The Scandal of Thirteentherism

Amendment XIII Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. In our age of roiling discontent, liberalism and its historical achievements are under assault from all sides. For the past four years, Donald Trump had little use for truth, science, progress, mutual respect among races and identities — all the liberal ideals embodied in the founding documents and embedded in the history of American politics. Despite overseeing the military that long ago defeated the Confederacy, Trump nonetheless made the Lost Cause his own, becoming the protector of Confederate monuments and place names, and this support has gained him the appreciation of white nationalists and other “good people” like the ones who marched on Charlottesville. Trump had little use for the colorblind state that liberals associate with the Party of Lincoln. Even with Trump out of the Oval Office, Trumpism continues to be the perfect ideological provocation for those on the other side now questioning America’s central political tradition. It sets the mood for their revisionism. At war with classical liberalism and “neo-liberalism” alike, the progressives are busy rewriting American history. They want a past that reflects their dim view of the American record and justifies certain policies to address racial grievances. American history, they now instruct, is dominated by topics that liberals allegedly marginalized, including settler colonialism, slavery, white supremacy, whiteness, and peoples of color. The editor of the eminent American Historical Review writes that he aims to “decolonize” American history. Ibrahim X. Kendi’s book Stamped from the Beginning described racism as our very origins. Reducing four hundred years of black

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