Saturday, January 17, 2015

American Exceptionalism

It's amazing to me that so many Americans continue to buy into the myth that because of our citizenship, we are better than everybody else.  This is not a new idea. When white Europeans began immigrating to the American continent,  they carried with them a religious construct known as manifest destiny. In essence, they believed they were superior in every way to the indigenous peoples that have populated this continent for thousands of years.  They used this cultural and religious meme to justify the forced displacement of native Americans from the land they had traditionally occupied. Millions of Indians suffered and died in the process.

This ugly sense of superiority is still a part of the American brand. We are constantly sold the idea that Americans are exceptional compared to the rest of the world. Too many of us, way too many, buy into this self-absorbed perception. The reality: if we are exceptional, it must be based on the amount of arrogance and self-delusion that we harbor compared to the rest of the world.

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