A Pledge of Non-Allegiance
To progressives, America belongs to everyone, everywhere. Non-whites often say basic civic symbols such as the national anthem or the flag are offensive. Now, even the Pledge of Allegiance is controversial, and the language of patriotism and assimilation is being used to write white Americans out of their own history.
The president of the Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) Board of Trustees recently announced he was discontinuing the pledge. “I have discovered,” said President Robert Miller, “that the Pledge of Allegiance has a history steeped in expressions of nativism and white nationalism.” Students had claimed that the pledge promoted “racial injustice,” and tried to stop its use. After negative publicity, the SBCC board reinstated the pledge, but vowed to study the matter further.
Perhaps not coincidentally, The Hill recently published a column about the pledge by Cesar Vargas from something called the Dream Action Coalition. Mr. Vargas called for “updating” the pledge so it no longer “stems from the fear of a white native-born Protestant culture.”
Mr. Vargas’s new pledge would be: “I pledge alliance and love to our indigenous and immigrant heritage, rooted in the United States of America, and to our civil rights for which we strive, one voice, one nation, for equality and justice for all.”
Mr. Vargas is not an American. He was an illegal who, through government irresponsibility, was not deported. He later managed to get a green card. This trespasser is not a citizen, and thus not even a “paper American.” His lecturing us on the meaning of our country is just as presumptuous as an American lecturing Mexicans on their real identity.
The pledge is no longer to the flag or to a republic but to our “indigenous and immigrant heritage.” There is no allegiance to a polity at all, but to a “heritage” that doesn’t even include the Founders. A pledge to “our indigenous and immigrant heritage” writes out every explorer, settler, and pioneer—that is to say, the European people who built the country to which others later immigrated.
Mr. Vargas does not celebrate immigrants becoming American, but their refusal to do so. He wrote in his article that “we” are united not by language, religion, or ethnicity but by a “vocal and legal commitment that every American stands as equal regardless of their immigration status, religion, sexual orientation, gender, race, disability, and so on.” The “so on” is thought-provoking. What might that include? Criminal record? Mental stability? Sex offender status? But let us consider the hilarious idea that every “American” is equal regardless of “immigration status.” Even legal immigrants are not Americans, and illegals are criminals by their very presence.
Mr. Vargas goes on to write that “we will pro-actively counter the danger that racism breeds.” His example of that danger—incredibly—is “white teenagers harassing a native American elder.”
When Americans say the pledge, Mr. Vargas wants them to “face each other” and the flag to show “we are represented by the red, white and blue but also by the colors of the world.” This would create an “intimate expression” and the solidarity needed to confront “global instability, xenophobia, discrimination, destructive climate change, [and] income inequality.” This is a pledge of allegiance, not to America, but to the world. It ignores any distinctively American identity in the name of fighting xenophobia and income inequality everywhere.
Significantly, Mr. Vargas wrote “liberty” out of the pledge and inserted the implicitly tyrannical “one voice.”
However, the Vargas pledge has a definite logic. The current pledge was written to encourage assimilation, something that is now a xenophobic offense. Those at SBCC dislike the pledge because it means “racial injustice”—that is, it harks back to a time when the United States was self-consciously white. Clearly, they would prefer the Vargas pledge.
The new multicultural, multiracial America is at unending war with the country’s past. Thus, Tom Brokaw recently groveled and apologized for suggesting that Hispanics should learn English and assimilate. Mr. Brokaw still seems to suffer from a certain old-fashioned liberal patriotism and didn’t realize he had committed treason against the new multicultural regime. He doesn’t understand that the main ingredient of American culture today is claims of victimization and racism—and that anything that counters or minimizes those claims is unAmerican. Non-whites, both immigrants and citizens, are not assimilating to an “American” ethos identified with the nation’s founders and history, but with the culture of victimization, dependence, and hatred for the American past.
Many white Americans seem willing to put up with demographic or cultural transformation so long as new non-whites majorities preserve the symbols and rituals of the old America. Whites still have the flag, the pledge, and the Constitution, even if they are stripped of meaning. Yet non-whites are so radicalized that they are increasingly unable to tolerate even these symbols because they know everything genuinely American is also white. At the same time, racism has been defined so expansively that every white person is “racist” even if he constantly apologizes and quotes Martin Luther King.
A country cannot survive when loyalty becomes a liability. Opposition to the flag, the pledge, the Founders, and the entire American past will only increase. Yet there is a silver lining. This opposition implicitly recognizes what white advocates have said all along—America was created to be a white European nation, “for ourselves and our posterity.” It’s unfair to expect non-whites to “pledge allegiance” to the Republic—they were never intended to be Americans at all.