AMERICA, THE BEAUTIFUL?
Were you aware that our nation opposed Haiti's revolution for democracy in the early 1800s; that our nation's war against Mexico that began in 1846 resulted in our taking half of Mexico for ourselves; that our nation defeated Spain ostensibly to liberate Cuba, but actually established a military base on the island and furtively gained de facto control of its puppet government; that our nation seized Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Guam; that our nation had fought a brutal war to subjugate the Phillipines; that our nation had opened Japan for trade with us with threats and gunboats; that our nation created an "Open Door" policy with China to exploit it economically; that our nation engineered a revolution against Colombia to create the nation of Panama so we could build the canal through it; that our nation sent 5,000 Marines in 1926 to Nicaragua to counter their democratic revolution; that our nation in 1916 intervened in the Dominican Republic for the fourth time; that our nation in 1915 intervened in Haiti for the second time, and so on. Imperialism, not democracy, steered our nation's decisions and movements.
Did any of you learn about, let alone study extensively, any of these flagitious Ameican acts and policies as you sat and squirmed in your high school American history class? My surmise is that you did not. But I bet you were required in at least one of your classrooms sometime between 1st and 12th grade to stand at attention, as it were, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance as you saluted the flag in the corner. My riposte: What does it matter if our flags are waving, if our spirits are flagging?
Epilogue: Most importantly, never forget that it was the two evils of slavery and genocide that propelled our nation into what once was the most influential nation on Earth.
Copyright 2020 Tod Howard Hawks
A graduate of Andover and Columbia College, Columbia University, Tod Howard
Hawks has been a poet and a human-rights advocate for his entire adult life.