Character and merit bring a man peaceful success, advancement by any other means is nothing but a façade. If you want a stable country, with prosperity across all walks of life, you must have a system based not upon blood lines, or what percentage ethnicity your DNA shows, but upon individual merit. Merit of character, kindness, humility, integrity, and other like internal characteristics. If you judge a man by any other standard it is a temporary judgement and false, for all other standards ebb and flow with the political and cultural whims of the times. Certainly you cannot judge a man based upon the actions of his ancestors, either to give him credit or censor him. Blood of past heroes or outlaws can be no current mark of the quality or merit of any man or woman. Two recent examples in the national news illustrate the potential folly of judging by blood or superficial traits as opposed to merit and skill.
In the past week Senator Elizabeth Warren brought to light results from her DNA test. The test claims that her blood indicates that she is 1/64th to 1/1000th Native American. The question, to quote a recent presidential candidate, is “What difference does it make?” Why should American citizens care whether she is 100 percent Native American? What if she was 100 percent Irish American, or Mexican American? The absolute falsehood of hyphenated Americans aside, why should it matter what kind of blood at all is running through Ms. Warren or any other person in this country when appealing for votes or jobs? The answer … it shouldn’t. What should matter is how Ms. Warren, or any political candidate, stands on an issue. What is their stance on religious freedom, taxation, abortion, marriage, education, the environment, the military, and the list goes on. Whatever you feel strongly about as a person, whatever side of whatever issue you come down on, THAT is what should matter when deciding to vote for an individual, not the sequence of nitrogenous base’s running through their veins.
In another recently popular story, Harvard University is being brought to trial in front of the United States Supreme Court based upon the plaintiff’s case that they have unfairly limited admissions to Americans of Asian descent. Again, I will refer to the earlier now infamous quote, “What difference does it make?” What difference should it make to Harvard or any institution what the color of a person’s skin is or what the lineage of their family is? How can blood type or skin pigmentation possibly improve or degrade the quality of a college or institution? The answer … it cannot. The qualities of person that can benefit an organization are those internal qualities such as integrity, character, moral or physical courage, honesty, kindness, dedication, loyalty to country, and the list goes on again. An institution can and should ask a multitude of questions to identify the best possible candidates or applicants. Yet nowhere on this list will you ever find, skin color, family genealogy, or DNA sequence.
The one caveat in both of these cases is that the private institution and the private citizen do indeed have the right to act in any way they see fit, minus obvious harm to another individual. If a private citizen wants to vote for someone because they have a skin color they like, or they have certain blood running through their veins, they can. If a private university wants to allow students in based upon blood type or physical appearance, they can. But just as you can tell the radical difference in quality of education for the majority of students in universities who base their acceptance on such criteria versus those who don’t, you can certainly tell the difference in the quality of living for the majority of people who live in states and towns run by people who base their decisions on skin color or DNA percentages versus those who do not. America ever since her founding has been a country which was supposed to be color blind, and now in the modern sense genetics blind. There have been times when this was not the case and those were dark times indeed. Let us not wander back to times such as those, but let us press forward with the idea that men and women should be judged based upon their character, their contribution to society and country, their integrity, and their courage. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the heroes of our early American Navy.
“You speak of the good conduct of your ancestors. As your own conduct is under discussion, and not theirs, I cannot see how their former good character can at all serve your present purpose. Fortunately for our country, every man stands upon his own merit.” – Stephen Decatur