The Great Guilt Trap - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1705824

The Great Guilt Trap

It has been very disheartening to observe the breach of faith Americans have been subjected to by those who would cast grave doubt upon the ideals of our great nation. From the streets of most significant American cities, the message being amplified from much of our media is the self-righteous condemnation of our country and its history.

The real issue of police reform was universally accepted after the George Floyd murder was witnessed in its depravity for more than eight horrible minutes. No one, especially white police officers, dared to defend the blatant abuse of a helpless black man.

It was a moment that should have united all of us in purpose. It didn’t turn out that way. Instead, public officials, when presented with a moment that required strength and statesmanship to bring the appropriate focus on racial injustice without conceding the streets to angry mobs, did just the opposite. The moment was hijacked by thugs and arsonists.

Where was our leadership? Who stole the moment? From the left there was great glee as our government groaned under the now-national wave of attacks. The weak pandering our elected officials offered in response emboldened more of the same.

Blacks celebrated an awakening they sensed in the white world they had had grievances with for generations. Whites embraced the moment and guilt, but maybe a bit too enthusiastically, encouraged by the liberal news media fawning over the chaos they could preside over.

And it wouldn’t take long for corporate America to figure out how best to protect their bottom line. The NFL promptly took a knee, and networks started dropping popular TV shows depicting the police in a positive light. Demands grew that Confederate war memorials, flags, and any of our real history be discarded and hidden from view so our national guilt could be as-waged. Actually academics had been doing just this in our classrooms for years. The problem with all this wishful tinkering is that we will lose the truth — a truth that will give context to the progress we have made.

Lastly, in this election year, we are to endure the spectacle of campaigns full of deceit and dishonesty. It will take a strong stomach and great faith in the strength of our democracy to not succumb to the great guilt trap being set by those among us who cannot embrace this country.

Ed Surgan



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