Taking down the flag of slavery was a no-brainer. But now what? Remain fixated on symbols and buzzwords or wrestle with institutionalized injustice?
Political correctness is actually a form of racism that provides us liberal elites with rhetorical distractions so we never have to confront deeper issues. We ban great novels by Mark Twain and Joseph Conrad because they contain the N-word, even though they brilliantly analyze the psychology of racism. We obsess over the precious distinction between a “hate crime” and “murder.” We censure each others' honest dialogue. We punish anyone who doesn’t speak from the PC lexicon.
But beneath our Twitter activism is the true racism. In U.S. courts, judges throw the book at people of color for possessing a few joints, but wealthy bankers avoid jail time for their massive fraud. Our prison-for-profit system incarcerates more “criminals” than other Western democracies combined, then uses them as virtual slave labor. Our cops often make African Americans afraid to walk down their own streets. Our foreign policy uses bombs and drones to terrorize Third World people of color, then exploits their natural resources for corporate profit.
Now that we’ve mothballed the Confederate flag, it’s time to ask what the Stars and Stripes stand for. As you wave Old Glory this Fourth of July, consider whether America is the land of the free for all citizens, or only some.