Real Americans

Many years ago, in the early 1960s, when the civil-rights movement was in its heyday, an older woman of my acquaintance objected to the idea that blacks are Americans. Americans, to her, were whites of European origin. Bill Vallicella offers a more nuanced view:

There has to be a broad base of shared agreement on all sorts of things….

No comity without commonality….

… “[O]ne people” should not be understood racially or ethnically. An enlightened nationalism is not  a white nationalism.  America is of course  ‘a proposition nation.’ You will find the propositions in the founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence.

I don’t give a flying enchilada whether you are Hispanic or Asian.  If you immigrated legally, accept the propositions, drop the hyphens, and identify as an American, then I say you are one of us. I’ll even celebrate the culinary diversity you contribute.

But…

That being understood, it is also true that whites discovered these America-constitutive propositions and are well-equipped to appreciate and uphold them, and better equipped than some other groups.

My money is on commonality — in language, in culture, in a deep attachment to the view that liberty is incompatible with a government that does more than protect citizens from domestic and foreign predators and leeches.

Thus, as Vallicella puts it:

Do not think of leftists and ‘progressives’ as fellow citizens; they are merely among us as disorderly elements and domestic enemies.  There can be no peace with them because they represent an ‘existential threat.’ Not to our physical existence so  much as to our way of life, which is of course more important than our mere physical existence as animals.

I would add that those who give aid and comfort to the left by consistently and overwhelmingly voting for Democrats are not fellow citizens. In that sense, the vast majority of blacks (but certainly not all of them) must be excluded — not because they are black, as my acquaintance would have it, but because they abet the destruction of liberty. They are far from alone, however, and most of their accomplices are white.

(See also “The British Roots of the Founding, and of Liberty in America“.)

2 responses

  1. This is an interesting meditation. I agree as to the assessment of allegiance along moral and intellectual choices. Although I don’t align with the libertarian Dave Rubin on everything, I agree with him in preferring to judge people as individuals rather than as members of groups. Yet there is a paradox in that most individuals tend to identify and conform to groups in their behavior. I also think many people are in flux, insofar as their motives may be benign if ignorant versus those actuated by malevolence, pride or crass hedonism. And even the latter (from a Christian point of view) can and sometimes do convert. I was once on the left, after all… so I must ponder this further. Thanks for posting.

    Like

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