Why are Americans still talking about slavery? It ended 150 years ago, didn't it?
Yes, and no.
It has been a century and a half since the end of slavery in America. That's true enough.
Should it have ended in our country sooner? Surely. Could it have? Maybe. Was it good that it finally ended when it did? Of course. We can all agree on that.
But the end of slavery in the United States was not the end of slavery. Slavery persists to this day, in countries all over the world. This is the slavery we need to be concerned about, the slavery that's going on right now, the slavery that we might be able to help eradicate.
Americans can take pride in the fact that we put an end to slavery in our country fifteen decades back, and we should do what we can to liberate the millions held in bondage worldwide today. Instead, some of our fellow citizens want to stay in the past and exploit it with divisive agendas.
Let's not let that happen. The characterization of our country as a hateful, racist nation is a false one, a lie, and it deserves to be contradicted. If it isn't contradicted, that lie eventually could be accepted as the truth.
Americans who don't live in big cities or on either coast know what it's like to be maligned, to be dismissed as bigots or intellectual inferiors. West Virginians, especially, have endured outrageous ridicule. It's time to denounce this caricature.
Just last Saturday, during a meeting of the State Executive Committee of the West Virginia Republican Party, committee members were polled on their presidential preferences. The top three vote-getters – in close, descending order – were Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina.
Race? Ethnicity? Gender? Not a problem. Not for us, anyway.