Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Strange Case of ‘White Supremacy’

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Any majority population must be careful not to revert to pre-civilized tribalism and oppressing minority groups. The United States, like every other country that enjoys diverse populations has struggled from its beginning to ensure equality, sometimes unsuccessfully, and only at the cost of thousands of lives.

While the United States was founded originally mostly by those of European ancestry and was plagued by the endemic racism of the age, especially in regard to African slaves and Native Americans, nonetheless its unique Constitution, embedded within a larger framework of the Western Enlightenment, institutionalized self-reflection and the chance for amendment. America’s founding documents were unique in their singular calls for innate and universal human freedom and equality under the law that would eventually and logically demand reification of such ideals.

In other words, in America there was a real chance to overcome not American sins per se, but the ancient sins of mankind in general.

The result is that more than 243 years after its independence, the current longest-lived democracy arguably is also the world’s most racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse nation and unmatched in its efforts to promote equality.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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