America's World Apartheid Mentality

America's current relationship with the rest of humanity has much in common with that between South Africa's apartheid-era whites and their disfranchised non-white compatriots. A far-fetched analogy? Perhaps. But there are echoes of that mentality in the way some Americans still talk about Washington's role in global affairs.

What kind of relationship do Americans want to build with the world's 6 billion other people in the years ahead? This question is urgent, since the past seven years have seen an unprecedented drop in our country's global favorability rating.

To build a new relationship with the world requires embracing the key principles of human equality and mutual respect among all peoples. Starting to see themselves as "merely" equal to everyone else may seem slightly scary to some Americans.

Treating the peoples of other countries as our true equals is the true American way. In the Declaration of Independence, the Founders held it self-evident that "all men" (meaning "all men and women") were created equal – not just "all US citizens."

Today, America's relationship with the world's 6 billion non-Americans is more vital to our wellbeing than ever before. Let's work on making it the most constructive relationship we can.

[Excerpt of an article by Helena Cobban, Christian Science Monitor]

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