Recently Daniel Lattier wrote about an elementary school in Edina, Minnesota, where public school children “are being trained to see the world through the lens of race.”
Robert Jones, writing in The New York Times, warns that our distinctly American identity is in danger of being lost.
Jones is not talking about the loss of ethnic identity. For Americans, unlike Europeans, identity does not “rely on ethnic kinship.” Rather, our American identity arose “by voluntary assent to commonly held political beliefs.” The “core political beliefs” to which Jones points are anchored in our shared humanity and are “enshrined in founding ‘sacred texts,’ like the Declaration of Independence.”
What can go wrong as we move away from an American identity centered around common core beliefs and toward splintered ethnic and racial identities?
History provides powerful lessons about societies placing paramount importance on ethnic identities.