On July 6, 2020, the White House tweeted a quotation from President Trump’s Fourth of July speech. The quote, devoid of any other context from the speech, said this:
“Americans are the people who pursued our Manifest Destiny across the ocean, into the uncharted wilderness, over the tallest mountains, and then into the skies and even into the stars.”@WhiteHouse, on Twitter
This is dangerous language, especially coming from the official White House account. If you seriously believe #AllLivesMatter, you should denounce this and demand an apology from the White House. Let me explain why.
History of Manifest Destiny
The words “Manifest Destiny” aren’t just a couple of inspirational words put together to sound nice — notice that they’re capitalized, even in the tweet itself. That’s because it refers to a very specific ideology from our nation’s history.
In the early- and mid-1800s, when the United States was expanding across North America, our European American ancestors found that they needed to get rid of the Indigenous tribes that were already living in the land. To do that, they needed to slaughter the people of those tribes — and they needed to convince their fellow European Americans that such a slaughter was good and necessary.
So they created this idea of Manifest Destiny to convince themselves that they were especially chosen by God to conquer and control the land all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. This ideology perpetuated the idea that anyone and anything standing in their way was an enemy of the will of God. This gave those European Americans the divine right — even the divine MANDATE — to exterminate entire groups of people that they didn’t view as people.
Manifest Destiny was the idea that European Americans were called by God to commit genocide.
Invoking White Supremacy
By invoking the phrase “Manifest Destiny” now, the White House is overtly calling out to white supremacists. And they’re not doing this on accident — look again at how they capitalized the term in their tweet. They’re fanning the flames of racial discrimination. They are rallying support for violent resistance to the justice initiatives fighting for equality in our nation today.
If you are pro-life, and if you believe that #BlackLivesMatter and/or #AllLivesMatter, then I ask you to condemn this official statement from the White House.
More reading on Manifest Destiny: