The Dispatch

Nationalism is no substitute for pride

The line between patriotism and fascism is one that this country can't afford to ignore

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Nationalism is no substitute for pride

Photo by: Dalton Spruce

Photo by: Dalton Spruce

Photo by: Dalton Spruce

Editorial

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Soldiers saluting, national anthems, and flags all have one common goal: to promote national pride in a cause of country. This is called nationalism. Many confuse nationalism as something positive, like waving the American flag on the Fourth of July, or singing the national anthem at a football game.

According to Merriam Webster, nationalism is so much more, and takes on many different forms. For example, nationalism is defined as loyalty or devotion to a nation, but more importantly, it’s the belief that a single country or culture is superior than another.

One of the most famous examples of this type of nationalism is the reign of the Nazi party during World War II. Hitler stressed the importance of the “purification” of the German race and discriminated against and murdered hundreds of thousands of people unfit to the German ideal.

This idea of superiority then feeds into the idea of White Supremacy, which can be seen anywhere from racial slurs to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan.

Because of scandals in the national media, there is a clear belief that unacceptable nationalistic ideals have become a chaotic movement in our country. These concepts of discrimination are outdated and immature; it’s 2018, not the 1800’s. We need to rise above those beliefs.

It’s great to be an American, but inequality, sexism, racism, and fascism should not be tolerated in our melting pot of people. We should not be afraid or confused by those who are different from us, nor should we act on evil urges. We should stand with those who advocate for equality and diversity; after all, we are all humans.

At the national level, the “face” of our country has intensified the rise of racial supremacy, and has silenced many voices. Donald Trump hasn’t set America on fire, but socially, he is tearing this country apart.

Prior to Trump’s presidency, his campaign focused on two statements including “Make America Great Again” and “build the wall,” both are “dog whistles,” a term used to describe coded messages familiar to a specific group of people with a specific meaning.

“Make America Great Again” is one of these slogans that symbolizes Trump’s party, but reaches further into  a white supremacist or a nativist community. Trump has emboldened a community of  a larger than expected group of discriminatory people who have participated in several traumatic events and movements.

Through his encouragement, there has been a revival of the KKK, anti-Semitic violence, and a rise in police brutality. These radical groups have taken root in our country. We shouldn’t put total blame on our president. But as our leader, Trump should take all Americans into account and influence the people to respect everyone, whether they are black, Muslim, white, or gay.

As some Americans become more influenced by these ideals, their influence reaches our youth and eventually enters schools. A huge controversy which recently appeared in the media was a prom photo of some students at Baraboo High School in Wisconsin, Ohio, performing what appears to be the Nazi Salute.

Events like this have definitely been more prevalent in students’ lives, yet there are not many who intend to do anything to stop it.

We may think this is such a foreign concept to Bowie, but this scandal doesn’t hit too far from home. What about the smaller things, like swastikas on desks, or racial and offensive “jokes” that are often tossed around during school? These little things that happen every day on campus contribute to a larger, more serious cause, even if it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

We can all agree that discriminatory ideals are a problem that has no doubt backtracked societal progression, perhaps decades. In order to move forward, we must educate our youth, vote for figures who will not tolerate this behavior, and, most importantly, to find it in ourselves to accept differences and stand up for those who are being attacked by people who continue to be ignorant. After all, we are citizens of a diverse, accepting country that is tailored to the people. Let’s continue and improve that legacy

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Nationalism is no substitute for pride