America's sins

By Paul Moomjean 07/17/2014

 

Another Fourth of July has come and gone. Fireworks have been shot in the air to celebrate our independence from the British Empire 238 times since 1776. Imagine how many hot dogs and hamburgers have been sold on America’s birthday. Imagine how many beers have been downed since we made the colonies our home. Imagine how many clothing and car sales have gone on since the 20th century. And imagine how difficult it is to be a hard-core liberal in America on her birthday if you believe that America’s birth brought death to the Native Americans, stole land from the Mexican people, was solely responsible for slavery, and that capitalism is essentially another word for imperialism. With a 200-plus-year record of being such a terrible nation according to the Howard Zinns and Bill Ayerses of the world, political and religious scholar Dinesh D’Souza is trying to rewrite the post-modern worldview about America created by the academic and socialist crowd.


With both a book and a movie titled America: Imagine a World Without Her out right now, and both doing extremely well to boot, D’Souza is attempting to undo the damage created by baby boomers that look at America as a nation not worth preserving. D’Souza takes on Zinn’s populist rewriting of U.S. history, Saul Alinsky and his community organizing, Ayers’ domestic terrorism, and how Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been influenced by these ideas and actions. While hyperbole explodes from the screen and printed page, D’Souza is really about getting people to ask this question: “If America is so bad, then why did this new narrative take so long to be created?”


In truth, America’s sins have been more on display today than 60 years ago. A teenager in 1950s America would have fully supported the wars America participated in, but today’s teenager would only see America as an oil-hungry, racist, and non-empathetic empire. As a U.S. history and English teacher myself, I can see how students see America’s role in the world, and they appear to believe America is the problem, not the solution. When they ask me my opinion, I tend to take the higher road and tell them that my opinions can be found online, and if they want to discuss war, racism and capitalism further, I’m available after school. The biased professor and teacher is the worst kind of teacher so I will never participate in that kind of lowbrow lecturing style. Conservatives have to take the high road. Unlike the Ayerses and Ward Churchills of the world, the classroom is not the pulpit, and teachers shouldn’t use the power of the blackboard to sway public opinion.


And that is exactly what has happened in America. Author after author, like David Horowitz of The Black Book of the American Left, have made a career pointing out why so many only focus on the half picture of America’s sins. It’s because the academic conclusions point to this lie. While America has a violent past, it was that past that fought to free the victims of slavery, fascism and communism and bring restitution to Native Americans. While America did participate in slavery, America also had soldiers die to end slavery. While America has had corruption through capitalism, America has prosecuted the Enron leaders, and through capitalism all of us are able to work and provide for ourselves and our families. Socialism didn’t create inventions. Capitalism did.


Americans must rebuild their faith in their country’s ideals. Just as Martin Luther King Jr. did. When he felt oppressed by the system, he used the American language to change the future of the black community. He didn’t rebel with weapons; he revolutionized with American ideas. When Bill Clinton was born into a poor Southern family, he didn’t give up. Instead, Clinton used the freedoms he had to go to law school and became the president of the United States. Ironically, the artists, academics and entrepreneurs who bash America were the very souls who benefited from America.


America is falling fast. Hope is down terribly. There are no George Washingtons or Ronald Reagans right now. To get back to where we were, we must remember our past honestly. America’s sins cannot be ignored, but her ability to self-correct must never be forgotten.

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