“I have a dream, that one day, my children will live in a nation where they are judged, not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character”. Dr Martin Luther King dreamt of a colour blind America where an individual’s gained traits would be far more important to society than their ascribed status. The America of today is a far cry from the noble ideal of a colour blind society envisioned by Dr King. The vision of America propagated by the illegitimate inheritors of Dr King’s legacy appears to be a virulent cultural variant of the pathological ideology of communism that America fought so hard to defeat.
America for the American left is a country which has permanently been in a state of recurrent social conflict. At the root of this conflict is the desire for White America to preserve its dominant status over racial minorities. The American left believes that white Americans have committed to the perpetuation of white dominance, and it is people of colour who are continuously fighting an uphill battle in pursuit of social justice. They link every social issue capturing the attention of the American public to this hypothesis which has now gained the status of a commandment.
On immigration, it is the white oppressor against the coloured victim. On refugee assimilation, it is white male entitlement against refugee grievance. The American left believes that social reform in America in the form of civil rights is not a function of collaboration among America’s communities, but a function of victories snatched by people of colour since the 1960s. White people do not believe in racial harmony but have grudgingly accepted civil rights in the public sphere because of the relentless pressure kept up on the issue by people of colour. They unlike their non-white counterparts do not share Dr King’s vision of a colour blind society. As a result, they shall have no role in deciding the path pursued to arrive at a colour blind society. The best way for them to compensate for the sins committed by their ancestors is to be mute allies and gleefully applaud any action undertaken under the garb of racial harmony, no matter how deficient in logic the action might be.
On further examination of these attitudes, I concluded that the American left has put a dangerous plot into action. The purpose of the plot is to inform Americans that their views on how American society ought to be governed is a function of their race rather than their individuality. They knowingly, or unknowingly, behave not as individuals, but as members of their race. As a result, Americans must be conscious that the views they propagate as individuals must not contravene is “perceived” as being in the best interest of their race. Americans are increasingly being told to stop thinking as individuals in their own right. The recent pressure being exerted on Asian Americans to be better allies of Black Americans and not advocate positions perceived as being beneficial to White Americans is a direct manifestation of this plot. This rigid belief system, if left unchecked, has the potential of detonating the philosophical foundations that laid grounds for America being one of the most meritocratic societies in the history of humanity. This project if successful will turn America into a complete contrast to the America I knew.
America’s founding fathers believed that America’s foundational values were those of individual freedom, individual liberty & equality. Implicit in this belief system was the idea that the American state would endeavour to create an environment where an aspirational individual would face no obstacles in achieving economic and social mobility. American leaders from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln and from Abraham Lincoln to Ronald Reagan had strived to create a society that was driven by the pursuit of individual excellence. America fought the cold war because it believed that capitalism provided the perfect vehicle to enable an individual to be free from economic & social bondage. Capitalism was in contrast to communism, viewed as an economic system that enabled an individual to scale innovation, acting as a perfect incubator for nurturing genuine cognitive diversity. It valued individuals for the skills they had gained rather than their social network. It is precisely for that reason that people all over the world have rushed to the promised land to realize their true potential. Implicit in this belief was another important idea, which is responsibility. It encouraged individuals that tried and failed to look within while conducting an autopsy of their failure. A constitution that protected individual liberty and an economic system that desired individual excellence made “America that shining city on a hill” for all people. It did not reward individuals on the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin. It is because of these values that Asian American’s who prioritized education, hard work & skilling excelled economically and today earn 36% more than the typical American household.
It is thus a sad travesty that the very values that made America are the very values which the American left seeks to reject. Increasingly values of individualism are being made subservient to the goals of an individual’s racial group. In the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd, America, rightfully so, rushed to assuage the sentiments of the African American community and other communities that America perceived as being vulnerable to racial profiling. The ensuing discussion gradually gravitated towards improving representation of Black & Hispanic communities in American institutions. However, in this drive, the rush to placate superseded the urge to debate. Scant attention was paid to the diversity of views within America’s Black & Hispanic community on how individual excellence can be further promoted in their communities.
Instead, the American left subjected these communities to a soft bigotry of low expectations. They have assumed that America’s black and Hispanic communities need not meet the same standards as other communities for being represented in institutions of excellence. Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a school that finds itself at the top of American National Rankings, has announced plans to alter their selection process to boost representation of black and Hispanic students in their schools. A meritocratic society driven by the pursuit of excellence has gradually become infatuated with the pursuit of diversity. Proponents of this new vision believe in a one size fits all approach for overcoming prejudice in American society. There has been minimal debate on the barriers to entry faced by America's black and hispanic communities and how they might vary from place to place. Instead of reform, Americans are being compelled to abandon a time tested system that has encouraged Diversity of individual thought. It should then come as no surprise that Americans today have lost confidence in the American dream and are desperately looking for help. They do not feel that they live in the same America that their parents so dearly loved and they are right. America’s pursuit of individual freedom, individual liberty and individual excellence was the hallmark of its greatness. America can bounce back. America can be great again. All it has to do is go back to being the America I knew.
Aditya Menon is a budding societal commentator and a military affairs aficionado. He can be reached at email@example.com