Should we be accused of being unpatriotic when we call our nation to treat other nations ethically? In an essay that sounds like it came out of MLK’s speech at the Riverside Church, Jimmy Carter said that the United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.
Our nation began as a revolution. We once felt an inspiration to be a shining city on a hill declaring to all nations that every human being is endowed with an inalienable right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Dr. King said there was a world revolution, that the world’s poor were rising up to throw off the chains of colonialism, but that the United States was on the wrong side of that struggle.
Perhaps it was our need to enslave Africans for free labor, or to rob the original inhabitants of this continent for free land, that lured us to turn our principles into mere motto’s and slogans. Perhaps it was the lure of capitalism that changed the American dream from universal freedom to personal wealth. In any case, America’s true patriots are those who find the courage to admit what we have become, and to dismantle the American Empire in the name of the American Dream, which is actually the dream of all of us.