The American experiment in self-government will endure by sanctifying every individual’s God-given rights — or it will go the way of 20th-century Europe and collapse in the face of resurgent tribal prejudices.
Every move toward voluntary segregation brings us closer to the latter.
On Tuesday, veterans in Buffalo, New York, celebrated “Black Veterans Day,” and they did so accompanied by a symbol of the event’s manifest divisiveness.
According to WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown proclaimed Nov. 7 a Black Veterans Day in the city.
That date coincides with an important moment in the history of the American Revolution. On Nov. 7, 1775, Lord Dunmore — the last royal governor of British colonial Virginia — issued a proclamation promising freedom to slaves and indentured servants who agreed to fight for the crown against their American rebel masters.
Tuesday marked the first Black Veterans Day in the United States, according to Buffalo’s WKBW-TV.
While there is nothing wrong with commemorating an event from the American Revolution, a WGRZ report revealed something reprehensible about this particular commemoration.
As WGRZ weekend reporter Keelin Berrian described the mayor’s proclamation and the origins of Black Veterans Day, footage showed a small American flag overlain with the colors of the Pan-African flag.
Instead of red, white and blue, the Stars and Stripes appeared in red, black and green.
Then, as Berrian reviewed the history of black Americans fighting for the Union, both in the early republic and in the Civil War, cameras showed the Pan-African flag twice more. No one made any attempt to conceal it.
The Pan-African flag did not exactly come out of nowhere. As a symbol, it has existed for more than a century.
In fact, a YouTube video from 2016 showed a small group of people raising the flag at Buffalo’s City Hall in 2016.
Whatever that flag means to the people who carry it, we know that even the most vaguely revolutionary organizations attract their share of Marxists, and the Pan-African movement is no different.
The central problem here, however, involves neither the specific flag nor the ideology it represents.
Indeed, the problem with “Black Veterans Day” lay in the very notion of separateness. After all, Veterans Day already includes black veterans.
Meanwhile, a separate flag — much like a separate national anthem — amplifies tribalism at the expense of American unity.
That unity would be but one more form of tribalism were it not for America’s unique place in world history. In short, the people of the United States have no shared ethnicity, only the shared ideals of liberty and equality. Nothing else defines them. Thus, anyone can legally emigrate to the U.S., accept those ideals and thereby become American.
By contrast, no one could move to France or China and thereby become French or Chinese. Outside the United States, ethnicity dictates identity.
Resisting segregation, therefore, means promoting an America where people matter as people, not as members of groups.
Let the rest of the world wallow in its tribal prejudices. We have a better way.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.