Hunterdon County Federated Republican Women Uncategorized Thoughts on America’s Birthday 2022

Thoughts on America’s Birthday 2022

As one of the original 13 colonies, New Jersey representatives signed the Declaration of Independence, which was adopted on July 4th, 1776 and reads as follows:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. . . .

The Declaration than goes on to list the grievances suffered by the colonies at the hands of the King of England, which drove them to seek independence. The signers pledged their lives, fortunes, and Sacred Honor to support the Declaration, relying on the protection of Divine Providence.

From the settlement of the first colony, America has been a beacon of hope, initially for Pilgrims who sought to escape religious persecution, to the present day, in which immigrants flock here to seek economic opportunity. Like the human beings which inhabit it, America is imperfect, struggling to reach its goals, sometimes succeeding, occasionally failing, but always striving to be better.

Approximately three-quarters of a million Americans died in a Civil War less than 100 years after signing of the Declaration of Independence, to end the horror of slavery. After the Civil War, African Americans continued to suffer from oppression, particularly in the then Democrat-controlled South under “Jim Crow” laws, which segregated the races and enshrined discrimination. Progress could not be stopped though. Whites and blacks served together in the military fighting two World Wars. They marched and bled together in the 1960s to force the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The aptly named Supreme Court decision of Loving vs. Virginia was issued in 1967, striking down state laws which banned interracial marriages. The 1970s marked the start of the post-civil rights movement era, during which African Americans made great strides in academia, business, and politics. In 1983, Martin Luther King Day was declared the first new federal holiday since the 1940s by President Reagan. During his tenure from 1993 – 2001, President Clinton focused on issues of equality and issued an apology to the families of 399 black men impacted by the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, in which the public health service failed to inform them of their diagnosis or provide them with treatment for syphilis to study the long-term effects of the disease. President George W. Bush appointed more people of color to top-tier cabinet roles than any other president, naming General Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to lead the State Department, among other cabinet members. Americans of all races, creeds, and colors came together in solidarity after the tragedy of 9-11. In 2008, we elected our first black President, Barack Obama, who was re-elected to a second term in 2012. In 2018, President Trump signed a prison reform law which had been lobbied for by civil rights leaders for years. One year later, President Trump pledged that the federal government would permanently provide funding of more than $250 million annually to the nation’s historically black universities. In short, our county has made incredible progress towards the goal of upholding equality and liberty for all.

Race-baiters, such as Nikole Sheri Hannah-Jones and Ibram X. Kendi, ignore the enormous advancements made in race relations over the past 150 years and seek to demonize America in the present day for long-ago outlawed crimes against humanity. According to the Center for Global Justice, there are as many as forty million people still living in various forms of bondage today, including domestic servitude, forced labor, child labor, debt bondage, forced marriage, human trafficking, and descent-based slavery, in other parts of the world. Yet, it is only America which continues to be labeled by some as systemically racist.

Why focus on America when the evil of slavery still exists in the world? Because the United States is a shining example of the success of capitalism, which has raised more people out of abject poverty than any other political or economic system. Given the high standards of living in the United States, Americans have never developed a strong sense of class consciousness. Most citizens believe in the American dream: that one can transcend their origins through hard work. It was thus difficult for Marxist intellectuals to agitate for a workers’ revolution here. Now, neo-Marxists are taking another crack at it by implementing “critical theories,” which uses several intersectional groups, rather than economic class as a method of dividing citizens for the purpose of deconstructing classical liberal, Western institutions and replacing them with an atheist, Marxist value system.

The “Critical Social Justice” movement divides society into different groups based upon race, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, and disability. Purveyors of the critical theories believe in the collective guilt of all members of the supposed oppressor class, regardless of their individual innocence, and encourage “separate spaces” for people of color. In other words, these theories make generalizations based upon immutable characteristics – exactly the type of discrimination the civil rights movement sought to stamp out. Such segregation and collective guilt violate the basic principles of justice and equality enshrined in the Constitution and undermines our strength as one nation.

The adherents of this movement do not hide their true goal.  Kendi openly states, “In order to truly be antiracist, you also have to truly be anti-capitalist.”   Their aim not simply to teach a complete and accurate history of the injustices which occurred in the United States. Rather, the goal is to divide us as a country, to facilitate the tearing down our core institutions, including capitalism, to create an unattainable, utopian vision of absolute equity.

It is undeniable that there are still ignorant people in the world who are racists, sexists, and homophobic. Such discrimination was outlawed long ago, and we must continue to fight against it wherever it rears its ugly head. Civil rights attorneys around the country are prepared to file lawsuits against on behalf of victims and to overturn any laws or policies which discriminate based on an immutable characteristic. However, doing battle against specific instances of injustice is a far different proposition than dividing all of society by hierarchies of intersectional groups, for the purpose of tearing down our institutions.

The Critical Social Justice movement uses the buzz word “equity” in the curriculum it has been pushing on corporations and educational institutions. The term seems to be an innocuous, and even laudable goal for society. However, it requires a deeper analysis to understand why it is not. The American founding fathers specifically used the term “equality” rather than “equity” in the Declaration and Constitution. While the words sound similar, their meanings are very different. Equality under the law refers to the protection of the rights of the individual. By contrast, those who seek equity are concerned with collective groups of people and believe that justice is only achieved when every group has attained the same outcome, as opposed to being provided the same opportunity. Regardless of their skin color, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, all individuals have unique skill sets, intelligence levels, natural talents, upbringings, social, financial advantages/disadvantages, and aspirations. Absolute equity of outcome is thus virtually impossible to track. It is even harder to achieve.

Since absolute equity can never occur naturally, it may only be attained by sheer force – taking from one individual and giving it to another. It is therefore the antithesis of the traditional American notion of equality and freedom — and will necessarily result in totalitarianism. The Marxist goal of equity attributes malice to all members of the supposed “oppressor class,” with or without evidence, and requires active discrimination based on skin color and/or sexual orientation to alleviate unproven discrimination. Massive government power would thus be necessary to achieve equity through race-based redistribution of wealth, active discrimination, suppression of free speech of those who disagree, and omnipotent bureaucratic authority to carry it out.

The American experiment started with the principal that all men were “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” meaning that our rights emanate from God, by virtue of our membership in the human race. Our rights to life, liberty, and happiness are thus not granted by any government. In Federalist paper no. 51, James Madison pointed out that “if men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Since the potential for evil runs through every human heart, it is necessary to establish law administered by government, to protect citizens from one another and secure our rights. However, we must always guard against the government gaining too much power, especially in the hands of unelected bureaucrats, who are not accountable to the people. If those who believe in the Marxist goal of “equity” continue to accrue power in our government, I fear that citizens who believe in individual rights and responsibilities will seek to “throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their security.” Let us hope that this drastic step is unnecessary so that America may continue being that bright, shining city on the hill, providing freedom and prosperity to all.

Happy Birthday America!  You are still the last, best hope on earth and worth fighting for.

Lisa Pezzano Mickey

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