The essential element that my friend and the black leftists have missed is that what binds us together as Americans is not shared blood, race, ethnicity, or tribe; it is the unshakable belief in certain universal principles. The American experience is not attached to men who were flawed, but is instead fixed to ideas that remain flawless. The institutions and symbols of America are reflective of the revolutionary idea that all men are the property of God, created with an equal right to life, liberty, private property, and the free pursuit of bettering their station in life. Martin Luther King, Jr., put it more succinctly: “The American dream reminds us…that every man is an heir of the legacy of dignity and worth.”
All of us, whether our ancestors arrived through the gates of Ellis Island or survived travel through the Middle Passage are heirs to that grand idea. It is this idea that animates true conservatism and moreover, it is ONLY that idea—those principles—that made possible the huge gains that black Americans have made in this country and indeed in the world. It is, perhaps, also the reason that more Africans have freely chosen to come to America than were ever imported in slave ships.
In response to my friend, all Americans should ask: If not America, where? If not American symbols, which symbols? If not American institutions, which institutions will do? If not the principles of the American founding, upon which principles do the black left propose to build a new America—an America they can “idolize” and “get choked up about”?
Ask Van Jones.
These forward-thinking paragons, nursed on the mother’s-milk of Marx and Mao, would build their new America on the bedrock of economic redistribution and racial favoritism. I believe we tried that once in this country…
Joseph is perhaps best known for the role of Lt. Martin Kendall, Lisa Bonet’s husband, on the hit series The Cosby Show. He was also a three time NAACP Image Award Nominee for his portrayal of Attorney Justus Ward on the Daytime Drama General Hospital. For two seasons he appeared as Mayor Morgan Douglas on the CBS series The District, recurred as Marcus Johnson on the hit CBS series Without a Trace and most recently appeared as JT Morse on the Fox Series, Vanished. Mr. Phillips is also a syndicated columnist. His column “The Way I see It” appears weekly in more than 30 publications across the country.