I almost choked on my breakfast churro last week when I read that President Biden's "woke" Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, had authorized American ambassadors around the world to fly the racist Black Lives Matter flag on Memorial Day.
This is an outrageous decision to honor a black racist organization founded by Marxists on a day designed to honor American servicemen and women of all races and ethnicities who gave their lives to defend and preserve our freedoms. BLM celebrates black racism by demonizing white people and police officers of all skin colors. As a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer, I find Blinken's politically correct decision to be disgusting and offensive.
I agree with globe-trotting former diplomat, Dave Seminara, who wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed last Tuesday lambasting Blinken for "asking (American) diplomats to function as social justice warriors to the detriment of our country's image abroad …" Seminara revealed that a USA Today survey found that "only 18 percent of Americans and 28 percent of blacks support BLM's signature goal: defunding the police."
Had I been asked to fly the BLM flag on Memorial Day during my Foreign Service career, I would have resigned on the spot along with many of my colleagues in the old U.S. Information Agency, which was charged with "telling America's story to the world." While we can and should acknowledge our errors and mistakes in dealing with foreign audiences, we don't have to go around the world apologizing for being an imperfect nation.
I lived and/or worked in seven foreign countries during my diplomatic career and can tell you from firsthand observation that "systemic racism" is alive and well around the world, from Australia to Venezuela. In fact, America has a much better record on race relations than most other nations.
Nevertheless, on Memorial Day last Monday, the mainstream media devoted almost as much attention to the terrible 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre as they did to sacred Memorial Day itself. In the Tulsa Massacre, which every American should condemn, hundreds of black citizens were killed by a white mob that attacked a prosperous black neighborhood. On Tuesday, President Biden called on Americans to "root out systemic racism across our country."
Fair enough, but we shouldn't declare America to be a racist nation on the basis of a horrible racial incident that occurred 100 years ago. I refuse to apologize for the sins of my forefathers because I've fought for racial justice throughout my adult life, from trying to integrate my college fraternity in Seattle in the 1950s to serving as then-Gov. Grant Sawyer's press spokesman as he desegregated Nevada casinos in the 1960s, when our state was known as "the Mississippi of the West."
But the State Department now tells the world that we're guilty of systemic racism. As I wrote in April, our new African-American United Nations Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has described the country she now represents on the world stage as a racist nation in which "the original sin of slavery weaved (sic) white supremacy into our founding documents and principles." Can you say "critical race theory?"
And then State's new African-American Chief Diversity Officer, Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, condemned systemic racism and recommended "benchmarks" in department hiring policies, which sounds like quotas.
Back to Seminara's timely Wall Street Journal column on this subject, I agree with his conclusion. "Americans at home should confront the dark chapters of our nation's history," he wrote, "but how does spreading the word about our 'lesser-known' massacres to foreign audiences advance our national interests?" Clearly, it doesn't.
Guy W. Farmer served for 28 years in the U.S. Foreign Service.