Thursday, January 25, 2024

MLK Day and Good Americans

MLK Day and Good Americans

Peter Schultz


Do decent Americans support its wars? Yes. Why? Because it confirms in their minds that they are decent. Decency, in their minds, is defined and demonstrated politically. This is what affirming the political looks like. Some might say it looks a lot like indecency. 

Hence, Aristotle’s assertion that the good person and the good citizen are never the same, because the citizen’s goodness is defined and demonstrated politically. Affirming the political always involves embracing indecency. Being a “good  American” always involves embracing or approving indecency, such as killing, spying, stealing, or lying. You cannot be a good American and a good person. 

And, so, when and to the extent that MLK, Jr. or Malcolm X became good persons, they became subversives. By becoming good, they became threats to America. Malcolm X was a better American as a criminal than he was as a Muslim. Hence, criminals were quite content to help the CIA try to assassinate Castro, because they were good Americans, willing to kill the country’s enemies. 

So it goes.

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