Let’s admit America enslaved Africans till the 1860s. Let’s admit it has a long history of racism. But are slavery and racism somehow uniquely American as claimed in this article? Of course not. The fact is slavery did not start with America nor was it historically restricted to any particular race, religion, ethnic group, tribe, empire, or locale. The Arabs enslaved Black Africans and different Black African tribes enslaved one another hundreds of years before America came into existence. The Aztecs and Inca enslaved and sacrificed people from other tribes. The Greeks and Romans kept slaves. Slavery is mentioned in the Bible and Koran. Racial discrimination did not begin with the American colonists. India has a caste system that existed a thousand years before Jamestown and which has still not been entirely eradicated. What is unique about the US is not that it suffered the evils of slavery and racism that afflicted most other cultures, but that it conceived of the goal of achieving a society in which “all men are created equal”. That is the contribution made by founders of the United States. That the aspiration was extended to people of all races, religions, sexes, and ethnic groups is what is uniquely American. The ideal of judging individuals by the content of their character and not the color of their skin is the singularly American ideal. America is the one country that founded on the principles of fair treatment, freedom, civil rights, and economic opportunity for people of all races, sexes, religions, and ethnic backgrounds. It is the American Dream that people from any background can immigrate legally, embrace, American culture, and become full American citizens. Did the country always live up to those lofty goals? Was the dream always fulfilled? No. The reality was often at odds with the vision. Different ethnic groups and sets of new immigrants have experienced bias and discrimination. Still the United States emerged as the most diverse, but united, country in the world. It has a history full of horrible acts of racism and prejudice- no knowledge person could deny that. But its leadership and progress in combating hate and unequal treatment under law is also undeniable. From the Abolition movement to the Emancipation Proclamation to the Civil Rights Act to the election of Obama, the direction of improvement in race relations is clear. It is the Progressive Left and its allies that wants to force on us an identity politics under which people are judged by their race or ethnic background. This is divisive and antithetical to American ideals of equality and fair play. It should be seen as a huge step backward. So write about what happened 150 years ago and how unjust it was. But also look at how far we have come since then.

Mathematician, Statistician, Businessman, and Academic. Student of history, poli sci , and the Bible.

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