Walls and Borders, Part 6
Racism and Nationalism
Let us move on to Argument Two
“Those who support a wall are racist and do not want people of a darker skin living in the country.”
This race card is a disingenuous source of attack pulled out way too often and with no justification.
Both the left and the right have participated in creating our legal immigration laws and policies and there is nothing in them that reflect racism, or discrimination because of race.
The latest poll (Jan 13, 2019) available at the time of this writing was commissioned by ABC News and the Washington Post. It reveals that 42% of the population support building a wall.
Now think a moment. Can anyone really rationally believe that 42% of the population is so racist that they want a wall built just so people from other races cannot come into the country? This thinking is just plain silly, especially when you realize that this poll tells us that 22% of non whites support the wall. Are they racists against themselves?
Here is the interesting part. Among the 54% who oppose the wall 9% see the border problem as a crisis situation and an additional 47% see it as a serious problem. So, 56% of the 54% who do not support a wall still see the border as a serious problem that needs additional controls. They just figure there are other solutions better than a wall.
56% of the 54% equals an additional 30%. Add that to the 42% who support a wall and you have a total of 72% of the population who want extra controls at the border, be it a wall or some other method, to control the inflow of people into the country.
Do 72% of the population desire more border control because they are racist? No one in their right mind can believe this.
So, why do 72% of the population want more secure borders? The answer is simple and it has nothing to do with race. There are three main concerns.
(1) We are limited in the number of people we can assimilate without overtaxing our resources.
(2) We want to screen the people to weed out potentially harmful people such as criminals and terrorists.
(3) We want to make sure they support our country’s laws and ideals of freedom and justice and will not be subversive to our way of life.
We have two groups of people attempting to get in the country. One has legally applied and waiting in line and the other attempts to forcefully cross the border and ignores the law.
Which group deserves the priority?
The answer is obvious and again race has nothing to do with this for both groups are of the same racial mixture.
“Those who support stronger borders are nationalists, and nationalism is just plain wrong. Spiritual teachers, and particularly DK, are against nationalism.”
Like racism, the idea of nationalism is used as a label to sidestep the reasoning process and used merely as a tool to defeat an opposing view. If you do not like the other guy’s thinking just call him a nationalist or racist, and if the label sticks then no additional thinking or discussion is necessary. It is then concluded that anything that comes out of the guy’s mouth is tainted and not to be trusted no matter how logical it seems. This is similar to the approach of the member of a fundamentalist religion who labels someone as being in league with the devil or evil spirits. Nothing such a person says can be trusted in their view.
A nationalist is simply someone who loves their country and desires to put its needs first above that of other competing countries.
Therefore a nationalist would do the following:
He would try to feed the hungry in his country first, figuring other countries will be doing the same with their own people.
He would seek to secure freedom and security in his homeland before that of others.
He would generally support his team in the Olympics above that of other nations.
Now such nationalistic support does not mean the guy is against helping other countries, but most figure they cannot be much good to the world if they at first do not take care of themselves.
For instance, on an individual level, if one neglects his health he loses power to help others and can wind up being a burden instead. Each of us must put our health first else we may have no power to help others.
So, if nationalism is harmless and in many cases helpful, why did DK and others who are enlightened speak against it?
Again, one must read more than out of context quotes here for as DK wrote most of his thoughts on this as we were in a life and death struggle against the extreme nationalism of Germany during World War II. He appropriately condemned their extreme nationalism, materialism and selfishness, but did not condemn all nationalism. Instead, he said there were two forms of nationalism. One is good and the other not so much.
Concerning the bad nationalism he says:
“First, there is the spirit of nationalism with its sense of sovereignty and its selfish desires and aspirations. This, in its worst aspect, sets one nation against another, fosters a sense of national superiority and leads the citizens of a nation to regard themselves and their institutions as superior to those of another nation; it cultivates pride of race, of history, of possessions and of cultural progress and breeds an arrogance, a boastfulness and a contempt of other civilizations and cultures which is evil and degenerating; it engenders also a willingness to sacrifice other people’s interests to one’s own and a basic failure to admit that “God hath made all men equal”. This type of nationalism is universal and everywhere to be found and no nation is free from it; it indicates a blindness, a cruelty and a lack of proportion for which mankind is already paying a terrible price and which will bring humanity down in ruins if persisted in.”
So this negative nationalism goes beyond self interest to great selfishness, denial of equal rights and a feeling of superiority leading to contempt for others.
But then he tells us there is a good nationalism. He states:
“There is, needless to say, an ideal nationalism which is the reverse of all this; it exists as yet only in the minds of an enlightened few in every nation, but it is not yet an effective and constructive aspect of any nation anywhere; it remains still a dream, a hope and, let us believe, a fixed intention. This type of nationalism rightly fosters its individual civilization but as a national contribution to the general good of the comity of nations and not as a means of self-glorification; it defends its constitution, its lands and its people through the rectitude of its living expression, the beauty of its mode of life and the selflessness of its attitudes; it does not infringe, for any reason, the rights of other people or nations. It aims to improve and perfect its own mode of life so that all in the world may benefit. It is a living, vital, spiritual organism and not a selfish, material organization.
Problems of Humanity, Page 88-89
This enlightened nationalist still focuses first upon his own country, but not so he can feel superior but to make the greatest possible contribution to the planet. In doing this he says country still “rightly fosters its individual civilization” and “defends its constitution, its lands and its people,” but without infringing on the rights of others.
I see myself in this second category, as I do not have a feeling of superiority about being a U.S. citizen, but want my country to do well and defend its Constitution and Bill of Rights. I value the freedom and prosperity here and desire to share it with the rest of the world. But like individual humans, if we do not look after our interests and become ill then we could lose our power to assist other nations.
Yes, there are many selfish nationalists in all nations, but there are also good ones who want their nation to thrive so they cannot only help themselves, but the world.
As it is the word “nationalist” has been promoted as an evil label to describe political opponents as racists, haters, selfish and evil. Such approach does not exist on the path of return. We are all brothers and sisters in the same boat and the time is overdue that we focus on goodwill and unity rather than division through distorted use of labels.
Copyright by J J Dewey
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