Our nation created conditions that vigorously stimulated global growth since the end of World War II.
The many advantages implicit in our system of governance made possible the peaceful resolution of the Cold War. Our push for trade liberalization led to China’s rise and yes, while they rose we profited too. Now China is no longer the sleeping giant of yesterday. It is a giant with aspirations to surpass us.
So what do we do?
Is there a parallel between the Soviet bloc that challenged us but crumbled in the 1980’s and the China of today?
There is. And it is their autocracy.
With autocracy comes inefficiency and the stifling of possibilities.
Will the newly affluent Chinese put up for long with the current restrictions?
I say no. Slowly, their suffocated spirits will join forces to demand greater freedom. When will it happen is hard to predict.
As it now stands China is challenging us. In the face of it, do we examine ourselves or do we pound our chests and shout that we are great?
We have a clear advantage over China, if we care to reflect. It is the undeniable fact that our openness to the world has made us rich. People want to come to America. People from all over the world are pulled by an attraction to be part of this process.
That is the big American advantage.
How do we enlarge such advantage?
That’s right. Racial differences hold us back.
Confronting and resolving them will further the Browning of America, and with that, a new dawn will arrive. Efforts to suppress the development of other human beings results in the blocking of their possibilities. But when we do so we also block our own.
The challenge that China presents to us, is the challenge to reform our way of relating to one another. Race has been holding us back from being the best we can be since the very beginning. It is time to reflect and do the hard work of resolving the differences.
We have known all along what the answer is. Now is the time to square with it.
It was openness to the markets of the world that built up China. We gave them openness and they ran with it. But they didn’t go far enough. You cannot do so with an autocratic regime that hinders the political freedom of individuals.
If we gave China openness, why can’t we give it to our own?
China’s challenge is a call to reassess who we are.
Our land has had freedoms, yes, but in allowing profound racial disparities to fester we have blocked ourselves. The challenge of China forces us to ponder and discover where those repressed energies may lie.
It is not hard to find out.
They lie in the relationships that have not been fostered. They lie, trapped, in the prejudices that we have held so dear.
But understand them, work through them, and we will be on our way to enlarging our minds and souls and increasing our creativity. We will be on our way to freeing the giant in us.
Virtue lies in the Browning of America. Which is the unRacing of America.
Move confidently in that direction and we will confront our fears, and as we do we will grow stronger and richer, kinder and gentler.
The Browning of America will do that for us.
Then, as China and other countries witness our gradual transformation, they, too, will act again to emulate us. And the Uighurs will be grateful. And the Hong Kongers and the Taiwanese, and all the peoples of this earth on whose necks the crushing boot of repressive authority has come to rest.
Leadership carries great responsibilities but also great benefits.
Do we want to lead? Do we want to breathe the lofty air that comes to those who strive to become the best they can be?
Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation. Available on Amazon.