I recently read this in The Week magazine: Today’s Democrats have a bit of a problem with patriotism. The essay went on to suggest that all this emphasis on America’s less than stellar history of racism, slavery, and greed undercuts pride in country and promotes a white-supremacist point of view.
I’ve heard this all before. This essayist, unlike those trying to sway white voters, is a Democrat, and his fear is that these attempts at rectifying past (and continuing) injustices could hurt Democrats’ political ambitions. I’m not buying it! As the essayist, Ruy Texeira, says, “The average non-white American would choose to live in America rather than anywhere in the world.” My guess is that the average white American feels the same way.
Learning our history is not about shaming white America; but learning from the past and joining hands can lead to building a better shared future. The problem may lie in how that history is taught and promoted. The solution may lie in how solutions are publicized and promoted.
It certainly doesn’t help when prominent Democrats refer to people who have borne the brunt of these solutions, like affirmative action and globalization, as ‘despicables.’ It doesn’t help when pro-choice is labeled pro-abortion, and it is worse when Republicans suggest that only whites can rule effectively.
To be fair, when communities change from a white political majority to a Black or Hispanic majority, they play the same win-lose game that their white predecessors played, casting aside diversity and shared decision-making to achieve political domination.
We don’t have to rewrite history to maintain belief in America, to maintain our patriotism. We just have to believe that we can right the wrongs of the past because we choose to keep our country strongly committed to its democratic principles.
Vote the person, not the party.