Some opponents of ethnic studies say that it teaches our children to resent government and America's history. Nothing could be further from the truth. That's like saying you inherently trust a sleazy used car salesman more than a reputable dealer. Who are you going to want to do business with? The guy who tells you that the clearly imperfect and slightly dented car has never been in an accident and runs like new? Or the guy who says, "Yeah, there have been a few bumps here and there but the mechanic tuned her up and she's got a lot of miles still to go."
By the same token, President Obama isn't weakening America when he acknowledges our less-than-perfect past -- he is being honest and modeling for the world a new kind of diplomacy where the motivation isn't the size of your missile silo but the desire to be part of the world community and global economy rather than left by the side of the road. Our President knows that, in an increasingly complex world in which American might alone can no longer govern, we will have more influence through being liked than being feared.
... read the rest of Sally Kohn's piece on HuffPo.