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In my house, we celebrate Thanksgiving, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, we love the Fourth of July. We revere Veterans Day and celebrate May 8. We recognize and respect and learn from all of our mistakes and achievements, and believe that the American IDEA is an idea worth fighting for, worth preserving and protecting.

We’ll give the mic to Glenn Loury and Coleman Hughes:

Why Is This Insanity Important? Remember this when you are told that America is fundamentally an awful place, is irredeemably racist and should be burned to the ground.

It is EGREGIOUS behavior. Running with, and putting so much institutional support behind a narrative that had problems. Yes she did assert that because a few of the founding generation feared the British potentiality of interfering with the slave traffic, this motivated them to fight in the revolution, therefore that was the basic driving force behind the entire movement. This is false.

She also claimed that 1619 and not 1776 was a better metaphor for understanding the large scale narrative of the country and then backed away from that, but she just wanted to recenter the narrative of the role that African-Americans played in the American experiment.

Where are We As a Country?

The narrative about the American story, the American project is fundamentally important. Is this a good country? Or is this a country that is founded on genocide and slavery? The impact of Western settlement in the Western Hemisphere on the native population was devastating, there is not any doubt about that. And the commerce in chattel was of a huge scale mostly going to the Caribbean and South America and was monumental in world history and also monumental in the events that led to the American nation-state – there is not any doubt about that.

But the founding of the country – 1776, 1787, the creation of the United States of America, was a world historic event in which the Enlightenment ideals got instantiated in government institutions. And as a matter of fact with the century slavery was gone and you know what, the people who had been African chattel became citizens of the United States of America. Not equal citizens, not at first, it took another century, but they became in the fullness of time equals in the United States of America.

The United States of America fought fascism in Europe and fought fascism in the Pacific and saved the world. American Democracy became a beacon to “the free world” … we stood down under threat of nuclear annihilation the horror which was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. We have had the greatest transformation in the social status of a serfdom people-which was what the Emancipation affected in the creation of the African-American that you can find anywhere in world history. 40 million strong! The richest people of African-descent on the planet … BY FAR.

This is a question of narrative. Are you going to look through the lens of the United States as a racist, genocidal, white-supremacist, illegitimate force, or are you going to see it for what it is? In the last 300 years it has been the greatest force for human liberty on the planet. That’s worth fighting about.

That these people at the New York Times lay down to a latter-day woke ideology and debase their country is despicable.

America is not your average country. And there is a reason that it is the number one destination for black and brown migrants in particular across the world. It is not a coincidence. Because there is something about America that is especially open, liberal in the classical sense, and that those values have had good consequences for diverse peoples from all across the world to ascend from third-world poverty to first-world poverty to President of the United States.

When you hear a rags-to-riches story in America, you don’t even bat an eye, you take it for granted because it happens so often.

Of course we need to teach global history. Be honest about our flaws. Balance the history. A lot of people have no idea about the world-wide institution of slavery for thousands of years. It is a uniquely global sin. Humans have been cruel. So do we compare America to the ideal nation in your head according to your 2020 morality. Right now China is lecturing us about systemic racism while committing something bordering on ethnic cleansing with the Uighur Muslims.

What other country … can you picture China or India or Turkey or Russia having a 1619 project? Even reflecting on their own history in any negative way whatsoever? What about Howard Zinn’s People’s History? Can you envision a Chinese version of that?

And that in a sense speaks to our commitment to self-criticism, to freedom of speech, this is a novel idea in the long view of history.

Ultimately it is an ignorance of the rest of the world that leads people to unreflexively be anti-American.

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