America First, Race Second
Some years ago, I was invited to a friend’s family barbecue. As we ate generous servings of chicken, hot dogs and mashed potatoes, a boxing match was taking place. The father of the family, being an apparent fan of boxing, followed the match eagerly as the two gladiators bobbed and weaved on his television screen. Though not a huge fan of boxing, I followed the rest of the family as they also sat down to observe the event.
It was between an American boxer of caucasian decent, and a foreign boxer of african decent. The father, being both black and American, had two obvious choices for his allegiance. Who did he pick to root for?
“Give ’em the stars and stripes!”
“Show ’em how we do things in America!”
He hooted and hollered at the television set, willing the American to victory. It was clear what choice he made. He decided he was an American first, and a black person second. Because it was a popular fight, there must’ve been similar scenarios all across America. White families gathered and rooted for the American yelling just as loudly. Hispanic families celebrated every punch the American boxer landed. Asian families, jewish families, people of all colors looked at their television screen and saw someone with whom they could identify in a struggle for survival, and found their only option was to lend him their enthusiastic support.
The choice that all these people made was a matter of allegiance. They chose America first, race second. That is the great unifying power of America.
But there is a major problem facing America today, and we find that problem in identity politics. Identity politicians are people who owe their allegiance to something other than America first, and try to use that as a way to drum up votes. Right now, we have a political candidate running for office on his “blackness”. For all of his life, he has shown his race to be his primary allegiance. He even wrote a book about it called, “Dreams from my father: A story of race and inheritance”. When he got into political trouble over his anti-american pastor, he again tried to redirect the focus in the direction of race, giving an “historic” speech. And when his critics bring legitimate criticisms against him, he responds by turning to race again, most recently saying,
“It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy. We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid. They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?“
Many of his supporters share this belief. They would rather vote for someone based on their race than someone who would actually be good for America. That is a very big problem, bigger even than the current debacle with Obama. Obama is merely taking advantage of a trend. Even more disturbing is that Obama isn’t even the race he pretends to be. He’s Arab American, not African American. He’s 50% caucasian, 43.75% arabic, and 6.25% african. One has to be at least 12.5% of a particular race to be recognized as a member of that race, according to federal law. The way he has manipulated many black Americans into identifying with him, and thus, subsequently voting for him is perverse and a sign of a sickness within our society.
The solution is to remind people who they are. We are Americans first. Our race and our heritage is important. It helps define us, makes us unique and diverse as a people – an American people. But what we must always remember, is that it was America who took us in, either from birth or by adoption and has given us the amazing opportunities that we’ve had. And it was America too, that has formed much of our culture, our identity in the world and our very being as individuals.
I know I for one am an American first. And when I saw an American struggling to survive in a boxing match, I couldn’t help but identify with him. When he took blow after he blow, he appeared to be finished, but he got up anyways and kept fighting. And when he won by a split decision, I was there, jumping up and down celebrating with my friend, his father, and the rest of the family. After all, I’m an American too.