There can be little debate that President Trump has, at least, empowered white nationalists to “come out of the closet.”

In a recent Tribune article, there were more examples: a photo of the church sign (ironically the “Friendship” church):” America, Love it or Leave it.” Conversely, there was the Jewish rabbi speaking against all racism. A Sound-off read “there was a time when being patriotic wasn’t racist.”

Our actual United States of America is beautifully diverse nation, despite all attempts since the founding of the republic to have it otherwise. Even as earliest settlers robbed Native Americans of their land and culture, they also framed our Declaration of Independence. Etched forever in writing are these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” There is no “except for...”

Nonetheless, these white men and some descendants systematically denied rights to women, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, darker Europeans, Catholics, Eastern European Jews and Muslims. It has been noted, and is unassailable history, that white men have caused more damage to other humans and our beautiful planet than any other group.

There is no inherent shame in being a white man, but as white men we could answer to better angels and great religious leaders who taught us to love all creation. That would live up to the words, if not deeds, of our founding fathers. That’s patriotic!

Furthermore, in every instance, true patriots have challenged the denial of constitutional rights, essentially saying, "this is wrong and I love this country enough to hold it to its principles.” Such heroes have opposed and deemed unpatriotic, but ultimately justice has prevailed.

I suggest that if we love this country, we love it as it is, as our fore fathers, despite their own prejudices, wrote, it must forever be. If not, we could opt (a la Trump), to go back to where we came from.

STUART ROTHMAN

Meadville

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