Deconstructing America Cultural Pluralism and Equality Paper

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Prompt: Using Pat Buchanan’s essay “Deconstructing America,” as a primary point of reference, write an essay in which you expound or refute the idea that cultural pluralism (or the melting pot model) inevitably will led to cultural separatism, and therefore increased disunity and tension in America, and possibly even the end of America. You

must

use three additional sources*, which you cite directly. You may use

one

of the other assigned essays from the “Equality” chapter of our textbook as one of your three additional sources.

Establish your own thesis that is inspired by the source identified in the prompt. Do

not

cite a source in your introduction so that your thesis stands out, and it does not appear you are simply echoing or repeating the source. Your thesis is the next step in the argument, be it for or against the source author’s point. You are not writing an analysis or explication of the source essay of the prompt–doing so would limit your grade to no better than a C. The article identified in the prompt is no more important than the other research you will include.

Your essay must begin with an introduction that contains a clearly defined, purpose driven, and arguable thesis. The introduction should clearly identify any supporting main ideas that will support the thesis. Body paragraphs should contain minor claims (topic sentences) that advance controlling ideas and that support the thesis. All ideas should be supported with evidence. Your paper must cite examples from the stated texts in the prompt and from your outside sources*. Each example must be supported with critical thinking that explains the significance of the chosen quotation/citation as is relates to your ideas. In your conclusion make a final statement that clearly identifies why what has been shown in your essay is important.



*additional sources must come

only

from the following: an article located on EBSCOhost (or from a similar database), an article in a major newspaper or magazine, or a book (but not the class textbook or other course material); sources that do not meet this criteria will not count toward the minimum required sources.




*You may cite the film

Do the Right Thing

, however it does not count toward the minimum required additional sources.

Your paper

must

:

include an original title that speaks to your thesis

be a minimum of 4

full

pages (approximately 1400-1500 words)

contain a minimum of 4 cited sources

be typed, double-spaced, using Times New Roman 12pt font

be formatted according to MLA

use MLA guidelines for in-text citations and Works Cited page

be written using strictly an academic, third-person point-of-view

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EXPLORING CONNECTIONS
DECONSTRUCTING AMERICA
PATRICK J. BUCHANAN
CREATED EQUAL
7. What does Matt Bors, the cartoonist on page 591, suggest about the his.
torical forgetfulness of American culture? Compare the image of Indians
here and in the cartoon by Mike Keefe on page 409: Which depiction,
either, gives a more realistic portrait of Native Americans? Is it possible for
cartoonists to avoid stereotypes and still be funny?
8. Treuer asserts that the government’s forced assimilation created the de
structive, diseased social fabric in which we are wrapped today” (para. 42,
How do the selections by Kay Givens McGowan (p. 396 th Chapter Four) and
George M. Fredrickson (p. 565) support this observation? Are the efforts
of language activists enough to begin restoring the social fabric of tribal
peoples? Why or why not?
9. How does Gatto’s concept of “schooling” – as opposed to education
41) –apply to the Indian Boarding schools? How would Treuer define
real education?
One of the most influential and outspoken conservative voices in the United
States, Patrick J. Buchanan (b. 1938) lives and breathes politics. He served as
a senior advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan, and has campaigned
for the presidency himself three times- as a candidate in the Republican
primaries of 1992 and 1996 and as the nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.
Six of his ten books have been best-sellers. The titles speak for themselves:
they include The Great Betrayal: How
American Sovereignty and Social Justice
Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy (1998); The Death of
the West How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country
and Civilization (2002); Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives
Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency (2004);
State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America (2006);
and Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? (2011). Buchanan
founded the American Conservative magazine, writes syndicated column
on politics, and appears daily on cable TV news shows as a political analyst.
The following selection is taken from his 2007 book, Day of Reckoning: How
Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart.
BUCHANAN • DECONSTRUCTING ‘AMERICA
Yet at present, the United States, is unwinding strand by strand,
rather like the Soviet Union.
-WILLIAM REES-MOGG 9923
EXTENDING THE CRITICAL CONTEXT
10. Visit Bedford’s e-Pages for this chapter of Rereading America (bedfordst
martins.com/rereading/epaget) and watch the video, More Than That, cre-
ated by two classes on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The
video, originally designed as a response to a 20/20 news special depicting
impoverished reservation life, presents a very different view. What mes
sage do the students in the video convey about their values? What percep
tion of Native Americans do they appear to be reacting to?
11. To see some of the language activists Treuer mentions and-to hear more
about their efforts to preserve the Ojibwe language, watch any or all
segments of First Speakers Restoring the Ojibway Language, a special
from Twin Cities Public Television: www.tpt.org/?a=productions&id=3,
How does actually hearing the Ojibway language compare to reading about
it? What other differences do you detect between the video and the essay?
12. Research the language that was originally spoken by the native inhabitants
of your area. Is it a living language? What efforts, if any, are being made to
preserve or restore it?
13. Watch an episode or read the transcript of an episode of We Shall Remain
the five-part PBS series on Native American history. How does the series
represent American Indians? How does this treatment compare to the treat
ment of Native Americans in popular films like Windtalkers, Pocahontas, ar
Dances with Wolves that are based on historical events?
We
*The histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assi-
late are histories of turmoil, tension and tragedy.
-SEYMOUR MARTIN LIPSET
IN 2007, ON THE 400TH ANNIVERSARY of the Jamestown settlement,
Queen Elizabeth II arrived to commemorate the occasion. But it took
some fancy footwork by Her Majesty to run the Powhatan gauntlet.
Daruel Patrick Moynihan, Pandaemonium: Ethnicity in International Politics (New
York: Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 24. (All notes are Buchanan’s unless otherwise
indicated 1
Stanley Monteith, “The Diabolic Plan,” Reprise of Richard Lamm’s Address, “A Plan
to Destroy America.” May 2006, RaidersNewsNetwork.com
Jamestown: Founded in 1607, Jamestown, Virginia, was the first permanent English
siellement in North America. (Eds.
Powhatan gauntlet: The Powhatan tribe led a confederacy of more than thirty other
trilek during the period of the Jamestown settlement the gauntlet refers to a tribal indtia-
tion rllud in which young men submitted to an extended period of severe physical and
mental discipline before emerging as mature men and recognized leaders. [Eds.]
595
594
CANDORVILLE By Darrin Bell
WE GOTTA DO SOMETHING ABOUT ALL THESE ALLEGALS.
CREATED EQUAL
.
To Pront
Candorville Darrin Bell. © 2006 The Washington Post. All rights reserved. Reprinted
with permission
BUCHANAN · DECONSTRUCTING AMERICA
them from
from Chief
public schools. -5
For the queen had been there before, fifty years ago, for the 350th
anniversary, in a less progressive era. As the Associated Press reported
“the last time the queen helped Virginia mark the anniversary of its 0.
lonial founding, it was an all-white affair in a state whose government
was in open defiance of a 1954 Supreme Court order to desegregat.
That …in
That was the time of massive resistance to integration in Virginia,
And the queen was quick to recognize and embrace the change: “Since
I visited Jamestown in 1957, my country has become a much more
diverse society just as the Commonwealth of Virginia and the whole
United States of America have also undergone a major social change
Both nations are indeed more diverse. But the most recent reminder
in Virginia, to which the queen alluded, was the massacre
of thirty-two students and teachers at Virginia Tech by an immigrant
madman.
And now that London is Londonistan, Muslim imams preach ha-
tred of the West in mosques, and Pakistani subway bombers find
support in their madrassas. Race riots are common in the northern in
dustrial cities, Crime rates have soared. In parts of London, people fed
to walk. Yes, the Britain of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown
verse than the Britain of Victoria and Lord Salisbury, 10 Lloyd George
and Churchill. Is it also a better, lovelier, stronger, more respected ndo
tion than the Britannia that ruled the waves and a fourth of the world?
The prevailing orthodoxy demands that we parrot such platitudes
And Her Majesty was careful to conform “Fifty years on, we are now in
a position to reflect more candidly on the Jamestown legacy,” said the
queen, as she began to reflect less candidly on that legacy.”?
Here, at Jamestown, “Three great civilizations came together for
the first time-western European, native American and African:”13
Well, that is certainly one way of putting it.
Even Her Majesty must have smiled inwardly as she delivered this
comic rendition of history. For the Jamestown settlers were not Western
Europeans but English Christians. They despised French Catholics
and the great event in their lives had been sinking
1 of the Spanish
Amada. And the first decision taken at Jamestown was build a fort
to protect
Powhatan’s tribe, whom they thought might
massacre them, as they suspected Indians had massacred the Roanoke4
colony. Their leader, Capt
. John Smith, would escape being clubbed
to death by Powhatan, thanks only to the princess Pocahontas. Or so
Smith liked to tell the tale. In 1622, the Indians succeeded in massa-
aring a third of all the inhabitants of Jamestown.
As for
the Africans,
they arrived in 1619
in slave ships, and were 10
not
freed for 246 years. Then they were segregated for a
Jamestown was no coming together of “three great civilizations.” It
was the beginning of centuries of imperial conquest by British Christians
who drove the pagan Indians westward, repopulated their lands, and
imposed their own faith, customs, laws, language, and institutions upon
their New World. Jamestown was the beginning of America -and of
the British
the benefit of hindsight, we can see in that event (Jamestown)
the origins of a
gins of a singular endeavor–the building of a great nation, founded
on the eternal values of democracy and equality,” said the queen…
A great nation did indeed arise from Jamestown, but, intending no
disrespect to Her Majesty, democracy and equality had nothing to do
with it. The House of Burgesses, formed in 1619, was restricted to white
males, men of property. The American Revolution was not fought for
equality, but to be rid of British rule. Four of the first five presidents-
Washington Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe-were Virginia slave-
holders. Exactly two and a half centuries after Jamestown, in 1857,
came Chief Justice Roger B. Taney’s Dred Scott decision declaring that
Slaves were not Americans and that none of them had any of the rights
of divers
diversity
With Empire
more de
.com
5″Queen Elizabeth Sees Virginia Anew’ May 3, 2007, Associated Press, MSNBC
Ibid.
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believed in
the
in
BUCHANAN DECONSTRUCTING AMERICA
Mexico-
This was
of American citizens. Few Americans then, certainly not Abe Lincoln,
believed in social or political equality
Now, if, in 1957 — 350 years after Jamestown, 100 years after Dred
Scott-the of Virginia had a declared policy of massive resis.
tance to racial
racial integration, how can the queen claim that Jamestown or
Virginia or America were always about “the eternal values of democ-
racy and equality”?
History contradicts the politically correct version the queen had to
recite about the Jamestown settlement—and raises another question
If Jamestown and Virginia were not about democracy, equality, and
diversity for the 350 years between 1607 and 1957, who invented this
myth that America was always about democracy, equality, and divers
sity? And what was their motive?
At Jamestown the queen performed a service to America of which
she was surely unaware. By radically revising her views of fifty years
ago, about what Jamestown was, the queen revealed the real revolu:
tion that occurred between the era of Eisenhower and that of George
W. Bush.
It is a revolution in thought and belief about who we are as a
na.
In the half century since massive resistance, Virginia has indeed
a radically changed society. No longer does Richmond
proudly
call herself the Capital of the Confederacy. Lee-Jackson Day is out
Martin
Luther
King Day
is in. The Confederate flag flies nowhere
On Monument Avenue, which features the statues of Robert E. Lee,
“Stonewall” Jackson, J. E. B. Stuart, and Jefferson Davis;” a statue
of Arthur Ashe, an African American tennis player, has been added
“Carry Me Back to Old Virginny” was retired by the legislature as the
state song ten years before the queen’s return. Within days of her arrival
in 2007, the Virginia legislature apologized for
Virginia 2007 is ashamed of who she was in 1957. But how then
can Virginia be proud of what Jamestown was in 1607? For the first
Jamestown was not some multicultural village but the first outpost of
an imperial nation determined to settle and conquer North America
for
English Christians, to wipe out or drive out Indians who got in its way,
and to bring in Africans as slaves to do the labor English settlers would
tion in
here
three-comered fort the Jamestown settlers began to build the day they
arrived. But that republic and that empire did not rise because the set-
tlers and those who followed believed in diversity, equality, and democ-
racy, but because they rejected diversity, equality, and democracy. The
English, the Virginians, the Americans were “us-or-them” people.
They in the superiority of their Christian faith and English
Culbare
and civilization. And they transplanted thať unique faith, cul-
ture, and civilization to America’s fertile soil. Other faiths, cultures,
and civilizations—like the ones the Indians had here, or the Africans
brought, or the French had planted in Quebec, or
Spanish
they rejected and resisted with
cannon, musket, and sword.
s was our land, not anybody else’s.
But today America and Britain have embraced ideas about the in-
nate equality of all cultures, civilizations, languages, and faiths, and
about the mixing of all tribes, races, and peoples, that are not only
ahistorical, they are suicidal for America the West. For all over the
world, rising faiths like Islam, rising movements like the indigenous
peoples’ movement rolling out of Latin America to Los Angeles, rising
powers like China reaching for Asian and world hegemony-ignore
the kumbaya we preach, and look to what our fathers practiced when
they conquered the world.
What the queen said at Jamestown 2007 was that we are not the
same people we were in 1957. She is right. For we now reject as repel-
lent and ethnocentric the idea that the British who founded our republic
and created the British Empire were not only unique but superior to
other peoples and civilizations. And to show the world how resolutely
We reject those old ideas, we threw open our borders in the last
forty
years to peoples of all creeds, cultures, countries, and civilizations, in-
viding them to come and convert the old America into the
The
cultural, multilingual, multiethnic, multiracial nation in his
First Universal Nations of Ben Wattenberg’so warblings. But if the
Jamestown settlers had believed in equality and diversity, and had
shared their fort with the Indians, the settlers would never have been
No matter the lies we tell ourselves and teach our children, no great
republic or empire–not Persia, Rome, Islam, Spain, France, Britain,
Russia, China, the United States—ever
arose because it embraced de-
mocracy, diversity, and equality. None. The real question is not whether
the values the queen celebrated at Jamestown created America–they
had nothing to do with it—but whether America can survive having
embraced them….
heard from again.
not do.
An Inconvenient Truth
The point here is unpleasant to modernity but critical to recognize: The ..
United States, the greatest republic since Rome, and the British Empire
the greatest empire since Rome, may be said to have arisen from that
17 Robert E. Lee…and Jefferson Davis: Lee (1807-1870), Jackson (1824-1863),
Stuart (1833-1864) were Confederate generals; Davis (1808-1889) served as president of
the Confederate States. (Eds.)
Multimedia Tour Monument Ave,” Discover Richmond discoverrichmond.com
The First Universal Nation: Title of a 1990 book by Ben Wattenberg which argued
that the United States, due to its increasing ethnic diversity, is becoming a universal”
country Eds.]
Ben Wattenberg: Conservative author (b. 1933) and host of a number of PBS televi-
sion saows dealing with current events. (Eds.)
598
599
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The Disuniting of America
America is today less a nation than an encampment of suspicious and
hostile tribes quarreling viciously over the spoils of politics and power
We live on the same land, under the same set of laws, but we are lo
longer the one people of whom John Jay21 wrote in Federalist No. 2.
Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one
united people–a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking
the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same
principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.
and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side
throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general
liberty and independence.23
“This country and this people seem to have been made for each
other,” Jay wrote, calling his countrymen “a band of brethren. Even be
fore the Constitution had been ratified, Jay regarded Americans as one
united people,” “one connected country,” “brethren,” of common blood
But what held this “one united people” together-a common hele
tage, history, faith, language, manners, customs, and culture-today pulls
religion,
BUCHANAN • DECONSTRUCTING AMERICA
us apart.
Are we united by language? Children in Chicago are taught in two
hundred languages. Our fastest growing media are Spanish speaking
Half the 9 million in Los Angeles County speak a language other than
English in their homes. Today’s vile talk on radio and television, in the
movies, magazines, and books, would have been an embarrassment in
a marine barracks fifty years ago.
Are we united by faith? While 99 percent Protestant in 1789, we are
now Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim: Hindu, Buddhist
Taoist, Shintoist, Santeria, Sikh, New Age, voodoo, agnostic, atheist
Rastafarian. The mention of the name of Jesus by the preachers Pres-
chose to give invocations at his inauguration evoked cries
of “insensitive, “divisive,” “exclusionary.” A New Republic éditorial
lashed out at these “crushing Christological thuds” from the inaugurel
stand.
Many of the Christian churches have split asunder over abortion.
female bishops, homosexual clergy, and gay marriage.
In 2007, after a court battle by the American Civil Liberties Union,
the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to add the five-point sur
of the Wiccan neo-pagan religion to the list of thirty-eight “emblems
of belief” allowed on VA grave markers. The thirty-eight include
“symbols for Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism, as well as…
for. Sufism Reoriented, Eckiankar and the Japanese faith Seicho-
No-le.
24
Are we united by a common culture? To the contrary. We are in a
Taging culture war in which peaceful coexistence is a myth.
In the nineteenth century, America was torn apart by slavery
and the tariff. Those issues were settled in a civil war that resulted in
600,000 dead. Today, America is divided over issues of race, ethnicity,
language, culture, history, morality, the very things that once
defined us and united us as a people and a nation.
Protestants and Catholics, a hundred years ago, disagreed pas-
sionately over whether beer, wine, and spirits were wicked. Today, we
Americans disagree
over whether annihilating 45 million unborn babies
in the
womb since Roe v.
v. Wade is a mark of progress or a monstrous
national
evil causing us to echo Jefferson, “I tremble for my country
when I reflect that God is just.”
In the 1960s, to do penance for all her sins, from Jamestown on, the 35
United States threw open its doors to peoples of all colors, continents,
and creeds. And today, the America of John F. Kennedy, 89 percent
White and 10 percent of African descent, an essentially biracial country
united by a common culture, creed, history, and tradition, is gone. We
threw it away,
Today, America is twice as populous as in 1950—with 300 million
people Instead of 1 to 2 million Hispanics, there are 45 million, with
102 million expected by 2050, concentrated in a Southwest that 58 per-
cent of Mexicans say belongs to them. Our population is down to 67 per-
cent European, and falling: 14.5 percent Hispanic and rising rapidly,
13 percent black and holding, and 4.5 percent Asian and rišßhg. By
2040. Americans of European descent will be less than half the pop-
ulation, when, as President Bill Clinton told an audience of cheering
Califomia
students, we will all belong to minorities. White Americans
are
already
a minority in California, New Mexico, Texas, Hawaii.
llwelve to 20 million illegal aliens are in the country. We may not have
believed in diversity in the old America, but we are practicing it now.
But has all this diversity made us a stronger nation than we were in the
time of Eisenhower and Kennedy?
In October 2006, the Financial Times reported the findings of Robert
Putnam, author of Bowling Alone, on diversity in America.
of the Corgive effects of ethnic diversity has been re-
ident Bush
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BUCHANAN • DECONSTRUCTING AMERICA
His research shows that the more diverse a community is, the less
likely its inhabitants are to trust anyone–from their next-door neigh-
bour to the mayor.
The core message… was that, ‘in the presence of diversity, we hun-
ker down,” he said. “We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse
than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people
who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who
do look like us.
Prof. Putnamn found trụst was lowest in Los Angeles, “the most di-
verse human habitation in human history….”
The city Professor Putnam references, Los Angeles, was the scene of
the Academy Award-winning film Crash, which portrayed a feral zonem
which whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics clashed violently again and
again, as they could not understand one another or communicate with
one another
Wrote columnist John Leo, after perusing the report, “Putnam adds
a crushing footnote: his findings ‘may underestimate the real effect of
diversity on social withdrawal. 23
With another 100 million people anticipated in the United States
by 2050, most of them immigrants and their children, legal and illegal
Putnam’s findings are ominous. If the greater the diversity the greater
the mistrust, Balkanization beckons–for all of us.
Is diversity a strength? In the ideology of modernity, yes. But history
teaches otherwise. For how can racial diversity be a strength when I
cial diversity was behind the bloodiest war in U.S. history and has been
the most polarizing issue among us ever since?
Our most divisive Supreme Court decision, Dred Scott, was about
race. The War Between the States about race-Reconstruction was
about race. Segregation was about race. The riots in Harlem, Watts
Newark, Detroit, then Washington, DC, and a hundred other cities after
the assassination of Dr. King were about race. The riot in Los Angeles
following the Simi Valley jury’s acquittal of the cops who beat Rodne
King was about race. Forced busing, affirmative action, quotas, profilling
are about race. The O. J. trial, the Tawana Brawley and Duke rape case
hoaxes, and the Don Imus affairs were about race. When Gunnar Myrdal
wrote his classic American Dilemma, about the crisis of our democracy
the subject was-race.
All Americans believe slavery was evil and the denial of equal jus-
tice under law was wrong. But because they were wrong, does that make
what we are doing-inviting the whole world to come to America –
right or wise?
Today, tens of thousands of corporate and government bureaucrats
monitor laws against discrimination and laws mandating integration in
housing and employment. To achieve equality, Americans are sacrificing
freedom. Police are ever on the lookout for hate crimes. Hardly a month
passes without some controversy or crime rooted in race being forced
through cable TV and talk radio onto the national agenda. How does all
this make us a more united, stronger people?
Among the educated and affluent young, resegregation is in vogue. 45
Columnist Leo writes that at UCLA, racially separate graduations have
become the norm. “The core reason,” he writes, “is the obvious one.”
On campus, assimilation is a hostile force, the domestic version of
American imperialism On many campuses, identity-group training be
gins with separate freshman orientation programs for nonwhites, who
arrive earlier and are encouraged to bond before the first Caucasian
reshmen arrive. Some schools have separate orientations for gays as
well. Administrations tend to foster separatism by arguing that bias is
everywhere, justifying double standards that favor identity groups.
Leo concludes on a note of despair, “As in so many areas national
lite, the preposterous is now normal.”31
Quo Vadis,32 America?
Again, history teaches that multiethnic states are held together either
by an authoritarian regime or a dominant ethnocultural core, or they
are ever at risk of disintegration in ethnic conflict.
The Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, artificial na-
tions all, disintegrated when the dictatorships collapsed.
in democracies it is an ethnocultural core that holds the country
together. England created a United Kingdom of English, Scots, Welsh,
and Irish, with England predominant. Now that Britain is no longer
great, the core nations have begun to pull apart, to seek their old inde-
pendence, as the English have begun to abandon the land they grew
up in
In “Vanishing England,” in August 2007, columnist Cal Thomas 50
reported a startling fact: Between June 2005 and June 2006, 200,000
British citizens (the equivalent of a million Americans) left their country
for good, as
than half million legal immigrants and unknown
thousands of illegals entered. “Britons give many reasons for leaving,
but their stories share one commonality,” Thomas wrote, “life in Britain
has become unbearable for them.” There is the lawlessness and the
constant threat of Muslim terror, but also
77 John Lloyd, “Study Paints
Bleak Picture of Ethnic Diversity. Oct. 8. 2006. FT.com
John Leo, Bowling with Our Own, City Journal
, Summer 2007. vol.
17. 10. 2.
The O. J. trial…the Don Imus affair” in 1995, O. J. Simpson was found not gulis
of murder after a long and highly publicized criminal trial, in 1986, a New York grand ju
found that Tawana Brawley’s claim that she was raped and brutalized by white men wu
fabricated in 2006, another African American woman charged that she had been rapat
by a group of white Duke University lacrosse players, but the charges were dropped
following year, talk-radio host Don Imus was fired in 2007 after making racist comment
about female African American basketball players. In each case, opinions tended to divide
along racial lines. [Eds.)
UCLA June 13, 2007, City
John Leo, “Let the foumalon Commence…Separatist Graduations Proliferate at
Spring 2007, vol. 17, no. 2.
bid.
Cal Thomas, “Vanishing England,” Washington Times, Aug. 29, 2007, p. A17.
Quo Vadis Latin phrase meaning “Where are you going” (Eds!
603
602
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BUCHANAN · DECONSTRUCTING AMERICA
the loss of a sense of Britishness, exacerbated by the growing refusal
from the public schools, this civil religion is taught in its stead. The di-
of public schools to teach the history and culture of the nation to the lemma of those who conjured up this civil religion and creedal nation,
next generation. What it means to be British has been watered down in liberals and neoconservatives, is that it has no roots and does not touch
a plague of political correctness that has swept the country faster than the heart. Americans will not send their sons to fight and die for such
hoof-and-mouth disease. Officials says they do not wish to ‘offend”
watery abstractions.
others.
ENGAGING THE TEXT
Intellectuals deceive themselves if they believe the new trinity of
their faith-democracy, equality, and diversity –can replace the old
1. What kind of “revolution” (para. 17) does Buchanan believe has occurred in
idea of what it meant to be a Briton, what it meant to be an Englishman,
the United States and Britain in the fifty years between Queen Elizabeth’s
In the thirteen North American colonies, the ethnocultural care
two visits to Jamestown? What illustrations of social change does he offer?
was British-Protestant, with a smattering of Germans whose growing
How would you characterize his attitude toward these changes?
numbers alarmed Ben Franklin. After the wave of Irish from 1845 10
1849, and the steady German influx, and then the great wave from 2. Why does Buchanan object to Queen Elizabeth’s reference to the Jamestown
Southern and Eastern Europe between 1890 and 1920, America was colony as a meeting of “three great civilizations” (para. 7)? In his view, what
no longer British-Protestant, but a European-Christian nation whose is the real significance of Jamestown?
institutions, language, and culture remained British. Bismarck said the
3. How does Buchanan differentiate between earlier groups of immigrants to
most important fact of the twentieth century would be that the North
the United States and those who have come since the 1965 Immigration
Americans spoke English. Indeed, that is why we fought on Britain’s
Act? What effects does he believe immigrants are having on this country? Do
side in two world wars. Despite our eighteenth- and nineteenth-century
you agree with his assessment? Why or why not?
quarrels and wars, the Brits were still “the cousins.”
By 1960, 88.6 percent of our nation was of European stock and 4. Buchanan suggests that a nation based on “democracy, diversity, and equal
95 percent Christian. America had never been a more united nation ity” (para. 24) is unlikely to thrive or even to survive. Debate the merits of
African Americans had been assimilated into the Christian aith and ne- the logic and evidence he presents in support of his claim.
tional culture if not fully into society. While Jews, perhaps 4 percent
5. According to Buchanan, laws prohibiting discrimination, hate crimes,
the population, were non-Christians, their parents or grandparents had
and segregated housing and employment require “sacrificing freedom”
come from European Christian nations.
(para. 44) in order to attain greater equality. How and for whom is free-
Since the cultural revolution of the 1960s and the Immigratim
dom restricted by such laws? Explain why you think the tradeoff is or is not
Act of 1965, however, the ethnocultural core has begun to dissolve
worthwhile.
Secularism has displaced Christianity as the faith of the elites. The na
tion has entered a post-Christian era. There is no longer a unifying cul EXPLORING CONNECTIONS
ture. Rather, we are fighting a culture war. And the European ethnio
core is shrinking. From near 90 percent in 1960, it is down to 67 percent 6. Which of the models of ethnic relations described by George M. Fredrickson
today, and will be less than 50 percent by 2040.
(p. 565) does Buchanan appear to endorse, which does he reject, and why?
Here we come to the heart of the matter,
How would you describe his ideal vision of America?
Quo Vadis, America? Where are you going?
7. To what extent would David Treuer (p. 578) agree with Buchanan about the
If we have no common faith and are divided by morality and cul
history of the United States and our treatment of Native Americans? To what
ture, and are separated by ethnicity and race, what holds us together
extent would he agree or disagree about the significance of diversity in modern
Especially in light of Putnam’s report that “diversity” dilutes social
America?
capital,” erodes community, and engenders mutual mistrust.
Realizing we are divided on the things that constitute a true nas EXTENDING THE CRITICAL CONTEXT
tion-blood and soil, tradition and faith, history and heroes-intellet
tuals have sought to construct, in lieu of the real nation, the nation of 8. Buchanan mentions the practice, on some campuses, of holding sepa-
the heart that is passing away, an artificial nation, a nation of the mind, rate orientations or graduation ceremonies for different “identity groups”
an ideological nation, a creedal nation, united by a belief in the new (para. 45). If your school offers such functions, organize a group or whole
trinity: diversity, democracy, and equality. As Christianity is purged class project and interview students, family members, and faculty who have
attended one of these events. Pool your interview notes: do you find any
consistency or patterns of response in your interviewees’ comments about

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