Jewish World Review April 22, 2003 /20 Nissan, 5763

Stanley Crouch

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America is just
built to succeed | A certain perspective tends to dominate the Marxist-derived visions of those among us who most furiously denounce our nation. They seem to believe that something, from somewhere outside the U.S., is going to save them from the horrors of capitalism or the terrible greed and corruption of those elected to office, be they Democrats or Republicans.

Sorry. We are not going to be saved by any system of ideas arriving from outside this country.

Whatever happens to us will come as a result of what we in America do about our problems.

Neither Marx nor Lenin, Russia nor China, neither the academics who seek tenure as radicals on our campuses nor the French academics they so often parrot will do us whatever justice we need to have done.

The reason those on the far left - or those who are merely unquestioning liberals - look beyond our shores is that they, like most academics or those influenced by academics, have no real faith in the judgment of Americans. Or they are not willing to accept that we have traveled the distance that we have from slavery and every other kind of injustice.

We have paid in blood, in trauma, in disillusionment, exhaustion and horror for every step beyond the muck of bigotry that we have walked on this road that distinguishes our nation.

We have not needed leadership from outside America because our tragic and optimistic destiny has been to show what can be done inside a democratic structure such as ours. We have had to do battle with the demons within us - some of those demons have been based on skin tone privilege, on sexual differences, on religion, on class.

We have had the blues, we have blown the blues away and we have blown others away as well. We need deny none of that to arrive at the fact that ours is still the most admirable nation in the world. This is not the result of any genetic or class or religious superiority, but because we have made it possible for more people to come from way down at the bottom and rise to enormous influence at the top than any other nation in history.

So while we should listen seriously to those Americans who talk of world opinion as the concluding war in Iraq is assessed, we also should understand that most of the world gets only the information its leaders allow and that world opinion is not defined by votes in the United Nations.

If any American administration is given to the ever-available demons of folly, corruption, mediocrity and incompetence, our nation will pull it down.

As usual, no matter how slowly we may go about it, we will save ourselves. We always have, sooner or later. That's how it is.

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JWR contributor and cultural icon Stanley Crouch is a columnist for The New York Daily News. He is the author of, among others, The All-American Skin Game, Or, the Decoy of Race: The Long and the Short of It, 1990-1994,       Always in Pursuit: Fresh American Perspectives, and Don't the Moon Look Lonesome: A Novel in Blues and Swing. Send your comments by clicking here.


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05/14/02: A chance to sew up new allies
04/30/02: Time to get serious on immigration
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03/27/02: Civil rights groups are neglecting a profound crisis in their midst
03/12/02: Race-baiters can forget this Tex. case
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