The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that all men are created equal, but
looking through human history, we see examples of groups of people not treating
other groups equally. As Americans, we act like “it only happens here,” for
better or worse, and hear people all over the world berating America’s sordid,
racially divided past. But guess what— most countries are much, much worse.
Australia’s discrimination against Aborigines, France’s and Germany’s treatment
of Muslim immigrants, Africans’ wholesale slaughter of fellow Africans from
other tribes, China’s oppression of its non-Han minorities, Japan’s underlying
prejudice against all gaijin, and so on and so forth.
This doesn’t excuse America’s past or current behaviors; instead, it serves as an illustration that this is a longstanding human problem, one that America addresses quite publicly for the world to see, and a problem we have overcome quite remarkably. America has been upfront about its race problems, even if it makes us uncomfortable. This is commendable, and demonstrates that America continues to address her problems and has used the ideal that “All men are created equal” as our ultimate goal, expanding the idea well past its original scope to include the entirety of humanity.
The virtues we learn from evils of racism are tolerance and patience. Tolerance for others and patience in realizing that no matter how far we’ve come, there’s still work to do, and patience in not falling into the depressing belief that everything is worse today than it was or should be.
Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside.