Various months have been officially designated Ethnic Group History Month, times set aside for the group’s members to express reverence for their ancestors and their people, and those outside the group are expected use the occasion to acknowledge virtue in another people.
As conservatives, we recognize that all people ought to cultivate reverence for their ancestors and their group. Therefore there ought to be an American History Month.
The value of such a celebration becomes clear upon reflection. Although there is a great deal of interest in and discussion of American history in the public square, the systematic instruction of the young in American history is seriously lacking:
- In school textbooks, many worthy persons and events from our history have been removed to make room for minority Americans and their achievements. Regardless of the merits of those individuals now presented, much vital American history is in the process of being forgotten.
- The formal academic study of history is usually carried out as if it were a science, with detached, skeptical scholarly analysis as the ideal. There is a place for this type of scholarship, but a people ought to regard their own history with reverence, not suspicion.
- Nowadays, references to American history generally portray it as a process of slowly realizing abstract principles, such as freedom and equality, which were articulated in the Founding Documents. But this is to define America as perpetual revolutionary struggle rather than to celebrate and honor the real, concrete nation; a nation that is still mostly white and Christian.
- Finally, there is the successful leftist campaign officially to portray America of the past as a place of intolerable racism, sexism, homophobia and other ills. We say “successful” because the belief that the conservative aspects of America are bad is generally taken to be the default position. This is being carried out, of course, in order to prepare the way for the leftist program of radical deconstruction in the name of atheism, socialism and multiculturalism.
This will not do. A people’s history ought to be a source of pride and reverence while, of course, not ignoring the sins. We ought not examine our history skeptically to determine whether we will give America our provisional approval. Neither ought we to present our history as a means of supporting a specific sociopolitical program, least of all an impious, revolutionary program such as one of radical freedom and radical equality. Since we are connected with our ancestors and our nation, and not with other nations, we ought to regard our nation as being essentially good, and we ought therefore to revel in telling its stories.
For this purpose, we offer the following draft. We encourage conservative everywhere to publicize the proclamation of March as American History Month.
Proclamation: American History Month
Whereas the knowledge of and reverence for its history is crucial for the survival and flourishing of any people;
Whereas the knowledge of and reverence for our American history is under widespread and effective assault, in large measure to assist leftists in achieving their goal of the radical transformation of America;
Whereas this assault consists of two primary parts, one of which is the deliberate removal from school curricula of many important people and their achievements, simply because of the “politically correct” desire for room to be made for instruction about American minorities and their achievements;
Whereas the second part of the assault on American history consists of spreading the idea that the America of the past is not worthy of being honored on account of her alleged great injustice to women, minorities, homosexuals, non-Christians and the like, and that the real America is therefore said to be a perpetual struggle to implement revolutionary values such as radical freedom and radical equality;
Whereas one manifestation of this assault is the unseemly practice of our government designating certain months to honor only the achievements of Americans from minority groups when such designations ought to be carried out, as private initiatives, by the minority peoples themselves;
Whereas America was built primarily, but not exclusively, by European-Americans, in which case a proper American History Month would give priority to their achievements while acknowledging the achievements of Americans of other ethnicities;
Whereas America is not an abstract revolutionary agenda, but instead a concrete nation to which we belong, a nation of mostly European and Christian peoples who seek to honor the God of the Bible;
Whereas we Americans have good reasons to be proud of the achievements of our ancestors and to celebrate and honor such persons, objects and events as: Plymouth Rock, Jamestown, Lexington and Yorktown. Antietam and Gettysburg. Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, D-Day. Inchon. Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham, Robert Fulton, Samuel Morse. Alexander Graham Bell. The Wright Brothers. Robert Oppenheimer. Richard Feynman. Herman Melville. Mark Twain. Emily Dickinson. Thomas Hart Benton. Georgia O’Keefe. Stephen Foster. John Phillip Sousa. George Gershwin. Benny Goodman. Louis Armstrong. Bill Robinson. Lewis and Clark. John C. Fremont. Kit Carson. John Glenn. Neil Armstrong. The Transcontinental Railroad. The Panama Canal. The Space Program. The personal computer. George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. Abraham Lincoln. Ulysses S. Grant. Robert E. Lee. Stonewall Jackson. Dwight Eisenhower. Henry Ford. Henry Kaiser. John D. Rockefeller. Etc.
Now, therefore we, the patriotic Americans, by virtue of our debt to our ancestors and love of our people, do hereby proclaim every March to be American History Month. We call on patriotic Americans everywhere to observe this month by remembering and increasing their knowledge of American history, especially the once-widely-known but now increasingly unknown contributions of Christian and European Americans. We also call on Americans to honor American History Month by passing on this knowledge to the young and encouraging them to honor the achievements of their people and feel reverence for their ancestors and their nation.
Let us also acknowledge America’s failures and sins, but let us not exaggerate them. And most of all let us not draw from them the false and monstrous conclusion that America is bad and therefore not deserving of honor. On the contrary, America is good because she is our nation.
We know what some readers are thinking. Today’s America, for most practical purposes, stands for the enthusiastic approval of agnosticism, homosexuality, abortion, socialism, multicultural Balkanization, and other ills. How then can conservatives celebrate America?
Because it is good for a man to have reverence for his ancestors and his people. The ills of the present day will not last. To celebrate American history is not to approve of all things American. It is to honor our people, as is fitting.