Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, February 5, 2020
In December, I wrote that pioneers, not immigrants, built this country. Last night, the president said the same thing.
“The American nation was carved out of the vast frontier by the toughest, strongest, fiercest, and most determined men and women ever to walk on the face of the Earth,” said President Trump at the State of the Union address. “Our ancestors braved the unknown, tamed the wilderness, [and] settled the Wild West,” among other accomplishments.
“This is our glorious and magnificent inheritance,” he said later. “We are Americans. We are pioneers. We are the pathfinders. We settled the new world, we built the modern world, and we changed history forever by embracing the eternal truth that everyone is made equal by the hand of almighty God.”
Leaving aside President Trump’s nod to egalitarianism, this is a Eurocentric view of American history. It’s also the correct view. Eurocentrism usually is. Until very recently, American leaders took it for granted that this was a white country.
The traditional view of American history begins with Christopher Columbus and European settlements in the New World, continues with the Revolution, and triumphantly culminates with our conquest of the West, Manifest Destiny, and ultimately, superpower status. In The Death of the West Pat Buchanan wrote, “Not long ago, stories of the pioneers, soldiers, settlers, and cowboys who ‘won the West’ and tamed a continent in a historic struggle against an unforgiving nature, outlaws, and Indians were the stuff of books, films, and TV shows that enthralled not only Americans, but the rest of the world as well.” Last night, President Trump cited heroes such as Davy Crockett who made his last stand at “the beautiful, beautiful Alamo.”
Unfortunately, in Mr. Buchanan’s words, “the revisionists have done their work.” Today “revisionists” hold cultural power, and they heaped scorn on President Trump’s patriotic view.
“Beautiful, beautiful Alamo.”
“Tamed the wilderness.”
Uh huh. #SOTU
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) February 5, 2020
“Tamed the wilderness”
— FemiNaker (@FeministaJones) February 5, 2020
Trump at #SOTU: “Our ancestors braved the unknown, tamed the wilderness, settled the Wild West.”
White people were also so afraid of black people they created white-only communities known as sundown towns.
— Logan Jaffe (@loganjaffe) February 5, 2020
By “tamed the wilderness,” he means destroyed existing cultures, killed countless native people, and exploited the stolen land, yes? Just so we’re clear.
— Amy Lupold Bair (@ResourcefulMom) February 5, 2020
Countless non-verified users were more blunt. To give just one example:
” tamed the wilderness, settled the wild west, lifted millions from poverty and hunger “
If that aint some racist cracka shit, I don’t know what is.
— MGB 🇱🇾🇵🇸☪️ PRO B.D.S. (@MGermaineB) February 5, 2020
“In his retelling of history, the president not only erased the millions of Native peoples prior to Columbus’s arrival in 1492, but suggested that their lands, livelihoods, and existence were something to be tamed and conquered,” said Vox’s Jessica Machado. She wrote that “Trump also completely erased slavery.” She added scare quotes to America’s “founding,” and unconsciously echoing Pat Buchanan, called the President’s history “revisionist.”
She may be right. We’re the revisionists today, opposing the “mainstream.” Leftists control most media outlets and universities. They say European settlement of the “New World” (with scare quotes) was a tragedy, not a triumph. “America” itself is illegitimate and “stolen land.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argues that because Hispanics are “descendants of native people,” they should enjoy immunity from immigration laws. “The 1619 Project,” now part of the curriculum in some public schools, defines America by slavery, not freedom.
President Trump threw a sop to The Declaration’s egalitarianism. Devoid of context, “all men are created equal” deconstructs American identity. Universal equality can’t be reconciled with any national identity or individual merit.
Leftists believe America is and always was racist and oppressive, and are no longer afraid to say it. “Now, it’s routine to hear Democratic presidential candidates question the basic legitimacy of the United States,” said Tucker Carlson. Yet leftists still claim an American identity.
For example, Ilhan Omar claims — in some sense — to represent America.
This is what America looks like 🏽 pic.twitter.com/4NCDdxJsql
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 5, 2020
However, she also says “our nation” was “founded by genocide” and is powerful because of “neocolonialism.”
We must confront that our nation was founded by genocide and we maintain global power through neocolonialism. https://t.co/KAcXjqUw7u
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) August 17, 2017
The two opposing views of American history capture an essential truth. Few non-whites feel emotional loyalty to the white, traditional American nation. This is natural. Would Mexican immigrants say “we” won the Mexican war? Would blacks identify with Robert E. Lee or Nat Turner? For that matter, if you’re white, would you thrill to Jean-Jacques Dessalines or Robert Mugabe?
Racial conflict defined American history, and race consciousness defined American identity. Peter Brimelow correctly observed that for “most of U.S. history” whites “would simply have been called ‘Americans.’” Many leftists recognize this, but are angry about it. Too many conservatives don’t see it, or at least pretend not to.
Is there a way out? Can blacks and Hispanics ever understand they are better off because whites conquered the continent and created the United States? They move here in the millions, and those who are here stay. Can we set aside past conflicts and just be “American” — maybe even indulge in “noble lies” about Martin Luther King Jr. to forge a colorblind identity?
Whites have tried to do that in their bumbling, naive way. It’s minorities who, more than ever, hang their identities on race. Consider the “Spanish-language rebuttal to the State of the Union” delivered by Rep. Veronica Escobar. That there can even be such a thing shows American identity is hopelessly fragmented.
Rep. Escobar said “no one is above the law” but criticized President Trump for trying to enforce immigration laws. If “no one is above the law,” Rep. Escobar would probably not be one of the first two female Hispanics representing Texas in Congress, carried into office by demographic change. She claimed that before he opened fire, the El Paso mass murderer posted a statement “like the very words used by President Trump.” And finally, she accused the President of betraying the national faith. After asserting that “our diversity makes us stronger,” she complained that “the president clearly does not share this belief.”
What rational person can? You can’t both celebrate and revile American history. You can’t claim American identity while demanding special privileges and racial exemptions. You can’t claim we are a united people when we can’t speak the same language. You can’t have a real country if elections are just a racial headcount.
President Trump’s State of the Union address identified the central issue in American politics. Who defines this country? From the beginning, whites did, and WASPs were the cultural core. Like any nation, America’s purpose is to survive, grow strong, and pass a “glorious and magnificent inheritance” to each generation. Our right to survive doesn’t vanish just because our opponents think our inheritance is “white privilege.”
President Trump is right. My fellow Americans, we are pioneers and settlers, not migrants and slaves. We’re rebels and revolutionaries, explorers and empire-builders. If we are worthy of our heritage, we will not let anyone steal our destiny.