We’re All Americans? Where’s That?
If we’re all Americans, then why are some of us “Confederate Southern Americans“? If we need a box on the Census form where we can check off “American” as our race — not white or black or Latino, etc. — then why was (before he issued a politically necessary apology) Bob McDonnell’s “Confederate History Month” intended only for Virginians who are white and whose ancestors were white? How can the same conservative base that decries “identity politics” when the “identity” being defined as purely “political” is “female” or “African American,” find nothing remarkable or objectionable in a “Confederate History Month” that omits any mention of slavery? If identifying as the descendant of slaves is divisive, is it equally divisive to identify as the descendant of Southern whites who, slave-owners or not, benefited from the system of white supremacy under which they lived? And if not, why not?
One of Steve Benen’s readers takes the thought right out of my head:
Republicans frequently scoff and belittle such things as “Black History Month”, “Women’s History Month,” or “Gay/Lesbian History Month” and libburul Political Correctness run amok. “We’re all Americans,” they loudly proclaim, “Why divide us along these lines? You all just revel in your victimhood.” So now we see this?
Bottom line: It’s a lot easier to declare, “We are all Americans” and to identify your race or ethnicity as “American” on the Census form than it is to make our country one in which we actually are “one people, with liberty and justice for all.”
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