October 15, 2009
From Lawrence Auster’s View From the Right
FrontPage Magazine has inaugurated a regular feature, “From the Pen of David Horowitz,” edited by David Swindle, the purpose of which is to memorialize Horowitz’s wise sayings about politics.
Tuesday’s entry is a passage from Horowitz’s 1999 book, Hating Whitey, in which Horowitz declares that white Christian America’s greatest and most noble achievement has been to open itself to nonwhites and non-Christians:
The creation of America by Protestant Christians within the framework of the British Empire [sic] was historically essential to the development of institutions that today afford greater privileges and protections to all minorities than any society extant. White European-American culture is a culture that the citizens of this nation can take enormous pride in, precisely because its principles, revolutionary in their conception and unique in their provenance, provide for the inclusion of cultures that are non-white and non-Christian (and which are not so tolerant in their lands of origin). That is why America’s democratic and pluralistic framework remains an inspiring beacon to people of all colors all over the world, from Tiananmen Square to Haiti and Havana, who have not yet won their freedom, but who aspire to do so. This was once the common self-understanding of all Americans and is still the understanding of those who have been able to resist the discredited and truly oppressive world-view of the “progressive” left.
As those familiar with my autobiography Radical Son know, I once occupied the other side of the political divide. My views on race, however, have remained entirely consistent with my previous commitments and beliefs. I opposed racial preferences in the 1960s and I oppose them now. Then I believed that only government neutrality towards racial groups was compatible with the survival of a multi-ethnic society that is also democratic. I still believe that today.
Where my views have changed is in the appreciation I now have for America’s constitutional framework and the commitment of the American people to those ideals. America’s unique political culture was indeed created by white European males, primarily English and Christian. It should be obvious to anyone with even a modest historical understanding that these antecedents are not incidental to the fact that America and England are the nations that led the world in abolishing slavery, and in establishing the principles of ethnic and racial inclusion. Or that we are a nation besieged by peoples “of color” trying to immigrate to our shores to take advantage of the unparalleled opportunities and rights our society offers them.
While Horowitz states over and over the idea of openness toward nonwhites, let’s look at the passage where he states it most fully and definitively:
White European-American culture is a culture that the citizens of this nation can take enormous pride in, precisely because its principles, revolutionary in their conception and unique in their provenance, provide for the inclusion of cultures that are non-white and non-Christian (and which are not so tolerant in their lands of origin).
So white European-American culture is good, and the main reason it is good is that it includes non-white and non-Christian cultures. The greatest thing about the white European-American culture, for which whites should feel the most pride, is that it allows itself to be progressively changed into a melange of nonwhite, non-European, non-Christian cultures and peoples. What is best about white America is that it turns itself into its own opposite.
Now think about the fact that Horowitz’s vision—assertively pro-America, with the defining thing about America being the fact that it includes ever greater numbers of non-white and non-Western peoples and their cultures—presents itself as the “conservative” vision today, as distinct from the leftist, anti-American vision which Horowitz opposes.
Think of the choice between left and “right” that Horowitz offers us.
On one side, the anti-American left, which openly declares its intention to end white Christian America, by changing America into a nonwhite, non-Christian country.
On the other side, the pro-American “right,” which openly declares its intention to end white Christian America, by changing America into a nonwhite, non-Christian country.
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