Conservatives seem often to be caught flat footed when confronted with the topic of race in America while our opponents exploit this issue shamelessly to advance their political agenda. Have you ever wondered why America is so preoccupied with race and ethnicity? Those pesky forms and applications for Social Security and other government agencies are perfect examples of this obsession. They require you to check off boxes for “race”: Black/African American, Hawaiian Native, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Other Pacific Islander, Asian, White. And under “ethnicity”, Latino or Hispanic.
As an immigrant Asian-American who grew up internationally, I never could understand why racial or ethnic designations matter anyway? I married my wife for who she is, not because of race. Our son is a terrific “American” teenager, not a “Eurasian-American.” I don’t view myself as defined by my race, and I certainly do not view others in that regard. Do we not teach our children to never judge a book by its cover? Have we not twice elected a president who is a black-American? So are we not now living in a post-racial era or is this all just lip service about how “tolerant” we are? Was it not Dr. Martin Luther King who said that he had a dream that one day we would all be judged by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin?
Why then are government bureaucracies deliberately segregating us as a people? Even more importantly, why do we allow them to do so? Sure, race relation in America is a delicate matter but I would argue that it is our complacency that has made it so. In fact it’s gotten to the point where if conservatives speak out on anything remotely race related, we’re labeled “intolerant” or worse, “racist” ~ is it any wonder why we’re so divided?
In the 60s my family lived in Sierra Leone, West Africa providing me some perspective on this issue. My friends included children from the American, Russian, British, French, Italian, Nigerian, Liberian, German missions as well as local Sierra Leonean kids and the children of Lebanese, Israeli merchants. We attended school and socialized together. Race was never an issue with any of us ~ the topic simply never came up.
In the fall of 1968, I attended high school in Connecticut. It was in America I first experienced a new phenomenon – racial self-segregation. Black and white students sat apart at separate cafeteria tables. Having lived overseas with multi-racial friends this was shocking to me. Even at fourteen I found it deeply troubling but quickly learned that this was just the way it was.
We can examine American history, the role of slavery but that would entirely missed the point. The truth is, race and ethnicity have been shamelessly exploited by some for political purposes for far too long. Over the decades, their playing the race-card has driven an ugly and divisive wedge into American politics and into American society. There’s little doubt racism still exists but perhaps not in the way one might think. In fact, much of racism today is fueled by some entirely for political advantage and that is utterly reprehensible! It’s a cancer that is poisoning America and is a malignancy for which we must find a cure for we have both a moral obligation to future generations as well as a duty to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. King.
I don’t presume to have the answers and there are no magic pills. But as Americans we must stand tall, seek the truth and always do what is right. We must not cower or succumb to the tactics of racial division and we must defeat those who promote our differences for political advantage. Separating us into diverse groups or promoting “diversity” is how they’ve had short term political gain but tragically to the long term detriment of America.
The United States of America must not be permanently divided into pockets of races, cultures, religions, ethnicities or people who don’t trust each others. We must remain a nation of people united through our common interests ~ an America that values liberty, human dignity and a noble national purpose. The values and beliefs that have made America the freest and most prosperous nation on Earth is a message that can and will resonate again but it must be delivered with thoughtfulness, consistency and with a firm commitment to our principles.
A message of unity should begin with our children. There has now been decades of liberal-progressive indoctrination corrupting and occupying our schools by radical educators who clearly do not share our American values. Some openly preach hatred towards America, push revisionist history and deny our kids a learning environment where critical thinking, objective discourse, individual expression and common sense used to nurture creative, responsible and productive citizens. We also have a media and entertainment industry that traffics in amorality to such an extent, core American values are being abandoned by our youth as an even more corrupt new normal emerges in our popular culture. Faith, Family and Freedom are under relentless and open assault in America today.
We face a perilous time and risk losing generations who enter our society believing in the worst of their own heritage. Those who wish to fundamentally transform America into something we don’t recognize or want had declared war on our national sovereignty and our way of life decades ago ~ shame on us for remaining silent for so long.
Perhaps President Obama is a product of our silence. Things that he says and does reflect not only a misunderstanding of our founding, they reveal contempt for our traditional institutions and our American heritage. If I could speak to him personally I would say this to him:
Mr. President, you say that ‘we cling to our guns and our religion with antipathy towards those who are not like us…’
You are right. We do cling to our religion because the Bible teaches us three very important values: Virtue, Wisdom and Humility. Values you will find useful in your life.
We do cling to our guns because we have a right and a duty to defend our lives, our liberty and those of our loved ones. We take that responsibility very seriously. We believe the rights of the individual are unalienable and we will never abdicate that responsibility to anyone including government.
And yes, we do have antipathy towards those who are not like us, but not in the way you think. We love our country and our fellow Americans. We revere our faith in God, family, patriotism and we resent anyone who will attack or betray those values we hold so dear.
Our American values are fundamental, they are the glue that binds us together and indeed they have kept us strong. We abandon those values at our peril. As patriots we must stand for American values and promote a message of unity. And most certainly, we must never ourselves default to these racially divisive tactics used by those whose goal is to divide us. Regardless of race, creed, ethnicity or even party affiliation, as Americans we share a far more profound mutual interest and that is ~ our love of Country.
It has been said that silence is consent. If we truly care about our beloved nation and for future generations to know what it really means to be American – then we must be silent no more.