Race and American Exceptionalism


Allen West


April 11, 2022

This past Thursday evening at the University of Buffalo (UB) I was invited by the Young America’s Foundation Chapter at UB to deliver a presentation on “Race and American Exceptionalism.”  Before I even arrived, the nature of my visit was made controversial when students on the campus ripped down flyers and even conducted a campus walking protest. Therefore, I knew this would be quite the hostile environment.

The question I have is, why?

Why is it controversial for a 61-year-old black man who was born in a blacks only hospital in the South to discuss said topic? After all, I have had quite the incredible experience of enjoying the blessings of liberty, freedom, and individual rights in this Nation. I grew up in the same neighborhood that produced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and attended a small black Catholic elementary school that was located across the street from his final resting place, near the intersection of Boulevard and Auburn Avenue, in the Old Fourth Ward.

What is controversial and upsetting about a black man who rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army and commanded hundreds of troops in combat? Especially knowing that his Dad, born in 1920, was a World War II Army Corporal who served in a segregated Army. One would think that to be a story of American exceptionalism.

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