Whitespace E: On Unity in America
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- Whitespace E -

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- On Unity in America -

by Lincoln Sayger

1554 wds.
First published on Feb. 23, 2002

During the War Between the States, a wise man said that if the Union did not remain united, foreign powers would be tempted to slip in and take bits and pieces until there would be no Union at all. We may today face a similar situation. Disunity among the American people has grown to a level greater than any other in the history of the Union of sovereign States. It has grown greater than any discord America has ever seen. While today's discord is less explosive than some our nation has known, it is deeper, hotter, and more destructive. Now as then, the time is short until the situation may again be one where if we do not unite, foreign powers will have nothing to stop them from taking a little piece of Florida, a little piece of New England, a little piece of Texas, a little piece of Hawaii. This may not happen. We may pass that point and find ourselves under the complete control of another country. The ancient Greeks were easily conquered because they fought so much among themselves.

Americans today fight among themselves in attitude, in word, and in action. Regionalism, the cancer of large nations, has begun to eat at the fibers of our nation. Southerners consider only what benefits the South. The New English consider only what benefits New England. Left Coasters only consider what benefits California, Oregon, and Washington. The list could go on and on, with each region or State only considering what benefits its own populace.

There are exceptions, of course. There exists in every State a small pocket of Constitutionally minded people, but most of them want nothing to do with political office, and most of their neighbors refuse to vote for someone who cares about the nation as a whole. Their neighbors would rather have someone who will seek local benefits at national expense.

In any case, my friends, it is not the exceptions who need to change, so I will address them no further.

One of the greatest causes of disunity is that Americans have forgotten many basic facts of mathematics, and in doing so, they have forgotten a truth about governments and equality.

My friends, that misused word, equality, is the source of more disunity in this country than is racism. Racism exists primarily in the narrow-minded, but the warped notion of equality we have today has permeated all but the most discerning minds in our country.

The notion of equality we have today is not of every person having the same opportunities, of no person being denied a chance to make the most of those abilities with which God has endowed that person. The notion of equality we have today is of people who have ever been denied one chance -- and even many who have never been denied anything -- being given ten chances they could never earn on their own. That's not equality.

This may seem far removed from mathematics, so I will explain. Equality actually means that what is available is divided into protions of equal size. Contrast that with today's equality: What is available is divided into portions, but the portions given to socially acceptable minorities are larger than those given, if any are given, to those who do not fall into a privileged class.

My friends, this is the truth of what is occuring. We are not making things more equal; we are making things more unbalanced. If we really want to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and provide for the common defense, we are going to have to stop the tide of laws which claim to grant special rights to certain groups.

There are several problems with this practice, and I will explain some of them in detail.

First: governments cannot, by definition, give rights. Rights come from God. Governments only possess the ability to take rights, which is what every one of these pieces of legislation does; every bill which give special privileges -- be they called gay rights, animal rights, tree rights, or minority rights -- to some group does so at the expense of some individual's true God-given rights to life, liberty, and property. This, of course, is the second problem, and this is where the mathematics really illustrates the problem.

Every piece of legislation giving special privileges to some group of people takes away someone's proper rights. I'm not suggesting that taking away a person's so-called right to hire only white employees is the problem. An employer should hire anyone who is qualified regardless of anything else -- bear in mind, though, that within religious organizations, religious beliefs are part of the qualifications. What I *am* suggesting is that no government has the authority to dictate to an employer that 30% of the employees must be of Althusian descent -- or Asian, or Austrian, or African, or homosexual, or athiest, or whatever the minority-du-jour is -- regardless of whether or not Podunk, Nevada, has enough qualified citizens to fill that percentage of the town's workforce. Businesses which practice discrimination on a basis other than individual qualifications and individual personality should not thrive, but it is *not*, I repeat, *not* the role of government to force these businesses to do business properly. That role belongs to the consumers. That is the role of boycotts.

Third: every piece of legislation which gives special privileges to certain people carries with it the same disunifying effect as the old Jim Crow laws. Just as people with dark skin were once told, "You can't eat at this lunch counter. Whites only," people today are told, "You can't work at this lunch counter. We don't have enough Hispanics, and we need another homosexual to meet government quotas."

It is quite clear to me that these "rights laws" and "hate crime legislation" have nothing to do with equality and allowing people to live together in peace and harmony. Of course they don't! We don't need laws to *allow* us to do that. What we do need is to get rid of these foolish and counterproductive laws. This is the fourth problem. These laws, which claim to be for the purpose of ensuring supposedly oppressed individuals their rights, only serve to heighten the anger and frustration which might lead previously unprejudiced people to become bitter with these groups. Eventually, these unsuspecting people may lash out at these pampered groups, who then say, "Aha! We told you we needed hate crimes legislation. It wasn't enough. Pass more laws."

If we really cared about peace and harmony in our nation, we wouldn't give these laws any thought before dumping them into the trashcan.

The real way to peace and harmony is individuals, not laws. These people who claim to be oppressed -- some of whom are, but most of whom only want a special privilege -- should sit down and be quiet about how bad their situation is. What they should be doing instead is working hard to show how valuable they are as individuals. Individuals, reaching out to each other, viewing each other as what we are, brothers and sisters, born of the same blood. Sure, some of us have brown eyes and some have blue. Some of us like wearing red and some wear green. None of this entitles any of us to being treated better than anyone else. If we stop looking at each other and at ourselves as labels--

"I'm a woman."

"I'm a black."

"I'm a Hispanic."

"I'm a white."

"I'm a homosexual."

"I'm an Asian."

"I'm oppressed."

"I'm disadvantaged."

"I'm poor."

--and start looking at ourselves as Americans, each citizens of our own States but each part of a larger siblinghood of humanity; dedicated to freedom, and not just our own freedoms, our own benefit; dedicated to making sure every person, at least in America, has the opportunity to use his or her abilities to succeed in whatever worthy endeavor that person chooses; dedicated to making sure that no person should be told, "You can't work here, you can't eat here, you can't live here, you can't play here -- because you're the wrong race." We are all the same. There is only one race: the human race.

No genetic information or choice gives any person more right to life, liberty, and property than any other person. No genetic information or choice gives any person less right to hold a job for which he or she is the most qualified. We need to learn these lessons now, while there's still time, because when an invasion force comes, if we are worried about making sure the defending force is 30% African, 30% Hispanic, 30% Asian, 30% women, 30% homosexual, 30% athiest, 30% poor, 30% Indian, and 30% Native American, we're going to quickly find out that our new emperor doesn't care what you are. Everyone will be a slave and no one will have any special rights.

Maybe that's not so bad. Maybe then we'd finally learn to appreciate our common ground. Maybe then we'd have unity. Maybe we'd remember what we've forgotten: United we stand; divided we fall. Maybe then we could rise up and grasp our freedom, more wisely this time.


Maybe we'd just continue to point fingers at each other, saying, "You're the reason I'm not happy." Maybe we'll never learn.

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