If there was one moment during the Republican convention that caused my official Daily Wire Leftist Tears Tumbler to magically overflow, it was in a speech by former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley.
“In much of the Democratic Party, it’s now fashionable to say that America is racist,” Haley said. “That is a lie. America is not a racist country.”
Democrats and the media — but I repeat myself — reacted swiftly.
“I’m just hung up a little bit about Nikki Haley,” said hung up ABC Anchor Linsey Davis. “A comment that she made, ‘America is not a racist country.’ I think that that’s a statement that a lot of black people, black and brown people, would take umbrage with.”
Chicago Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton was blunter, saying the statement made Haley “appear to be either disgracefully ignorant or a blatant liar.”
But, of course, what Haley really was, was completely correct. There is a history of institutional racism in America, no doubt, but today our country is wholly free of it. The U.S. is easily the least racist nation on the planet. There is certainly nowhere else with such a multi-ethnic population as committed to keeping its institutions fair. Why, in America, a black person can be elected president — twice — something no other white majority nation can say.
But the idea that all this might be true is a tremendous threat to the Democrats’ near monopoly on black votes. They live on racial division. This is why, in the words of Wall Street Journal Columnist Jason Riley, Democrats “focus their energies on keeping black people angry and paranoid, not on improving black lives.”
This is also why people of color like Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron are sometimes greeted with unprintable racist name-calling from the Left. In a graceful and powerful convention speech, Cameron addressed Joe Biden, referring to his many untoward remarks about blacks. “Mr. Vice President, look at me, I am Black, we are not all the same, sir. I am not in chains, my mind is my own, and you can’t tell me how to vote because of the color of my skin.” If even twenty percent of black voters would say the same, there would be no Democrat Party.
In their efforts to keep “black people angry and paranoid,” leftists have cooked up the phrase “systemic racism.” I’m not sure this phrase is supposed to have any very definite meaning. I think it’s meant rather to be a license for perpetual grievance. But insofar as it means anything, it seems to refer to the fact that American ideas and ideals derive from places like Greece, Jerusalem, Rome, and especially England where the people’s skin was more or less white.
And yes, it’s true, our ideas did come from those places. And assimilating into a nation based on those largely English ideas often requires some sacrifice of cultural identification. Jews who assimilate have to accept values derived from the same Christianity that has often oppressed them, Irish have to play by the political rules of their age-old enemies the English, and so on. Assimilation is complex and difficult and goes against the natural grain because it puts ideas over instinctive tribal loyalty. It requires grace, forgiveness, and a willingness to align yourself with a history that may not have always been friendly toward your particular group.
And yes, it’s even harder for blacks in America, because it’s here, in this nation, where the crimes of race-based slavery and Jim Crow were perpetrated against them. There is one more step of forgiveness black Americans have to take.
We on the Right find – or should find – such forgiveness particularly praiseworthy. The assimilationist lives of men like Daniel Cameron are, in this regard, lives of Christly grace. Clinging to bitterness and resentment is the norm in human behavior. Rising above to embrace the good beyond personal instincts is a higher path.
That blacks might seize this new post-racial day of American good will and opportunity and take that higher path, that they might join at last the endless array of peoples who have put aside the ancient racial hostilities to become fully committed Americans — this is the biggest threat identitarian Democrats face.
That is why they are in a panic. That is why they have to keep the bitterness hot. That is why they are inciting racial hysteria at every opportunity. They know that racial unity is closer than ever.
The violence in Democrat cities may be the beginning of a reign of terror. But it may also be the beginning of the end for the Left’s ugly race-based narrative.
More from Andrew Klavan: Ladies, You Are Being Played
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.