Driving While Brown 0
Cynthia Tucker on the new Know Nothings:
This country’s founding principles express the most benevolent and hopeful aspirations for a civil society. As examples, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” and “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” are declarations that separate the United States from even other Western democracies. They are also principles of which most of us are justly proud.
As Americans, we like to think that our country is exceptional partly because of those ideals. But, at the moment, we’re having a hard time living up to them. Indeed, some of the people most enamored of the notion of American exceptionalism are among those least committed to the principles of individual freedoms — at least for those who are somehow a bit different in worship or accent. (During the Bush years, many conservatives liked to say that jihadists attacked us on 9/11 because they “hate our freedoms.” Sometimes, we don’t like them much, either.)