How I Deal with Life.....

How I Deal with Life.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Americans Are Assholes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; upcoming political elections. People are yelling and screaming and disagreeing and calling one another names like “idiot” and “moron”. I’ve never really understood the name calling as part of our democratic process. If someone doesn’t agree with you I don’t think calling them names is going to magically make them see the light and come over to YOUR side.  “Wow, this person just called me a moron so I must be wrong about everything I think. I will give this person hot doughnuts for helping me see the error of my ways”.

Throw into this grand mix a few thousand refugees who are fleeing a war torn, decimated country (that WE have had a hand in creating) and you’ve really got a show to rival anything ever conceived on Broadway.  I am expecting any moment for someone to take a chisel and chip away the words engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty. You know those words? That whole “Give me your tired, your huddled masses” thing?  The words to that poem for the 21st century America should read something along the lines of: 

Not like the brazen giant of capitalistic fame,
With conquering limbs astride from Wall Street to Silicon Valley;
Here at our BP-oil washed, smoggy gates shall stand
A paranoid woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Go-Away. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide scorn; her suspicious eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Stay in your war torn lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With tight lips. "Give me your Christian, your bootstrap able,
Your low wage masses yearning to breathe McDonald’s grease,
But the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to refugee camps,
I lift my lamp beside the locked door!"


Am I crazy? Do I not understand that terrorists could be hiding amongst those refugees? Do I not understand that the children of these refugees could grow up to bomb a town in Wisconsin or Ohio? Do I not understand that the refugees are going to destroy American Christian values with their Sharia law? Do I not understand that Halal law could effectively close down Big B’s BarBQ restaurants? Yes, I know, I know. Paranoia run rampant (you still thinking you’re going to end up in a FEMA camp, right?). Are we really going to keep professing that Christianity is such a great loving religion and keep harping that the U.S of A IS a Christian nation, but in the next breathe refuse to admit to our shores a small fraction of homeless, war torn, cold, hungry refugees based on unmitigated fear that we allowed to take root and bloom?

 Yeah, I know, “Why isn’t Saudi taking them?, “Why isn’t the UAE taking them?”, Why isn’t Qatar taking them?”. I used the same logic before I realized that argument isn’t logical at all but childish selfishness. As a teacher nothing drives me crazier than when I get onto a student for some misbehavior and the first thing that student utters is, “Well INSERT NAME is doing it and you’re not getting onto them”. Let me cry you a river, kiddo. WE are supposed to better than THEM, remember?

Our country was founded on taking chances. It is in our DNA. We are the ancestors of the persecuted, the slaves, the down trodden, the hungry, the stateless. We are Irish and English and Scottish and African and Cuban and Chinese and German and Egyptian and Japanese and Filipino and every other nationality one can think of.  America has long been famous for being the Melting Pot of the world. And being a melting pot is what all Americans have to thank for our advanced technology and medical research. Americans take chances and reach further into the unknown than others dare to, and the more anyone tells us we “can’t” then we somehow “do”. THAT is what being an American is all about. Or used to be. Or maybe it never was and I am living in a past that never existed because I was told over and over again while I was growing up that that is who and what Americans are.. 

Back to the refugees: If you take the time to educate yourself about the process these refugees would have to go through to even be considered for entry into this country, the whole “I want to protect my country” argument starts to fall apart.  Notice I wrote the word educate. That doesn’t mean reading one news story in one news source and then proclaiming yourself informed.  How did we come to be what we are? How did we come to look upon another group of people and hate them simply for the way they look or for their religion or for the fact that they want a better life? America has become a country of “It’s mine and you can’t have it”, all the way from the 1% down to the lowest person on the economic ladder. 

We don’t want to share. We don’t want to give. We want our 155 channels, our new cars, our specialty grocery stores, our green lawns, our new patios, and our shiny new smart phones and we could give two shits if another human being is going hungry or going without needed medication or has a decent education or a warm house in winter. Hell, we don’t even take care of our own in the U.S.A so whatever makes people like me think that America would be willing to show some human compassion towards nameless, faceless refugees from a land far away? And you think that America is still the land of The American Dream?  Take a long drive through the Mississippi Delta, the lesser known streets of Detroit and Philadelphia, and the outreaches of the Appalachian Mountains and then tell me that America is the land of opportunity and equality.  America has become the land of assholes. And I apologize to the world for that. I’m sorry we are assholes. And yes, I just resorted to name calling, but I included myself. 


Happy early holidays everyone…. 

3 comments:

  1. I'd like to add something from the Washington Post this morning.

    "A coalition of disgust" - "Washington Post, Nov. 18,

    "Do Western nations think that Muslim lives matter less? Most of us would resist any such characterization of callousness. But Western outrage about the carnage in Paris, coupled with near-indifference to similar killings in the Arab world, suggests to many Muslims that a double standard exists - and they find it deeply upsetting."

    I would add the disgust of how many politicians and Americans are quick to judge and lump all Muslims into one category. I could quite a few "Americans" that I hope the rest of the world use to generalize or judge all of us.

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  2. Why don't you try educating yourself instead of just suggesting others educate themselves to your incorrect assumptions and ideas? These "refuges" are not the standard refuges that we often see from war torn areas, instead they are over half fighting age men (by the UN's stats). And, while obama claims we should have no religious standard for admitting them to the country the practices he is following have allowed almost exclusively muslims to be included, despite the fact that the war they are supposedly fleeing is targeting primarily christians and other non-muslim groups. That is also a huge part of why using religion is a great screening process, unlike the current screening that you claim we need to educate ourselves on which is performed by the UN and is a complete joke, as evidenced by somewhere between 1 to 3 of the recent Paris terrorists having been cleared as refugees. The argument that obama and you are using is very akin to saying during WWII that we need to allow a bunch of German refugees in, but only socialists and a very, very small number of jews. It's simply wrong and stupid.
    And if you think that we Americans are just selfish and mean, which you made clear that you do, you could not possibly be more wrong. With proper screening and security we are more than happy to help. There is something called the Nazarene fund which has raised 12 million dollars for the express purpose of saving families from ISIS territories, christian families that are being specifically targeted and will certainly be killed without help from American citizens who have donated that money to help them. It is a program that includes money for cultural classes to help these actual refugees to adapt and join in to the society of their new nation (which is NOT the USA because of limitations against helping them here that have been set by the obama administration). This part of the program is also important as it helps fight cultural jihad, a documented cause and intention of extreme muslim groups where they basically infiltrate western societies, maintaining their society separate from the local groups and slowly growing and creeping their cultural demands and requirements for sharia law and other muslim observances until they have enough power to overthrow the initial society, then opening the area up to be a portion of their caliphate. At that point those people who do not convert to muslim are subject to taxes at best or death at worst. I don't think wishing to avoid that is really being an asshole, but you seem to.
    The American people have been proven time and again to be the most generous and charitable on earth and to ignore that and pretend it is not true simply because they have a legitimate fear of a lax screening process allowing people who have a religious cause to fight and annihilate everyone who is not muslim to come into our nation with the help of our government which is supposed to protect us exactly from those types of threats is a blatant refusal to accept the reality of the situation. I can think of nothing more dangerous and more of an asshole move than continuing to pretend things are not how they are and pretending there is not this danger in the world and there are not people who are eager to die in order to destroy our society, way of life, and even end our lives themselves.

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    Replies
    1. We are not inherently selfish and "mean", but right now some people in the United States are allowing themselves to be ruled by fear..the same fear that allowed people the world over to disregard the pleas for help from the Jewish community almost seventy years ago. History will eventually judge us and we will be found to have been lacking in compassion. When your children or grandchildren one day ask you, years from now, if you were one of the American citizens that were ruled by fear instead of true human kindness I hope you will be truthful.

      The entire process for any refugee to gain entrance into the U.S is a long and arduous one. We are not simply opening our borders and yelling, "EVERYONE come on in!" as people seem to believe.. Yes, Americans may be generous and charitable but only when it doesn't directly affect us in any way or cause us any inconvenience. That is not being generous in my book. Throwing money at a problem is a gesture that does little but appease guilt; actions speak so much louder than writing a check. I have a friend who still teaches in the UAE. She wrote that yesterday a Syrian student of hers ( a young girl) asked her, "Why do the Americans hate us so much?" Why? Please answer that child. I think we tend to forget that the world is watching us, and since 9/11 we have not come out looking much like the good guys to many many people the world over. We have lost many people's respect, and that will continue to cast ripples for years to come in regards to United States foreign policy and how other nations relate to us. And we have to care about that because we are part of the world, we cannot isolate ourselves from that. It is easy to sit in our warm homes and turn our backs on those less fortunate who are an ocean away as long as we are throwing a few silver coins into the church offering plate or pay-paling a donation to some charity organization from time to time.

      I am not religious in any way, shape, or form and I have never been particularly political (I always voted Republican and never questioned it), but in looking at how "Christians" and the far right have been reacting over the Syrian refugees assures me that I have made the right choice in turning my back on both religion and the Republican party. If what I am hearing now from Christians and Republicans is any example of the values that both factions adhere to then I'd rather go to hell and vote Democrat (which I have NEVER done, but will be doing so this presidential election).

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