“American exceptionalism” is actually the opposite of the assumed meaning of the term in the current popular vernacular. Exceptionalism, in practice, is the culmination of centuries of a constantly lengthening litany of instances of ‘except for…’
As noted by Rev. Jackson:
“Today everyone is outraged at the killings, but there is not the same outrage that African Americans are number one in infant mortality, in life expectancy, in unemployment, in cheap wages, in access to capital
and denial of bank loans, in imprisonment, in segregated housing and home foreclosures, in segregated and underfunded public schools, in poverty, in heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, mental health
issues, HIV/AIDS and the lack of access to health care and more. We ignore this institutionalized state of terror and the resulting racial fears at our peril.”
Only when ‘american exceptionalism’ includes the beauty and true potential of humility will the expression have any chance of having real meaning. I would assert that it is essential that the infamy of this rhetorical wrench applied to an ostensible collective national identity be addressed. The failure to teach accurate history, to be instructed as a cog in an industrial wheel for profit rather than educated with and for the full genius of human experience and life is a treasonous and treacherous practice.
Human beings are inextricably interconnected and interdependent with each other and nature in a spirit that is at its very core the essence of a loving teaching.