A 14 year old girl was raped in the boys’ bathroom at a Rockville, Maryland high school by two men—men—who shouldn’t have been anywhere near her. At least one of them, Henry Sanchez, shouldn’t even have been in this country because a) he broke the law by entering illegally, and b) he had a pending “alien removal” case against him. The other one, Jose Montano, is a minor so his immigration status was not released, but let’s be real. If he were here legally, his immigration status would not only have been released (leaked if you like), it would have been hailed as proof that illegal aliens commit fewer crimes than legal residents.
Did political correctness get that girl raped? Political correctness put Sanchez, 18 and recently arrived from Guatemala, and Montano, 17, recently arrived from El Salvador, in a 9th grade class with proximal access to a child whose life they proceeded to ruin. Why were an 18 year old and a 17 year old in the 9th grade? Because it was “racist” and “xenophobic” to deny them equal access to education, let alone entertain the possibility that they were potential threats to the real 9th graders and anyone else at the school.
After the brutal attack, school district superintendent Jack Smith reassured the community that the “allegations of rape…do not represent the positive values of our students and school communities.” No, they don’t. They represent the upside down values that protect illegal aliens from American citizens. The same anti-American values evinced in the superintendent’s email threatening police action for community members who had “crossed the line with racist, xenophobic calls and emails.”
How did we get here? How did we go from the pride we felt after defeating Nazism in WWII to the shame that fuels anti-Americanism today? We got here in large part because we stopped teaching the American version of Western Civilization. And—irony of ironies—we stopped teaching it to be politically correct.
It was political correctness that killed the “racist, sexist, ethnocentric” Western Civ course formerly required for virtually every undergraduate in the country. Instead of studying how Plato and the Enlightenment influenced our unique American government, we relegate our founders to the ash heap of white, male, slave-owners and study Hip Hop, Mestiza consciousness, and language as feminist and LGBTQIA political tool.
When we don’t teach America as the highest, best expression of Western civilization, we let it become defined by the evil of slavery. When we don’t evaluate Western culture in the context of non-Western cultures, we hate ourselves for sexism and homophobia. When we don’t inculcate appreciation for the power of capitalism to lift human societies out of abject poverty, its inherent greed and inequality become the only story.
Are we flawed? Mightily. Do we have work to do? Indubitably. We’re the worst country there is; except for all the others. Perspective is what’s needed, and that’s exactly what teaching Western Civilization can do for us.
Yes, we practiced the sickening atrocity of slavery for 300 years. But why not for millennia like the rest of the world? Because the Enlightenment introduced values of freedom and equality for all, founded in human reason. Freedom, equality, and human reason exposed slavery as a gross violation of the rights of man. It was the West that first abolished slavery: Britain in 1807; France in 1848; the U.S. in 1862. In the East, slavery continued well into the 20th century. The West African country of Mauritania did not abolish slavery until 1981.
Yes, women were second-class citizens for the first 100 plus years in our country; we couldn’t vote, own property, or sign contracts. We didn’t have full civil rights until Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 barred discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Once those rights were attained, however, they were permanent.
When we compare ourselves to non-Western cultures like Afghanistan, we see that moral and civil rights can just as easily go backward. Women in late 20th century Afghanistan enjoyed modern lives: education, independence, self-governance. When the Taliban came to power in 1996, women were made to veil themselves completely, ask permission to leave the home, and submit to sex with their husband at his whim with no right of refusal. Even when the Taliban was ousted in 2001, the Ministry of Justice banned family member testimony in criminal trials, making it nearly impossible to prosecute domestic violence.
Yes, sodomy was illegal in this country for a long time. Illinois was the first state to decriminalize sodomy in 1961, and not until 2003 did the Supreme Court rule that it is a violation of the 14th amendment to bar consensual sex between adults. Today, gay marriage is legal in all 50 states.
Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria today—today—punish men accused of homosexuality by beating them, lashing them, and/or throwing them to their death off building rooftops.
Yes, capitalism has created extreme disparity in wealth between the very rich and the very poor. It has also given the very poor a way out of extreme poverty.
In the socialist country of Venezuela, where everyone has access to the same crappy healthcare, the people are so desperate for food that they’re butchering and eating flamingos, not to mention dogs, cats, donkeys, horses, and pigeons. Venezuela is sitting on the largest oil reserves in the world, but because socialism destroys economic freedom, confiscates private property, and controls price and currency, the people are eating dogs and cats they find in the street.
And we don’t promote the American brand of Western civilization!
We don’t teach that Americans enjoy the world’s freest society; that our rights can never be taken away because they’re bestowed by our Creator. We don’t teach that our American experiment is fragile and needs constant tending to preserve. We don’t teach that, in context, America is something to be very, very proud of.
In proper context, America’s inexorable progress in moral and civil rights is remarkable. Without context, we take it for granted. The rightful attainment of moral and civil rights by all groups in our society is such a given, it becomes unremarkable, and we slip into a default anti-Americanism that expresses itself most notably in political correctness.
It seems that political correctness got a young girl raped. And then political correctness made victims of the illegal alien rapists. And then political correctness turned calls for protection of American citizens into hate speech actionable by police.
Political correctness, while hardly a contribution to our world, has become dangerous. Anti-Americanism has always been dangerous, focused as it is on contempt and intolerance for our failings. We need to combat dangerous political correctness by combatting dangerous anti-Americanism. We need to combat anti-Americanism by teaching America in context. We need to start teaching the American version of Western civilization before context doesn’t matter at all.