Flushing 1776 Down the Memory Hole

 

Elections have consequences, and President Biden has decided that one consequence of the election that shall not be questioned is the elevation of the “America is systemically racist” falsehood to holy writ. He has appropriately chosen former UN Ambassador Susan Rice to lead that charge. The execrable Ms. Rice demonstrated her ability to lie to the nation  (and save Obama and Clinton’s bacon) on all five Sunday News Shows after the September 11, 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks and the murder of our ambassador by claiming it was caused by an anti-Islamic video promulgated by an obscure Christian pastor. She was rewarded for that perfidy by being appointed National Security Advisor in 2013, and was a loyal staffer joining in the “unmasking” of General Flynn and the successful efforts of the Obama administration to sabotage and delegitimize President Trump. She was a finalist for the Vice-Presidency in 2020, which Biden promised would be awarded to a woman of color. Rice has been appointed domestic policy czar, where she will lead the efforts to promote racial “equity” by “unmasking” systemic racism, enacting racial preferences for certain favored minorities, and initiating racial and gender profiling against Republican/conservative heterosexual white males, otherwise known as domestic terrorists and white supremacists (beta tested on the national guard occupying the nation’s capital for at least the next 2 years).

President Trump saw this coming (it was evident to anyone who paid attention to Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the 1619 Project, the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, CBS, ABC and the ravings of Reps. Waters, Presley, Talib, Omar and Cortez) and empaneled the 1776 Commission to promote an alternative narrative- that America was founded in liberty as opposed to racism.  The panel was chaired by Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn and Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science (Emerita) Carol Swain (a woman of color, but not of the correct political persuasion to enjoy approved BIPOC status), and also included eminent historian Victor Davis Hanson,  Charles Kessler of the Claremont Institute, Peter Kirsanow (another politically incorrect BIPOC) of the US Civil Rights Commission, and , ex officio, Secretary of State (and West Point valedictorian) Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (and retired brain surgeon) Ben Carson (yet another un PC BIPOC). 

The 1776 report was issued in January and was summarized by CNN with the following “objective” headline: “Trump administration issues racist school curriculum report on MLK day”. The definition of racism used to be making decisions about people based on the color of their skin as opposed to the content of their character. Now, it is any dissent from progressive dogma and critical race theory. One of President Biden’s first actions was to cancel the commission and flush the 1776 down the Orwellian memory hole,

Here are a few excerpts from the 1776 report. 

Racism and Identity Politics 

The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, passed after the Civil War, brought an end to legal slavery. Blacks enjoyed a new equality and freedom, voting for and holding elective office in states across the Union. But it did not bring an end to racism, or to the unequal treatment of blacks everywhere. 

Despite the determined efforts of the postwar Reconstruction Congress to establish civil equality for freed slaves, the postbellum South ended up devolving into a system that was hardly better than slavery. The system enmeshed freedmen in relationships of extreme dependency, and used poll taxes, literacy tests, and the violence of vigilante groups like the Ku Klux Klan to prevent them from exercising their civil rights, particularly the right to vote. Jim Crow laws enforced the strict segregation of the races, and gave legal standing in some states to a pervasive subordination of blacks. 

It would take a national movement composed of people from different races, ethnicities, nationalities, and religions to bring about an America fully committed to ending legal discrimination. 

The Civil Rights Movement culminated in the 1960s with the passage of three major legislative reforms affecting segregation, voting, and housing rights. It presented itself, and was understood by the American people, as consistent with the principles of the founding. “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir,” Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his “I Have a Dream” speech. “This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It seemed, finally, that America’s nearly two-century effort to realize fully the principles of the Declaration had reached a culmination. But the heady spirit of the original Civil Rights Movement, whose leaders forcefully quoted the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the rhetoric of the founders and of Lincoln, proved to be short-lived. The Civil Rights Movement was almost immediately turned to programs that ran counter to the lofty ideals of the founders. The ideas that drove this change had been growing in America for decades, and they distorted many areas of policy in the half century that followed. Among the distortions was the abandonment of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity in favor of “group rights” not unlike those advanced by Calhoun and his followers. The justification for reversing the promise of color-blind civil rights was that past discrimination requires present effort, or affirmative action in the form of preferential treatment, to overcome long-accrued inequalities. Those forms of preferential treatment built up in our system over time, first in administrative rulings, then executive orders, later in congressionally passed law, and finally were sanctified by the Supreme Court. Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. Today, far from a regime of equal natural rights for equal citizens, enforced by the equal application of law, we have moved toward a system of explicit group privilege that, in the name of “social justice,” demands equal results and explicitly sorts citizens into “protected classes” based on race and other demographic categories. 

Eventually this regime of formal inequality would come to be known as “identity politics.” The stepchild of earlier rejections of the founding, identity politics (discussed in Appendix III) values people by characteristics like race, sex, and sexual orientation and holds that new times demand new rights to replace the old. This is the opposite of King’s hope that his children would “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” and denies that all are endowed with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Identity politics makes it less likely that racial reconciliation and healing can be attained by pursuing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream for America and upholding the highest ideals of our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence.

Identity Politics

Conclusion

Identity politics is fundamentally incompatible with the principle of equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. 

Proponents of identity politics rearrange Americans by group identities, rank them by how much oppression they have experienced at the hands of the majority culture, and then sow division among them. While not as barbaric or dehumanizing, this new creed creates new hierarchies as unjust as the old hierarchies of the antebellum South, making a mockery of equality with an ever-changing scale of special privileges on the basis of racial and sexual identities. The very idea of equality under the law—of one nation sharing King’s “solid rock of brotherhood”—is not possible and, according to this argument, probably not even desirable. 

All Americans, and especially all educators, should understand identity politics for what it is: rejection of the principle of equality proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. As a nation, we should oppose such efforts to divide us and reaffirm our common faith in the fundamental equal right of every individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Read the whole report for yourself. If you agree with President Biden and Ambassador Rice, applaud it’s flushing down the memory hole. If not, deliver a copy to your local school board and tell President Biden, Ambassador Rice and the systemic racism hustlers to pound sand.

The report can be accessed at https://tinyurl.com/y3cb4qln

Jon Reisman is an associate professor of economics and public policy at the University of Maine at Machias. His views are his own. Mr. Reisman welcomes comments as letters to the editor here, or to him directly via email at [email protected].

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