The notion of American exceptionalism is a disgrace. The nation is the only industrialised nation that does not construe health care as a right. The pusillanimous Obamacare maze, while certainly a progressive step toward socialism, is still placing too many burdens on Americans to purchase health care. Yet hopefully it will reduce the 48-50 million who are still without health insurance.
The notion of American exceptionalism is perhaps ironically true. From 1619 to 1865 there was slavery in both British America and the United States for about a century after the revolution. Then for another century after that, American apartheid or Jim Crow America emerged as a kind of chattel slavery light. From 1965 to 2013, there was a brief period of some relief from this “exceptionally” long journey into oppression and racism. With the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v Holder, I wonder if poll taxes and literacy tests can be far behind despite Constitutional proscription of the former.
The notion of American exceptionalism overlooks the evil that this nation represents in recent world history. The inventor and only nation to use the atomic bomb, no apology has emerged for the unprovoked and utterly unnecessary utilization of this weapon of mass destruction. Forget chemical and bio weapons, nuclear weapons, trust me, are the authentic weapon of mass destruction. The United States then committed savage and monstrous war crimes in Vietnam with the death of about two to three million Vietnamese. Not one trial, not one senior official in the US was ever sentenced or even indicted.
An exceptional nation would not despite its usual bluster and lecturing to the world, remain mute and utterly silent in its toleration of an Israel nuclear deterrent while seeking to starve or even threaten war to prevent Iran from pursing its legitimate nuclear exercises. An exceptional nation does not submit to cowardice and a refusal on the part of even one State Department official or West Wing elitist to even state what everyone knows: that Israel has nuclear weapons and faces no threat from Iran. Not a word due to racism and Zionism. An exceptional nation that threatens war against Syria if it does not disarm and ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention, has not uttered a word or a phrase that only Israel, its sacred, white- “European” ally, along with Myanmar, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) has not ratified the C.W.C. This is a reflection of a hypocritical, ethnocentric diplomacy that was so vividly on display when President Obama addressed the U.N. Security Council in New York on Tuesday, September 24.
The notion of American exceptionalism cries out for justice. The numbers of incarcerated exceeds any other nation. Most are political prisoners or economic victims of American capitalism who try to sell a little weed there, or a little smack here and boom, in jail. The real criminals, the Clintons, the Bushes, the Rices, the Dimons, the Rummies, the N.S.A beasts walk the earth with security details and lovely isolated lives from the real world.
No American exceptionalism is a form of execrable ethnocentrism that I am determined in my teaching and writing to unmask and replace it with an accurate, objective depiction of our past and present!