Tribalism: We Do Not Want This, Mr. President!
The 55 delegates from various states that drew up our U.S. Constitution thereby replacing the Articles of Confederation were not perfect men. Their signed document was and remains imperfect. Furthermore, “We the people” were and are flawed and fallen creatures.
However, a civil war fought some eight decades later proved that many Americans were more than serious about our national struggle to live up to the principles and precepts of our great national document.
J. David Hacker, a demographic historian from Binghamton University in New York, conducted research on newly digitized census data from the 19th century recalculating the death toll of the Civil War. For over 100 years, the historic death tally has been approximately 620,000 men. Hacker’s new count reaches 750,000 men, and the staggering possibility of 850,000 soldiers.
And let us not forget the blood spilled in our War of Independence with Great Britain.
A River of Blood
A river of blood was spilled pursing “a more perfect Union.” Today in America, many negative voices with both grievance and grit call into question America’s founding aspirations.
Viruses and their variants can happen within schools of thought. Marx’s thinking on “Conflict Theory” mutated many times — finally shifting from class to color. A multi-ethic and multi-racial culture like America can withstand class warfare. Yet, with critical race theory (CRT) escaping from the lab of academia into the mainstream of public education, government, business, and military — the resulting tribalism is endangering our great nation.
Our President on Tribalism
On August 26, while responding to a follow-up question from Peter Doocy, Fox News White House Correspondent, President Biden included this comment about his decision to pull out of Afghanistan:
I have never been of the view that we should be sacrificing American lives to try to establish a democratic government in Afghanistan, a country that has never once in its entire history been a united country and is made up — and I don’t mean this in a derogatory — made up of different tribes who have never, ever, ever gotten along with one another, and so, as I said before, and this is the last comment I’ll make.
Again, the President on August 31 in his “End of War” speech briefly alluded to the historic tribalism of the Afghan people where unity and cohesion “that has never been done over the many centuries of Afghanistan’s history.”
Tellingly, our president correctly diagnosed the hateful and historic consequences of tribalism in Afghanistan. Tribalism prevents different groups from seeing and working together in building a healthy and happy nation. Valuable time, energy, and resources are spent fighting, blaming, finger-pointing, seeking revenge, and killing. With that understanding, why encourage it here at home?
Yet on his first day in the White House, President Biden rescinded the executive order of the previous administration that prohibited CRT training for federal agencies and federal contractors.
The New 1619 Variant
The Left has new textbooks and materials for pushing the negative narrative that systemic racism and white supremacy fueled the creation of America and has sustained our country for all these years.
Dr. Carol M. Swain, former tenured professor at Vanderbilt and Princeton universities, makes this very educated observation about the 1619 Project,
The 1619 Project is a misguided effort to keep open historical wounds while telling only half of the story. It is flawed because it is connected to critical race theory and the diversity-inclusion grievance industry that focuses on identity politics and division. Blaming today’s families for the mistakes of our ancestors is not a prescription for unifying the country or empowering racial and ethnic minorities.
Dr. Walter Williams, writing before his death in 2020 as the esteemed professor of economics at George Mason University, pushes against Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times Magazine and writer in the 1619 Project, saying she,
… fails to acknowledge that black Americans have made the greatest gains, over some of the highest hurdles, in the shortest span of time than any other racial group in mankind’s history. The evidence: If black Americans were thought of as a nation with our own gross domestic product, we’d rank among the 20 wealthiest nations. It was a black American, Gen. Colin Powell, who headed the world’s mightiest military. A few black Americans are among the world’s wealthiest. Black Americans are among the world’s most famous personalities.
Dr. Williams drives the point home.
The significance of this is that in 1865, neither a slave nor a slave owner would have believed that such progress would be possible in less than a century and a half, if ever. As such, it speaks to the intestinal fortitude of a people.
The 1619 Project, written by journalists and protested by many top historians, has taken the worst part of our history (slavery), and propagandized it into a negative narrative to reframe America’s history and self-identity. They contend that the American Revolution was principally fought to preserve chattel slavery.
1776 Unites is Pushing Back
Robert L. Woodson, Sr. is president of The Woodson Center and founder of the 1776 Unites project which seeks to build “a positive movement in response to the overwhelming narratives of oppression, grievance, and ignorance to America’s history — and its promise for the future.”
Mr. Woodson refers to the 1619 Project as “junk history” and he set about to enlist, “a group of black scholars, journalists, and social activists ‘who uphold the true origins of our nation and the principles through which its founding promise can be fulfilled.’”
Mr. Woodson foresees that tribalism would not be good for any American, nor our national future.
Mr. President, you clearly understand the terrible history of tribalism in Afghanistan, please see and correct the dangerous road our nation is now traveling. We do not want it!
Ron F. Hale is a Baptist pastor and writer and serves on the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee in Nashville, TN.