America: One Nation, Indivisible

The Confederate battle flag is far from the only worrisome symbol in America today.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online


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42 thoughts on “America: One Nation, Indivisible”

  1. I have no sympathy for the display of the Confederate Traitor flag. However, it had nothing to do with the South Carolina murders. It was a backlash against racist blacks who hate whites so much they tried to destroy whole cities such as Ferguson and Baltimore.

    The movement to falsely accuse white police officers of racism without a shred of proof have only galvanized real racists. At this pace we will not be able to avoid a race war.

    Blacks and liberals are fanatically pursuing witch hunts that will continue to inflame racial tensions. In my entire life I have never seen race relations any worse than it is now. This is the legacy of Obama’s promise of a “post-racial Presidency”. Leftists cannot justify their existence without white boogie-men and they will do everything they can to ferment distrust between our races

    White racists will surely welcome the battle. When the Confederate flag is banned they will see it as evidence of oppression. Hitler had one minor piece of moral high ground, the unfair Treaty of Versailles. The Left is giving modern day white racists their equivalent.

    This left-wing obsession with social engineering and scapegoating America is a poison as bad as the Aryan Nation.

    1. Let’s shake-up the silly little racist mindset. Cruz-Carson or Carson-Cruz in 2016. America as a springboard for great achievement is alive and well—-From poverty to healing the sick.

  2. Whatever the Stars and Bars may connote – slavery, State’s rights, the lash of a whip – we should always remember its significance to our history. Over 600,000 Americans died in the Civil War, making it the bloodiest conflict in our nation’s history, so we should protect the flag from censorahip, whether we agree with what it connotes or not. To cleanse it ifrom the four remaining State Capitals would be not only craven and weak willed, but would essentially make people ignorant of thier history.

    “He who controlls the present, controls the past; and he that controlld” – Orwell

    1. buybuydandavis

      ” To cleanse it ifrom the four remaining State Capitals”

      I doubt Victor, or anyone, is calling for a federal law banning state capitols from flying the confederate flag.

      He is suggesting, instead, that the states still flying it should take it upon themselves to stop flying this racist emblem.

      1. Was I quoting Dr. Hanson?

        Ok, take down the flag from government buildings and remove it from official signs and symbols. Dr. Hanson is correct that the Stars and Bars is “so entwined” with slavery and the South’s racist past that it has become a polarizing anachronism. But remember, taking down the flag will do nothing to improve the lots of inner city Blacks who have been devastated by Obama’s useless, anti-growth economic policies and his terrible public schools, and will only serve to promote the ignorant notion that America is an institutionally racist hell-hole.

    1. buybuydandavis

      Leftists have one standard and are remarkably consistent in pursuing it – what best serves their power.

  3. Great article, as usual. The only things I would add are that I don’t understand why blacks call themselves African-American. Most have probably never been to Africa and probably don’t want to go there and probably know little about Africa. Calling themselves African-American seems racist to me. Why aren’t they just plain old good Americans? And, finally, although slavery was and is not a good thing, we were not the only ones who practiced it and it still exists in many places in the world. We fought a horrible war to get rid of it. There are always two sides to every coin. Even slavery had a somewhat good side because it got many people out of Africa and into the new world where most are a lot better off today than they would be if they were in Africa.

  4. “And to the Republic, for which it stands for…” NOT a word mentioning “Democracy,” wherein a sub-taught purpose-built-underclass is run by an Hunger-Games-Over-Educated-Idiocracy… re: Pledge of Allegiance.

    We need a Constitutional amendment, perhaps, to ban public funding of “Progressive-Retardnation” education pedagogy (actually, it’s brain-soul-spirit MEDDLING) and rather fund the 1776-1900 “Tragic-Liberty” worldview pedagogy of a) general intelligence, b) morals and c) love of law and the US Constitution.

    If the Ed System in America isn’t returned to 1776-1900 “Tragic-Liberty” worldview, then no restoration to sanity shall last, but always be overturned into greater and greater and greater Progtard decline.

    Liberty can be defined as mutual pledging of allegiance to self-restraint and individual freedoms… this is exactly what “Progressive-Retardnation” pedagogy fights unto the absolute death of the Republic.

  5. Absolutely superb article. Needs to be sent to every newspaper, internet blogs, social media,
    as widely distributed as possible. I have never read anything more profound for ending our diversity and becoming a united Republic once again.

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  7. I am a little disappointed in this article. Dr. Hanson has said before that “people are people” and always have been. People join organizations, fraternities, sororities, alumni associations and the like to consort with people of like minds on given points of view. Not all, or even most Southerners hate or dislike members of the black race. Just like not all or even most Confederate soldiers owned slaves or thought slavery was a good idea.
    My great-great grandfather moved to Texas from the Holy Roman Empire Duchy of Nassau. He fought on the side of the South in the Civil War. Am I forbidden to honor my family?
    People who are concerned about political correctness must, in my mind, have too little to worry about. They are like bullies in the school yard wanting to be affronted so they can pick a fight.

  8. How we treat those around us definitely says a lot about who we are. Ignorance is bliss. It is risky to show your vulnerabilities, including your fears. Can you, and do you love your neighbor?

  9. It is unfortunate that our first African-American president has chosen to embody a set of policies and general public persona that has increased divisiveness in our country by choosing sides rather than leading in a way that might help to promote unity between the various ethnic and racial groups in our country. I feel it has caused a backlash of racism and will need “healing” to recover from this presidency. An issue that transcends bipartisan politics. I fear that his approach once again is a part of his “Rules for Radicals” plan to “fix” America.

    1. Well said, David. I think what we’re seeing is Obama’s mask of moderation slipping away and revealing his fangs and evil red eyes. He has given the go ahead to that belly-crawling scumbag Al Sharpton (Freddie’s Fashion Mart, anyone?) to incite racial tensions as a way to (1) punish his political enemies who won the 2014 mid-terms; and (2) rev up the rabble in the street in order to stimulate black voter turnout for the next election. This appalling record, along with the massive debt, a chronically weak economy and a disastrous foreign policy will be his legacy, and may take years to correct, if ever.

      With respect to Sharpton: His race baiting inflammatory rhetoric directly led to seven innocent people being killed after one of his useful idiots went off the rails. Why hasn’t our useless, bootlicking press corps noted the sick irony between the well documented past of this frequent guest at the WH and the tragic event at the Charleston church shooting?

      If we get another 8 years of this crap under Hillary, then I don’t think the country will survive.

    2. Ive really enjoyed growing up with the liberties of the last several decades.
      I see now it is not stable. I wish for a path forward as Dr. Hanson seems to.
      I think exposing these ‘Rules’ types who are constantly attacking our heritage and pride, pitting group against group is essential. They do not have a vision that serves anyone. A thorough house cleaning of the universities might be the place to start.

  10. Thank you Mr. Hanson – this article needs to be required reading by ALL Americans!! The sentiments in this articles has been my own for decades.

  11. Well written, Dr. Hanson. Let’s face it, Liberals/Progressives seek any opportunity to push their agenda on all of us. The issue with the Confederate flag is just the latest example.
    Look, I study military history and, in particular, the American Civil War. I, as a Northerner/Yankee, harbor no ill will toward the Confederate flag because I understand what it means to those in the South whose ancestors fought for the Confederacy. To them the flag represents honor, duty, country and family DURING THAT TIME. One must remember that the vast majority of soldiers who fought for the Confederacy did not own a single slave.
    As an American living today, I will never judge or cast aspersions on those who lived in their time. What happened in the past happened. We can learn from it, but to “Monday morning quarterback” would be disingenuous.
    If you were to look for the most patriotic Americans in this country, today, one would only have to look no further than those Americans living in the Southern States. They get it!

  12. Re: “In other words, the United States is history’s exception, not its rule. America is a great, evolving experiment of a constitutional republic in which peoples of all different races, religions, and ethnic backgrounds are equal under the law and see themselves as Americans first and members of tribes second — appearance and religion being incidental rather than essential to the American body politic”

    You know I believe it is a testament to our great country that even with the intense Confederate hatred directed to the ‘Yankees’ that resulted them to go to war to defend themselves against ‘oppression’ that we continue to be at bottom one great nation composed of disparate states united on significant principles.

    Truly it is ironic that deeply felt ‘oppression’ demanded response in such a way that it resulted in devastation but yet ultimately enabled our nation to grasp and implement a heightened moral view in the nation in the decades and century after. Have to say we are a very interesting nation. Let us hope the ‘experiment’ in the democratic tradition lives on.

  13. In case no one has noticed we have become and are Tribal ( Baltimore, Ferguson, New York). The pledge of allegiance will read,”And Liberty and Justice for no one”. Instead of “Free”, we will all be “slaves ” to our politicians. As a nation we are “done”.

  14. In our great re-write of history, we have totally white-washed out the fact that by all accounts, there were more white European slaves in the U.S. than people from Africa. Or white slavery is dismissed as “indentured servitude.” “Up to one-half of all the arrivals in the American colonies were White slaves and they were America’s first slaves. These Whites were slaves for life, long before Blacks ever were. This slavery was even hereditary. White children born to White slaves were enslaved too.” The Forgotten Slaves: Whites in Servitude in Early America and Industrial Britain by Michael A. Hoffman II, 1999. There is a great deal of informaton on the early White slavery and how much more brutal it was as most of the White slaves were captured street children, vagrants, or prisoners that cost little to nothing, where the African slaves had to be paid for.

    Robert M. Grooms wrote in “The Johnson Family: African-American Owners of White and Black Slaves” that blacks owned white slaves and the first legal precedent for life-long slavery in America was by a black slave owner of his black slaves.

    As noted earlier, this makes the term “African-American” even more offensive. Perhaps we can also get rid of Black history month and replace it with American Slavery month that is all inclusive of actual historical facts and not race baiting.

  15. Hundreds of thousands in the South were drug into a war, not of their making, and not even slave owners, and were maimed and died to protect their homes against the pillaging, rape and murder of the citizenry of the southern states. Are they to be forgotten completely? Is the role of northern bankers and their push to “own” the south also to be forgotten? Obviously so, as almost no one I talk to has any idea about that part of it. History has been rewritten so badly that it is totally forgotten that the south after the war was enslaved by northern bankers and “carpetbagger” politicians. Southerners were forbidden to run their own affairs and the destruction was complete. The animus left over after the war was a testament to everyone that blacks were indirectly responsible for the carnage, at least in the minds of many who had lost everything they owned including their families. Slavery was already on the wane and the southern states had every right to secede – but Lincoln was the lapdog of financial interests and so he ordered the destruction of the South. The battle flag is all that’s left of that time. Must we bury it along with the soldiers and citizens that fought and died? Let’s make a deal: when the Congressional Black Caucus disbands and La Raza changes its name and its purpose, we’ll take down the flag…Deal?

  16. The Confederate flag is not only the flag of slavery and racism, it is a traitor’s flag and must come down! As the Union soldiers sang during the Civil War:

    The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
    Down with the traitors, up with the stars;
    While we rally round the flag, boys, we rally once again
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

    1. buybuydandavis

      Secession should be a right of every state. That was the premise of the American Revolution.

      –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    2. “I’ve always thought Dixie one of the best tunes I’ve ever heard…I now request the band to favor me with its performance.”

      Abraham Lincoln – 10th April 1865

  17. Several of my great-great grandfathers fought for the South in the Civil War. At least one fought for the North. My first two names are Samuel Nuckols, and my great-great grandfather, Samuel R. Nuckols enlisted in the 4th Virginia Cavalry at the beginning of the Civil War and signed a pledge never again to take up arms against the Union at Appomattox in April, 1865. Bitter divisions in my family over Civil War issues lasted into the mid-1920’s. It is time to retire the stars and bars from public display. That flag was once almost sacred to many members of my family. But they are all gone, and the flag only creates bitterness to those souls who endured the terrible stain of slavery that is part of our history. We need to get back to the business of being a melting pot once again, where immigrants become Americans first while enriching our culture in the process.

  18. buybuydandavis

    “Could not the “Black Caucus” rebrand itself as the “Civil Rights Caucus” or the “Progressive Caucus”?”

    It’s actually the other way around.

    The Progressive Theocracy rebranded one of it’s tentacles as the Black Caucus, with special pandering and racial spoils to blacks in exchange for support of the Progressive Theocracy as a whole.

  19. S. Plankenberg

    Don’t be fooled into thinking that the current turmoil fomented by the protesters in South Carolins is just over the Confederate flag. That’s the cover story, but what all of this is really about is the continuing and unrelenting assault on every single aspect of traditional American culture.

    Has anyone else noticed the selectivity of their outrage:

    6 – 10 blacks murdered by blacks and hispanics every week in Chicago – No Problem
    5 – 7 blacks murdered by blacks and hispanics every week in Detroit – No Problem
    Thousands of assaults and rapes of blacks by blacks and hispanics each year nationwide – No Problem
    Muslim mosques popping up all around the country, representing the only religion that openly promotes and practices slavery in modern times – No Problem

    While the evil of slavery was a major factor in what the American Civil War was about, most southerners who served under that flag owned no slaves, or wanted any, and saw the war as a fight to repel the northern invaders and defend their homes.
    It is a fact that most southerners ( and most northerners, for that matter ) saw blacks as inferiors. While the northern Republicans wanted emancipation for the blacks, many southerners were more concerned about what would happen AFTER emancipation when approximately 2 1/2 million suddenly unemployed and largely unskilled blacks were turned loose across the south all at once. One only has to review video of the Watts riots in August 1965, or more recent events in Ferguson and Baltimore to see what was going through the minds of people all across the south.
    The left is very adept at taking advantage of the situation for political purposes whenever some terrible event befalls members of their constituency. It’s as if they suddenly discover that an impromptu parade is coming through town, and there are several empty floats available, so there is a rush to pile every percieved grievance on board, no matter how unrelated each one is to the crisis at hand, hoping something will stick. And a cooperative and sympathetic mainstream media fans the flames even further.
    All slaveowners were / are not white or Muslim.
    The first slaveowner in America was a free black man in living in Massachusetts in the 1660’s ( the court records still exist showing how white friends of what was to be the first black slave tried in vain to secure his freedom ).
    There were several hundred free black slaveownersand traders just prior to the Civil War. Refer to the 1860 U. S. Census. There were over 300 in New Orleans alone.
    There has not been a race or nation on the planet that has not been a victim of slavery.
    Only one has sacrificed approximately 300,000 lives in the fight to end it.

  20. Doctor french

    Wake up Monsieur Hanson!

    Sweden has black women as a cultur minister plus other non etnic swede in the governement,

    Un oubli très certainement,

  21. “” Russia outmaneuvers Obama in the Middle East commentary.”” From commentary magazine. Summation of Egypt pivot—new Saud leadership pivot. Whither Turkey? Lose Turkey, who is repeatedly rejected from EU membership, and its game-over. Putin checkmate. Turkey is already locked-in to Russia.–Google: “” Turkey and Russia sign trade and energy deals circa””. Presenting the final puzzle piece of the China-Russia axis team going for checkmate moves— Google: “”China and Turkey revive silk road the commentator.”” Game,set, match. Republican sweep and getting our house in order, and still seeing the unimaginable by 2020 to 2030. Republican sweep at this late-stage in the game can only lessen the impacts from the coming changes, in my opinion,for what it’s worth. Buckle-up. Thanks for your tireless, important work.!! Keystone pipeline anyone!

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  23. While it’s not PC to bring this up…but, a lot of blacks actually fought for the south. At Petersburg, black Confederate construction battalions armed with picks and shovels were engaged in vicious hand to hand combat with Northern colored units. During the retreat from Gettysburg nearly 1000 black teamsters had to be armed at Williamsport Md. to fight off northern calvary units in order to save Lee’s wagons. Jackson had more than 1000 blacks accompany his brigades as the marched up and down the Shenandoah Valley. Blacks were often teamsters, cooks, laborers, etc. If you get right down to it, without black complicity during the Civil War, the South would have collapsed a lot sooner than it did. If at any time during the war had the blacks staged an uprising, the entire South would have collapsed. To those who would say, “well, they were slaves, they were forced into laboring for the South”, they would need to remember that the South didn’t have the man power to police several million slaves. Many fought for the South because it was their homeland also.

    We should also remember everything wasn’t all rosy for the blacks in the North. In 4 Union states and in DC, slavery was legal and practiced. In New York City, the Irish lynched blacks on street lamps. When Lincoln came out with the Emancipation Proclamation, Northern units mutinied in the field when they found out they were fighting for the blacks.

    It’s too bad that history that isn’t the “right” history isn’t taught in schools today.

  24. Your article should be required reading in every school in the country.

    On the other hand, this backlash against a flag and symbols is so obviously motivated to make the white race feel guilty that it is pitiful. If I had a Confederate flag I think I’d hang it out as a symbol of my “freedom of expression and, to some, a reminder of all the facts noted in the preceding comments. I absolutely abhor the thought of being pushed around because someone, or group, thinks my beliefs offend them. This is way out of hand and I would not be surprised to see a huge backlash. You wanna’ remember history – well remember it all.

    Last of all, I am reminded of a cartoon in Playboy magazine at least 25 years ago. The scene: A cocktail party on the terrace of an “apartment” overlooking Central Park, NY. The actors: A minority (black) minister lecturing a young, white executive type on his racist heritage, while both sip Martinis. To the lecture, the young man responds” I’m sorry – you must be confusing me with someone much, much older”.

  25. Inmemoryofyossi

    I was born and raised in California, moved to New York for a while, and have spent the last 26 in Virginia. I didn’t understand the Southern mentality when we first moved down. Now I feel I get it.
    Unless you have lived in the south, you will not understand what the civil war was about, and how it has shaped and defined them. The civil war is not past history. They still live with it today. You pass landmarks on your way to work. There are civil war reenactments. There are pictures of destroyed buildings. I’ll say out again, the civil war is not history. You will not get this until you live it.
    A few years ago I took my kids to Tredegar Ironworks. It was a fascinating place, and well worth a visit if you are ever in Richmond. From what I remember, freeing the slaves was not the main reason of the civil war. And, the North benefited from slaves, although indirectly, through buying products at cheaper prices. ( Much like we do today with cheap Made In China Wal-Mart products.)
    The confederate flag is not a symbol of hate to most Southerners. It’s a symbol of pride. Of fighting for what you believe in. For standing up for yourselves.
    I think that the liberals have latched onto this in an attempt to rewrite history. Just like what was done with Christopher Columbus. He is now being taught as a horrible guy out to take advantage. History is being taught in schools excluding the Revolutionary War in an attempt to brain wash these generations against freedoms.
    How do you boil a frog? Not by dropping it into boiling water. You put it in cold water, and slowly turn up the heat. We are all in lukewarmwater that seems to get warmer and warmer by the day. We are going to reach a boiling point. G-d help us at that point.

  26. The irony is so thick that one could cut it with a knife. Barack Obama was let through the doors of the White House under the premise that he would unite the nation along racial, ethnic, and gender lines after a “divisive” Bush presidency, and restore America’s image abroad. It was young, White Millennial’s weened on anti-Iraq-anti-Bush-anti-American propaganda, for all intents and purposes, together with Blacks and women that propelled Obama into the White House in 2008. Now, it looks more like the first African-American president sees himself more as a third world revolutionary dictator, than the president of the greatest nation in the course of human history and the leader of the longest running successful experiment in consensual government. Barack Obama, through proxies like Al Sharpton and Eric Holder, actually foments racial unrest and racial targeting of Whites and law enforcement under civil rights and hate crime statutes.

    Obama came in like a Svengali preaching unity, but he set about to erase America and “fundamentally transform” it, into something it should never be. White American’s see Obama as waging a form of cultural genocide against their laws, their traditions, and their way of life – from violating the constitution and releasing illegal alien felons onto the streets of America, to taking Alexander Hamilton off the $10 bill or using the Federal Government to socialize the free market and establish a quasi-police state- they feel beleaguered and under attack. While American’s of all walks of life and on both sides of the political aisle praised Obama’s election in 2008 as a historical moment where America had transcended the racism of the past; now Black American’s seem to rally around him, like the Alawi’s around Bashar Assad, for fear of what his ruination will mean for their communities. They may not like Obama, but they dare not criticize him for fear that doing so may open the flood gates against not just Obama, but them. Many are satiated, despite unprecedented Black unemployment, with government subsidies and patronage positions. White’s become angry when they see their husband or a wife with twenty or thirty years of experience unable to find a job in their industry or sector, and their son or daughter comes out of college with near $100,000 in debt to become a barista or work a part-time job. And, then illegal aliens are imported into the Country by the ten’s of millions to work available jobs, in what amounts to a six figure salary south of the border, at a time when 93 million people aren’t in the workforce. Many feel that the importation of Mexican’s, Central American’s, and Muslim’s, is a form of ethnic cleansing meant to dilute and erase the American identity, and way of life. They see supporters of Al Sharpton calling for gunning down police and Obama himself fomenting race riots in Baltimore, while the police stand-down, and then attacking the 2nd Amendment.

    In the South, the most patriotic part of the country, and one that inordinately sends its children to serve in the Armed Forces and to fight America’s wars, they see the blood of America’s veteran’s squandered. Many Southerner’s of the Baby Boomer generation vividly remember the stories of the Antebellum, Reconstruction, and Segregated South told by their grandparents and great-grandparents, and some of the more educated have knowledge of Robert E. Lee seeking racial harmony, praying as an equal before God with a former slave on the pulpit of the Presbyterian Church of Richmond, and calling for his soldiers to surrender and make their son’s American’s; and they also remember murmurs of retribution against Whites by the former-slave dominated occupation force of the Union Army after the Civil War.

    Many American’s see the call’s of Martin Luther King to “not judge a man by the color of his skin, but rather the content of his character” to have been discarded and replaced with judgement on them for being the progeny of a racist nation and people. Some even see this as an unjust reward for American society’s kindness in trying to make America a multiracial democratic society based on equality of opportunity, and hear the voices of racist Segregationists, like George Wallace or Lester Maddox, echoing from the grave that, “we told you this would happen. You elect the first non-White male of European descent, and he destroy’s the Country in just six years.” At times like these, people turn to what they know, and people of all races and creeds hardly trust their neighbor’s, let alone the ethnic neighborhood across town.

    There is no law anymore. The Constitution has been rendered null and void. An economic catastrophe is waiting under the surface of Greek and Puerto Rican debt default and bankruptcy, $20 trillion in debt, and $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities. And, many think that we are already in the beginning stages of World War III with conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine, and a standoff in the South China Sea, while Iran nukes up and the Islamic State is now a virtual Caliphate. The rise of end times scenario’s is prevalent, and a sense of foreboding has encompassed the Land.

    At times like these, a spark can ignite a firestorm. Obama unleashed this upon us, but we were the ones who invited him in, and we are the ones who are going to have to exercise his demon.

  27. Great article showing that racism is no longer predominately white. Anyone who still thinks it is probably has the IQ of a dirt clod and has strong opinions formed not by unbiased research and observation but by the spewings of radical hate mongers . The primary danger of the new colors of racism is its potential to cause the middle mass of reasonable people of whatever shade to have to choose sides which means joining the narrow minded bigots in their color or ethnic groups. We then have the potential to become like certain Middle East, African, and other countries. Those ****lands are created by the people who live there, the same people who after moving to other places and refusing to change habits simply create another ****land. So far, we may be unique but certainly not immune.

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