A Stolen Country or that Old Black Magic?
Whenever a person talks about "their country was stolen," and now they're determined to "take their country back," any thinking person should wonder what in the world the individuals and groups who make those statements are talking about, especially when their stolen country refers to the United States. For too long too many commentators and political pundits have hee-hawed and performed pseudo-sophisticated verbal dances around this issue. But any conscious, thinking person knows that those statements come loaded with racial overtones.
Most of the people and groups who make those statements refer to the so-called political agenda that President Obama has for the nation--as if his programs have some sort of secret, underhanded, nefarious bent to them. They claim the President's domestic and foreign programs have, somehow, so altered the fabric of the nation, not only in a dogmatic sense, but in an impractical one as well, so as to have the affect of making the country less American. What's interesting here is how situations take on a different meaning when a horse of a different color occupies the Oval Office.
What do I mean? Republicans, conservatives, and others, railed against the policies of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. But never did you hear their detractors--and there were many--claim those men "stole their country" and they were thus determined to "take it back." One has only to take a look at all the bigoted, vitriolic language and racist propaganda hurled at the President through the outlandish caricatures and the like to see what's really behind all the take my country back verbiage. And what kind of a country do they longingly want restored and returned?
The man who would be speaker of the house, John Boehner, has talked about returning to the America that he grew up in. Well, Mr. Boehner grew up in the 1950's and '60's. Anyone who knows anything about American history knows those decades saw black people enjoying the fruits of second- and third-class citizenship, and in certain parts of the nation still hunted and killed like wild animals; women still walked around in the gluttonous shadow of men; and other groups with no European root were routinely cast to the side and polarized because they looked and sounded "funny." Oh yes, those were the days that we long to have once again to make us feel all right. But just who exactly constitutes that we?
Simple deduction tells us who comprises that number. They know who they are and too many of them are emphatically proud of it--as if some Providential golden throne, by heredity, awaits them here and now because they were born white in America--especially so in reference to white men. One might call this "The Fallacy of the Founding Fathers." For it's patently evident that the kind of paternalistic society they were a part of is reflected throughout the Constitution with, sometimes, bombastic clarity. Perhaps the central point of this fallacy surrounds the implied belief that the nation would remain in the governance of white men forever.
The irony to that belief lies in the fact that the framing of the nation itself--as a republican democracy--practically assures that through chance, circumstance, and fate, the overall makeup of the nation would change. What has happened in the United States since slavery was abolished is a natural progression of a society, like so many others, straining to live up to its ideals. Those opposing such progress find themselves at startling odds with themselves, since most of them agree that progress for any nation on all levels is critical to that nation's survival. But maybe not, because too many of them yearn for those good ol' days when the country sported a much different look.