The History of American (White) Exceptionalism: Chapter Ten

“American Imperialism internationally is the same thing as White Privilege domestically. Many lawmakers know their ability to remain in office is based upon their support of white policies. This is how we get the Tea Party. This is how we get Trump. “

American Imperialism

 

“And now that the U.S. has embarked in imperial enterprises, … the Republican Party … is learning every day by valuable experiences that there are vast differences in political capacity between the races, and that it is the white man’s mission, his duty and his right, to hold the reins of political power in his own hands for the civilization of the world and the welfare of mankind.” John Burgess

“No greater calamity could now befall the United States than to have the Pacific slope fill up with a Mongolian population.” President Theodore Roosevelt

“Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed. The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil. … We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely that the weaker and inferior members of society do not marry so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage, though this is more to be hoped for than expected.”  Charles Darwin

The origins of American Imperialism can be found in multiple places. Interestingly, the word Imperialism was rarely raised when “Americans” marched west across the North American continent as part of Manifest Destiny. Imperialism didn’t apply until we went further west into Hawaii and the Philippines. The term generally had a negative connotation when applied to non-white nations. When Japan attacked Russia it was considered a good thing and American troops extended into the Philippines purportedly to support Japan but also to make sure they didn’t venture into China. One might think America would have supported Russia but because they had mixed with the Mongolians they were no longer pure enough to command white support. Also of concern was the victory of Lenin and the Bolsheviks in Russia which set a horrible example that there was another alternative to Capitalism and foreshadowed the possibilities that workers might gain greater control at the economic expense of the business class that would see their profits reduce. It could very well be that the fear of Communism has less to do with ideology than profitability.

In addition to the support of Capitalism, there was another philosophy that gave support to the idea that America could use its power and influence wherever it liked which was, “Social Darwinism”. This belief was not unique to America, it was unique to white nations including Britain and Western Europe that believed that evolution and natural selection had bestowed upon white people the superior capacity to lead and reason. Those with the greater capacity should see their power increase while the rest should see theirs decrease. In simpler terms. White peoples could and should do whatever they like because… white.

It is this reasoning that would allow for the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan because it would be for the greater good of white people and send a message to Russia at the same time. It is that logic that would see the West built up by the Mexicans and Chinese while paying them wages they could barely exist on under slave-like conditions. It is that type of thought that justifies voter restrictions designed to limit the voting strength of those who didn’t have the capacity to use it correctly anyway. It is why race-based redistricting and gerrymandering and even the Electoral College as opposed to the popular vote is the law of our land.

American Imperialism internationally is the same thing as White Privilege domestically. Many lawmakers know their ability to remain in office is based upon their support of white policies. This is how we get the Tea Party. This is how we get Trump. The alleged impartial arbiter is the court which overall is just as white and judge’s appointments on the Federal and Supreme Court levels depend on confirmation in the almost all-white Senate that has done a fine job of ensuring candidates hold the proper views. The whole system is designed and maintained to support that which I now call White Exceptionalism, but has existed under other names since the nation’s founding.

Author: enigmainblackcom

William Spivey is a regular contributor to the Inner-City News where he writes about politics and popular culture. He also blogs as “Enigma in Black” where he explores poetry, religion, politics and all manner of things socially relevant. He is also a contributing Blogger at Together We Stand He is the founder of the Facebook pages Average Citizen Forum, Enigma in Black, and “Strong Beginnings,” the title of his soon to be released Political Fiction/Romance novel. William was the winner of a University-wide Essay Contest while at Fisk University titled, “The Value of a Liberal Arts Education. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Fisk and resides in Orlando, FL. His goal is to make his voice heard and make a difference.

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