“We should build a wall of brass around the country.” – John Jay
The previous statement was in regards to the Catholic alien invaders, the Irish, who were attacked with the same negro-rhetoric during their massive migration to the New World. In 1789, George Washington nominated John Jay to become the First Supreme Court Justice; the very man who has also said: “Those who own the country ought to govern it”.
In contrast, in 1799, John Jay also made sure to enact a slave-abolishing law during his governance of New York before the end of his run.
This schizophrenic set of actions by John Jay, harsh in his Irish immigrant commentary and lenient in his work towards the ever so gradual emancipation of African-Americans, could very well be an overall mirror-image of America. A country that is supposedly given birth to by a revolution, manifested by the intelligent masterpiece known as the Bill of Rights and perpetually in a spectrum between reasonably bad and destructively awful.
A nation built on the fundamental and often sensational building blocks of Enlightenment values and Rights Theory, is now seemingly turning into an Orwellian nightmare or Lemony Snicket’s wet dream. A country that has been arguably seen as the police of the world and the protector of democracy for the past century or so, is now trumped by the prospect of becoming a contradictive powerhouse of hypocrisy and false-righteousness. Albeit so, a powerhouse America remains.
Based on intensive idealism and profound principles, the founding guidelines of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and countless other socially empowering documents, the United States of America seems to have forgotten its initial identity. The country that was established to be the safe haven for multicultural cosmopolitanism, free-trade, individual liberty, communal prosperity…etc. is now facing a massive moral dilemma at a small scale and a possible fall from grace at a larger one.
With the newly enacted series of unfortunate legislative orders, it has come to the attention of the American people, the International Order and oneself , that the United States of America may be facing an identity crisis. A crisis that could be argued against with the rhetoric of “no, it’s the most powerful country in the world therefore it can do as it wills”, or it could be argued for with the rhetoric of “America is in desperate need of a long overdue awakening”.
The political unrest and social insecurity of the United States of America warrants not a reminder that a house divided cannot stand but, rather, the reminder of American values. The value of social engagement and civil obligation that surpasses a re-tweeted revolution or a hash-tagged movement; a reminder that, when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty.
So, America, lest you forget what you are made of and what you stand for.
With the everlasting words of Brother Malcolm, one concludes with this: