The Evil that Men do
Americans are quick to try and point out just how wonderful we are as a country and how the example we set to the world should be followed without question but what we forget is that America never started out that way and it only became what it is today from those who were of influence and authority, finally choosing to learn from history so as not to repeat it. The width of history is great and it expands over billions of years. In order to achieve a more perfect union, those of us willing must be courageous enough to take apart our history and restore it one piece at a time. History is far too vast to fix in one setting which is why it takes generations upon generations to pick up where the previous generation left off. One clear example of this is discrimination.
We are well aware of the history when it comes to slaves and the plight of Native Americans but what we may not know or realize is that African-Americans and Native Americans have something in common that no other group shares. Both groups are listed in the U. S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Blacks are considered ¾ a person in the U. S. Constitution and Native Americans are labeled as "merciless Indian savages” in the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps this is why these two groups among all others are still viewed as less than an unworthy of. Perhaps to truly address this part of the vast part of history, those a part of these groups must first see themselves as equal to and worthy of. Discrimination may have been elevated with these groups but it also had a great effect on other groups.
According to an article titled “History of antisemitism in the United States” taken from wikipedia.org, it is reported that “the first governmental incident of anti-Jewish sentiment was recorded during the American Civil War, when General Ulysses S. Grant issued an order (quickly rescinded by President Abraham Lincoln) of expulsion against Jews from the portions of Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi under his control. In the first half of the 20th century, Jews were discriminated against in some employment, not allowed into some social clubs and resort areas, given a quota on enrollment at colleges, and not allowed to buy certain properties”. So before you begin to want your country back, check your DNA, you may find that you know more about discrimination than you thought or was told.
According to an article titled “When Italian immigrants were 'the other' by Ed Falco for CNN, he writes that “the largest mass lynching in U.S. history took place in New Orleans in 1891 — and it wasn't African-Americans who were lynched, as many of us might assume. It was Italian-Americans. After nine Italians were tried and found not guilty of murdering New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessy, a mob dragged them from the jail, along with two other Italians being held on unrelated charges, and lynched them all. The lynchings were followed by mass arrests of Italian immigrants throughout New Orleans, and waves of attacks against Italians nationwide.
What was the reaction of our country's leaders to the lynchings? Teddy Roosevelt, not yet president, famously said they were "a rather good thing." The response in The New York Times was worse. A March 16, 1891, editorial referred to the victims of the lynchings as "... sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins." An editorial the next day argued that: "Lynch law was the only course open to the people of New Orleans. ..."
John Parker, who helped organize the lynch mob, later went on to be governor of Louisiana. In 1911, he said of Italians that they were "just a little worse than the Negro, being if anything filthier in [their] habits, lawless, and treacherous." So again America, before you begin to want your country back, check you’re DNA, you may find that you know more about discrimination than you thought or was told.
Funny how these things happen but there is only one lesson. Learn from history or continue to repeat it and if the choice is to repeat, then maybe you have your answer as to why this country seems to be falling apart and it has very little to do with the Pledge of Allegiance in our schools.