when we enjoy that breathtaking performance, Riverdance, scarf down Irish stew or corned beef and cabbage and maybe even a green potato or two, washed down with maybe green beer or…we throw back a pint o’ Guinness. Aye, there, lads and lassies…we are all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

This little Polish/Russian kiddo grew up in the Irish/British town of Kearny. In this melting pot moment, as a community we celebrated St. Pat’s with the parades of waves of bagpipers and drummers in their clan tartans and their kilts, swinging in the March winds. There was no political statement intended, just community fun.

The melting pot speaks of America as a unique nation filled with the flavors of numerous ethnicities that blended into a one single, solitary main course, the great nation of America. And in those days we were first and foremost Americans and proud to be so. We were, from many, ONE: many ethnicities united philosophically under one American heart and mind and soul.

Unfortunately, over the last 30 years or so our college campuses have been unwisely populated with a team of professors, teeming with anti- American sentiment. They are harsh with America in their lessons to our students on college campuses. Collectively, in their radical viewpoints--- America is an exploitative capitalist, racist, sexist, militaristic, patriarchal blight on the face of the earth. Some of these professors sympathize with bin Laden or bask and regale in the glories of the former Soviet Union or China or North Korea, countries that somehow in their eyes have become beacons of human rights and moral rectitude…examples to be followed. (See “The Professors” by David Horowitz)

Even though many students are not blinded by this extremist anti- American bias they are being subjected to in classrooms what has trickled out of these extremist and perverse teachings into the mainstream of society are its progeny, politicized diversity and political correctness. Instead of a melting pot to be savored, America has become the United States of Victims and their endless list of grievances against America.

Political correctness tacitly assumes that Americans, because of their depravity, must shut their mouths and instead speak with a script imposed on them by the political correct police who believe at heart, we Americans, are just as these professors say we are. We, the people, have come to believe of ourselves that we, particularly white males, are exploitative capitalist, racist, sexist, militaristic, patriarchal blights on the face of the earth who are solely responsible for all the evils in the world. Accordingly, Americans should apologize to all our supposed victims on a daily basis.

Clearly, this is utter nonsense. This view is why political correctness never should be mistaken for a serious ethical guideline or assessment of social moral problems. It condones an ungodly, infantile prejudice against its own people. As a moral guideline political correctness lacks the evenhanded scholarly evaluation that needs to accompany any moral theory. Political correctness damages the people it is purported to help by stifling open discussion of their problems.

Based on this negative image of America, politicized diversity tends not to celebrate the special-ness of a specific ethnicity alone that can enrich us all. This dark side of diversity assumes that all but white males must fight against a racist, sexist, exploitative America to get these depraved white people to accept what by their nature, their inherent sinful nature, Americans will not do out of their sense of moral uprightness. Politicized diversity initiates social wars or refuses to let them end and make way for a new day. The politicized diversity crusader must cast as grounds for battle people’s differing ideologies or questions and fight the supposed battle for acceptance by the recalcitrant, ugly American, as opposed to addressing bona fide differences of opinion and respecting our celebrated freedom of speech and the right to our own opinions, which is true respect for diversity. I ask you---to whom is the racism and prejudice directed in America these days?

Are we really a racist, exploitative nation at heart? I think not. The greatness of America is not a function of skin color. America’s economic successes are a matter of the nature of market forces and their laws like supply and demand. Anyone who follows the history of political thought realizes that America evolved from the democracies of Athens and the citizenship concepts of Rome, the diminution of royal power in Britain and the Christian ideology that all men are created equal, all historical evidence to the contrary.

Has America sinned? Undoubtedly and glaringly. But let those nations and the peoples of those nations that have NOT sinned, cast the first stone… And those sins America has committed will never be overcome and the wounds will never heal if we remain in politicized groups that divide, clinging to ethnicity or gender as sovereign in their lives while refusing to join America as American citizens and contributing their talents to this great, albeit, not perfect nation. For those who have felt marginalized and want to join the club, as Bill Cosby points out…the battles have been fought and great progress made. These doors have been opened. Come on board.

No group has to prove itself as worthy because we are all worthy. And all we need do is treat one another the way we want to be treated, another bit of simple biblical wisdom. We do not need politically correct scripts to tell us what we may think or say.

Rather than divide ourselves with sex and skin color and other superficial differences, let us each be a peacemaker by beginning to recognize the unity we need as a nation in these challenging days. Let us use St. Pat’s Day, the day we are all Irish, to highlight our special backgrounds, while understanding in the grand scheme of things the true melting pot of gold America is and has been and will be.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Betsy said...
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