Like John Balentine, I get carried away in my unapologetic admiration of white people. Sometimes upon awakening, a not fully woke me gazes at my whiteness in the mirror, spontaneously erupting into song, “I feel pretty, oh so pretty … that I hardly can believe I’m real” (“Here’s Something: Rekindle Pilgrims’ pride this Thanksgiving,” Nov. 19).
Keep this in mind when you read his recent column and ask, “Why would I believe a criticism of collectivism coming from a supporter of Donald Trump, especially since Trump just tried to overthrow a democratically elected government?” My answer is, a la John Wayne, “Whoa, take it easy there, Pilgrim.” So he made a little historical misinterpretation. Nobody’s perfect.
Unlike Balentine, the Pilgrims never believed “we are all Pilgrims,” searching for some “promised land.” They practiced religious tolerance and a separation of church and state. They would have been on board with the First Amendment directing Congress to “make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Today’s Republican Party would have as little use for them as it does the Constitution, as their continued support for a traitorous Trump shows.
The Pilgrims wanted to practice their religion free from state intervention. This is different from the Puritans and Donald Trump and his followers, who want to be free to do as they please in all walks of life and want you to be free to do what they tell you to do. That’s one reason Trump has such great support in the South. Slaveowners were free to do as they wished, and their slaves were free to do what the masters said. That is, slaves could “live free or die,” a twist on the motto of New England’s own southern spiritual follower, New Hampshire.
As John Wayne might say, “Happy Thanksgiving. Now step and fetch it, Pilgrim.”
Ken Weston
Bath