We have become so conditioned by the insidious and cynical use of race in our cultural conversation that we've lost all sense of perspective.Racial and ethnic wrongs are a long and sordid part of any country's history. Liberals hold out Western Europe as a bastion of inclusiveness and tolerance, but you would be wrong. For example, see the story of DeMarcus Beasley, a black American soccer player playing for Glasgow Rangers being subjected to racist "monkey" chants during matches on the continent--more than once.
Let's begin by recalling The Rev. Martin Luther King's now quaint command that we judge others not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Yet in the ensuing years the liberal establishment, along with its proxies in academia and the entertainment world, have diligently worked to convince us of precisely the opposite: That skin color is, in fact, dispositive of everything from values to character, and that to both redress past wrongs and to establish their uniquely skewed notion of equal opportunity, we must have a two-track system.
From race-based school admissions criteria to the more invisible but nonetheless noxious predicate for welfare and other insulting programs--that minorities are inherently less capable of success--modern liberalism has erected an entire policy and program edifice based solely on skin color. That's exactly what Dr. King found most divisive as well as contrary to the goal of real civil rights reform.
Taking this Denver revelation further, isn't America a nation of immigrants, and doesn't each hyphenated American have some historical grudge they can legitimately bring to the table of cultural grievances? Whether it's the Irish or Italians in the 19th century or the Germans or Japanese in the 20th, there is a rich if unflattering list of racial and ethnic wrongs that punctuate American history.
But we as a nation, and particularly liberals, can't seem to get past the categorization by skin color. The paternalistic nature of liberal programs of affirmative action, minority set asides and the constant challenge of "diversity" means that liberals stereotype more than any single group in America. We have all kinds of hyphenated groups today, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, or (name your group)-Americans and not nearly enough Americans.
At the founding of our nation, most of the former British colonists now Americans saw themselves first as citizens of their state. There were New Yorkers and Virginians, Pennsylvanians and South Carolinians, but few Americans. Sectional and state differences drove much of our early politics, but in the battle to survive as a nation, our early leaders recongnized that we must present to the world the image of being Americans first and everything else second. Thus, by the War of 1812 and beyond, people saw themselves not as Marylanders or Virginians, but as Americans.
Until we can embrace that mindset of Americans first, we will forever be stuck fighting battles based on race or ethnicity or national origin. How productive is that for America and how does that fulfill Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream.