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Hatred — of any kind — should have no place in our nation’s classrooms

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a well published writer, whose works are found throughout the college curriculum. Her latest essay on “race” is entitled: The United States is Not “A Nation of Immigrants”.

Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz has accused the United States of “modern genocide” and has urged “passionate, organized hatred is the element missing in all that we do to try to change the world. Now is the time to spread hate, hatred for the rich.”

Among other accusations, Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz accused the United States of engaging in a “policy of genocide and land theft.” The writer blames the United States for suffering by “everyone and everything.” She accused the United State of “dominance and intervention, often violently through direct military means or through proxies.”

It would be easy to dismiss Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz as just another kook, whose distorted view of history is intended to undermine cooperation between races, colors, religions and creeds in this country and to foment hatred for those people who Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz defines as “White.”

In her attack on America and its White population, the author focuses at times in American history when slavery and other fundamentally unfair behavior took place in this country. She does not, however, look at any other nation during the same period of time. In China, India, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, wars, slavery and annihilation were almost as deadly as disease in wiping out populations. The “Native Americans” were newcomers to this country at a time when they could cross the land bridge from Asia to the Americas, at the end of the last great epochal ice age. Those “settlers” to the United States were White people from Asia, who had made their way across the great landmass of Europe in their travels to North and South America. Those “original inhabitants” were replaced through war and conquests by a variety of tribes. At the time that Cortez came to South America and helped to destroy the Inca Empire, it was already in decline, having conquered and enslaved populations that existed previous to the Incas.

Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz also conveniently forgets that slavery in the United States and Europe was a product of African tribal wars. Africans, frequently with arms given to them by Muslim Arabs, conquered one another, enslaved their fellows and delivered those slaves for sale to the Ivory Coast, as well as other areas in Africa. The Portuguese, Dutch and others bought those slaves and transported them throughout the world. There would likely have been no Black slavery, had the Black man not been hunted down and sold into slavery by other African tribesmen and the Arab slave traders.

Not surprisingly, Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz shows great resentment for assimilation of immigrants to the United States. She clearly would prefer internecine tribal warfare in this country. People like Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz stir the pot of race and class hatred in order to promote their own agenda.

Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz savors particular revenge for Donald Trump and showers the Muslim immigrant with much empathy. Nowhere does this author look at the history of immigration, slavery and repression in other nations during the same time period. She will not and she cannot do that. The reason is that the United States was one of the few nations in the world that took in immigrants and, while not always treating them well, gave them the opportunity of becoming a part of a great nation. That did not happen elsewhere.

In the course of her ugly and frequently historically inaccurate statements, Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz takes a swipe at Israel as well as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Northern Ireland. She refers to “20th-Century copycat settler states Israel….” What in heaven’s name is she talking about? The statement shows that the author perhaps does not know that the original and continuous inhabitants of Israel were Jews. She may not know that half of the population of Israel are Jews of Middle Eastern origin. Perhaps she also does not that the Jews who lived throughout North Africa and the Middle East for 2,000 years were unceremoniously booted out, a million of them, beginning in the late 40’s and early 50’s. She apparently has no sympathy for these refugees, who became immigrants.

What is perhaps most shocking is that the gutter philosophy based upon suspicion of other races, reminiscent of the Aryan motif practiced by the Nazis, goes unchallenged in our colleges and universities. Compare this author with Neo-Nazi David Duke. There is very little difference. Duke resents and is suspicious of immigrants, and certainly does not want them integrated into America’s population. He also plays the race card. In Duke’s case, he feels the White race is superior and in Dunbar-Ortiz’s world, White people are bad, negative and innately racist.

We are now seeing a full circle whereby colleges and universities are promoting a view of America, and ultimately the “White world” as one where race matters. We should define one another by race, if this author’s views are to be accepted, and punish the oppressor race, who in Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz’s case, are White people. Never mind that White people are a minority on this planet.

We will never make progress as a nation or a world so long as we educate our college kids to believe that America and the White race in general is evil because it does not fit the Nazi or Soviet style conscientiously or sub-conscientiously embraced by writers like Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz. The would-be essayist seems to have particular ire for non-White, third-world, educated immigrants who now make America their home. She works hard to debase and degrade those immigrants and the good fortune they have found in the United States. She may not even know that White people are now a minority in this country.

The essay is sufficiently rambling, unspecific and sweeping in its terms, that it would be difficult to fully appreciate the author’s motive. Clearly, however, she attempts to wash away America’s considerable achievement as a melting pot, particularly as third-world immigrants populate our shores. With no precise theme, other than a pronounced hatred, the author retreats to a criticism of precolonial times in 1607, when the rest of the world was even less hospitable than those early pilgrims for whom Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz has such great disdain.

Is poor scholarship, and stereotyping based upon color, now being reintroduced to our colleges and universities on a scale that was not even present in the pre-Civil Rights era? Disguised as seekers of truth, people like Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz are spreading their own particular brand of ridicule for people whose color, religion or ancestry she does not approve of. She relies upon pseudo-history and dishonest semi-factual tidbits to support her ugly and dangerous philosophy. This should not be any more a part of our curriculum than the David Dukes of the world.

Clifford A. Rieders is a board-certified trial advocate in Williamsport

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