National self-flagellation

whipTHERE’S BEEN a move afoot in the United States by leftist citizens for decades now to paint the nation as a bad boy.

This is silly.

Let’s look at just two elements.

First, The slavery thing and the issue of reparations. I’d wager than 98 percent of American blacks think only blacks have been slaves. Probably 88 percent of whites think the same.

This is egregious ignorance. Slavery has existed through most of human history, and it has existed in most corners of the world. And it still exists today, primarily in Mohammedan areas, especially North Africa.

Slavery existed in ancient Rome, both the Republic and the Empire, and most of those slaves were white because they were captured in what is now modern Europe.

I’m considering a class-action suit against Rome because I want reparations for what was done to my white ancestors. I feel aggrieved and disrespected. Would you like to join me in the effort? Get in touch. Maybe we can really score.

Second, the conquest thing. Few have suggested reparations for American Indians. Pocahontas Warren has, but she would, wouldn’t she? But we’re supposed to feel guilty because for what the United States did to the tribes, which was nasty, I admit.

But perfectly normal.

Again, if you think conquest of other people, both near and far, is something the conquerors’ descendants should be losing sleep over, you are not only ignorant of history but of human nature to boot. This is what we do, what we’ve always done.

If you’ve never been enslaved or even conquered, count yourself lucky because that’s the way the world works, and it’s what strong people do to weaker ones.

As for the United States, it’s done much more good than bad. Focus on that.

America is far better than average. Pretty nice folks.

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(Note: A previous post, Nincompoopery about slavery, from 20 months ago, touched on the slavery misunderstanding but not the issue of conquest. FYI.)

41 thoughts on “National self-flagellation

  1. While you’re seeking reparations, why stop at Rome? Knowing your stance on circumcision, why not go all the way and sue God over that first covenant between God and Abraham? Oh heck, why not just sue the both of them?

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    1. Ms. Shoes: Since you bring up the dreadful topic of male child abuse, I am also going to sue the Jews. Watch yourself, madam! God did not do that. You people did. There was no covenant between God and Abraham.

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  2. People have been doing horrendous things to each other forever, and I don’t think it is ever going to end. Every country has invaded and been invaded throughout history. Everyone has to pay reparations to someone, so let’s just call it a wash and move on.

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    1. Kirk: Quite true. Alas, a good grasp of history is becoming less widespread with every passing year. And as it’s been said, If you don’t know history you’re doomed to repeat it.

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  3. History is nothing more than old propaganda. Mussolini said, “Paper never refuses ink.” Those who prevail write the history. Those who don’t end up in some camp like the Uyghur people are now. Can we stop it? No. Do we want to stop it? I don’t know. If we magically and mystically liberated those folks, I am afraid they would follow their religious beliefs and kill us.

    It is a sad situation.

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    1. Señor Gill: I don’t think most history is old propaganda, but some is. As for the Uyghurs, just another example of its being very unpleasant to be conquered. As the world turns.

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  4. Dear Felipe:

    Germany has atoned for the horrors of the Holocaust and paid tens of billions in financial reparations to Israel, and German students study the Holocaust as part of their education.

    Even Nikita Khurschev, no liberal softy, publicly condemned the atrocities committed in the name of the Russian government under Stalin, during which tens of millions of people died, though no reparations accompanied his acknowledgement.

    Did Germany and Khruschev overreact? Self-flagellate a bit too much? Should we just abolish history as a subject, and “move on” under a “what’s done is done” and “everybody does it” kind of ethic?

    In fact, Germany, in the recognition of its misdeeds, is far ahead of the American South, where some still try to repackage the Civil War and slavery as some sort of noble defense of “states’ rights” and a “way of life,” and accordingly, during Jim Crow, put up scores of monuments and memorials exalting the Confederacy and its leaders.

    Can you imagine if Germans had heroic statues of the likes of Adolf Hitler and Josef Goebbels because they and the Nazis helped restore German honor lost as a result of the Treaty of Versailles that ended WWI?

    Financial reparations for victims of American slavery is a very long, unworkable shot. But I think recognizing, and studying, human horrors in our country, with regard to African-Americans, Native Americans, and Japanese-Americans and others, with the hope such abuses are not allowed to happen again, would do the country good and would be something all Americans of all political stripes could subscribe to.

    It’s not self-flagellation. Think of it as reflection.

    The myopic “boys will be boys” moral framework your post suggests would put people at the same level as animals with no moral instincts.

    al

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    1. Señor Lanier: You make some good points. But here’s the big difference between Hitler’s and Stalin’s evil handiwork and the issue of U.S. slavery and suppressing the American Indians. People alive today are not far removed from Hitler and Stalin. They live in recent history, sometimes actual memory for the very old. It is relatively fresh, at least to people like you and me. Not so much for anyone under 40. Hitler was still alive when I was born. Germany’s reparations to Jews to a great extent went to the actual Jews who suffered and their children. I favor that. As for Khrushchev condemning what Stalin did, it was pure politics on his part. Khrushchev lost no sleep over those dead peasants. Take it to the bank.

      American slavery and the Indian Wars were in the 19th century. I call a statute of limitations. It’s now pure political theater and part of the victimization mindset of the Democrat Party. No black American today has been touched in any way by the era of U.S. slavery. “Repaying” them is ridiculous. Just as ridiculous as would be my asking for reparations for Roman slavery. At some point, you gotta let it go.

      Since you brought up Hitler and Stalin, here’s something that interests me. Why is it stylish to wear clothing with Red Stars and Che Guevara while it’s considered appalling, and rightly so, to sport swastikas? Why does no one have a T-shirt with Adolf’s mug on it? Mao and Stalin murdered far more people than Hitler did, but many give Mao and Joseph a pass they would never extend to Adolf. Want a Mao T-shirt, a Stalin baseball cap? Just go online. You’ll definitely find the former, and likely the latter quite easily.

      Here is why: At the end of World War II, the Nazi camps were immediately discovered, photographed and filmed in all their grotesqueries. Survivors wrote books and gave interviews, all of which horrified the Western world. On the other hand, Soviet and Chinese communism continued on for decades. No Soviet or Chinese death camps were ever much publicized. Sure, there was Solzhenitsyn, but how many people have actually plowed through his turgid tomes, certainly not the “common man” who knows all about what Hitler did. Indeed, information was kept sealed in the communist nations for decades. In China’s case, much likely still is, though we do now know what Mao and Stalin were. Some research has been permitted and there are some good biographies of the beasts. But there are little to no visuals of the tens of millions of communist massacres.

      Another element is that Hitler murdered white people. That matters. Much of Stalin’s and almost all of Mao’s murders happened to slanty-eyed Asians, people we do not easily identify with. Things are complicated, as it’s said.

      And yet, people proudly walk around sporting T-shirts with Mao on the front and the Red Star on their cap.

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      1. And the Chinese are still doing it in the form of Uighur concentration camps. Many of those folks become unwilling organ donors in the process. It’s horrifying beyond belief.

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    2. Señor Lanier, P.S.; As for Civil War statues, I can see how that could be an issue for blacks. It’s certainly a sticky wicket. As for reparations for Japanese-American interns, they did get reparations, and rightly so.

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    3. Al:
      Do you think the “Great Society” programs, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, and the myriad other things the USA has done for African-Americans is insufficient? I’d be eager to hear your views.

      Regards,

      Kim G

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  5. Well, congratulations on stirring the pot! You’ve still got some steam in you, my boy. Good to see. I once read a James Michener book, “Chesapeake,” that seemed to suggest that the original slave traders were the Africans themselves who sold captured (other) Africans to American (and other) slave traders. History gets really foggy after even a decade or so, I’ve observed. I’ve had the luxury or the curse to sit on the sidelines and just observe due to my not having to work for a living situation. (No, I’m not rich, just obstinate and able to live on very little.) As for the USA doing more good than bad, I would have to disagree. It’s had a lot of power (economic and military) to do good, but it seems it squandered it more times than not. I could point to pointless wars, horrible illegal interventions and pure corruption … not that they’re alone in that. I would have to hazard a guess that if the States was all that great you wouldn’t be living in Mexico with your child bride.

    But don’t take me literally. It’s all good. We do what we have to do to get along and survive. It’s not always pretty. My ancestors were hounded out of the Brutish Isles because we dared fight back against a clan that was favoured by the King of England. I don’t want reparations. I’ve moved on. Love ya and that blond bomber DT !

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    1. Brent: We’ll have to agree to disagree, as it’s said, on whether the U.S. has done more bad than good. If it has, other nations are even worse. The U.S. has never had colonies, for example. Don’t point at Puerto Rico. They’ve had plenty of chances to be free by election, and they’ve always voted no. Yeah, there’s Guam and the American Virgins, but meh.

      The U.S. has gotten into pointless wars in the last few decades, trying to spread democracy and all that baloney. Trump’s not into that. Bless him for it.

      By the way, I’m living in Mexico primarily because I cannot afford to live in the United States. But I do like it here. There are lots of advantages over U.S. life, especially in the last couple of decades. Even if I could afford to live above the border, I doubt I would return now. The first couple of years, I definitely would have gone back.

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    2. Brent, P.S.: This post was written before the previous one about running out of steam. It was just sitting there. I was trying to make up my mind to just zap it or not.

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    3. Brent, P.S. 2: Remember that the U.S. essentially defeated Hitler and Japan by itself. It then occupied those countries, poured in millions of taxpayer dollars, helped them get back on their feet with democratic governments, and then packed up and went home. What other nation would have done that?

      The U.S. also stared down the Soviet Union until it collapsed. All good deeds.

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      1. What about those 20 million Russians? Mr. Putin says that we are not an exceptional people. Maybe we aren’t, but we try to be. And I think that counts for something. Our intentions are good, but sometime we make errors.

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      2. Well I’ll have to disagree somewhat. As for defeating Hitler the U.S. was rather late to the party and Hitler had been weakened but not defeated by allied forces for years leading up to their involvement. This is one thing about Americans I’ve always had a problem with: the fact that they think they are the centre of the universe and everyone should emulate them. As for Japan, yes the USA defeated them by being the first country to use nuclear weapons. Perhaps it was the right thing to do. I’ve got mixed feelings on that as well. I’m not saying that America hasn’t done good things and that much of the time their intentions were good, not all the time. My history’s not so good, but I do recall many illegal interventions for dodgy purposes like in Panama, Grenada, Libya, Iraq and the war on drugs, which is still going on and has led to the power of the cartels that pretty much run Mexico. I know … the best of intentions. What was the saying? “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

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        1. Brent: Americans think they are the center of the universe and everyone should emulate them? You are absolutely right. And why is that? It’s due to being the most powerful nation on earth. Whenever any nation sits in that catbird seat, the citizens think the same. Great Britain sure did during the 19th Century, and earlier Spain was the same during the 16th and 17th centuries. When you’re No. 1, it goes to your head. Again, human nature.

          But fret not, the United States is on a downward trajectory. It happens to the best of us. Maybe Canada will step into the void. (Hold on a sec. I’m laughing hysterically.)

          As for Truman dropping the atom bomb on Japan, that was completely justified, and kudos to him. The Japanese were fanatical, not given to surrender, which the battles on the Pacific islands demonstrated clearly. Had not Truman dropped the two bombs, a traditional invasion of the Japanese mainland would have been necessary, and the casualties on the U.S. side would have been extreme. Truman considered that. Good for him. And let’s not forget who started the war between Japan and the U.S.

          As for dodgy events like Panama and Grenada, there were various reasons for that, and an argument can be made for both sides. And don’t forget Nicaragua. Bananas or communism, there were lots of justifications. The invasion of Iraq was fine by me. Oil matters. As for the War on Drugs, one of the dumbest ideas around, and one that continues to this very day. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

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    1. Curtis: You’re referring to NATO. You’re right, but I was referring to the fact the U.S. did not stay in Europe or Japan as an occupier. Did not initiate colonial rule. Could have, but didn’t. I think the U.S. should get its military presence mostly out of Europe in that respect. And it should toss the United Nations out of New York. Wild waste of money, both NATO and the U.N.

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  6. When President Nixon closed the gold window, we needed something to give the dollar value. That wily Kissinger convinced the Arabs to price oil in U.S. dollars rather than the pound sterling. In return, the U.S. would protect the house of Saud. That made the U.S. military the Saudi’s attack dog. We were drawn into what seemed to be pointless and unending wars with people we had no beef with. That is coming to an end. The U.S. dollar probably will not be a reserve currency much longer. Hang on, things are going to get very uncomfortable real quick.

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    1. Señor Gill: You’ve been predicting the collapse of the dollar for at least 30 years now. Hasn’t happened yet. Doesn’t mean it cannot, however. No matter. Most of my money is in Mexican pesos.

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  7. Lots of luck with that. In my father’s day, the Mexican Peso was equivalent to the US silver dollar. They called it the “dobe dollar.” It was used in trade especially in China. But then the printing press in Mexico never seemed to stop. Inflation is the way governments solve their debt problems. When the US dollar is worthless, all paper money will be worthless. Governments can print all the money they need and want, but they cannot print land or jars of peanut butter.

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  8. I watched The Lion and the Wind this week. It is one of those old-fashioned movies where Americans celebrated their nationality — warts and all. A bit jingoistic, but I miss movies like this. It would never be made now. And that is too bad, because it says something about what we have done to ourselves as Americans.

    I can only imagine how Putin is laughing at all our political antics. He was not interested in the last election. He was interested in getting Americans to doubt themselves. And he is getting his way.

    Watch the movie if you get an opportunity.

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    1. Señor Cotton: Thanks for the movie recommendation. If I encounter it on Netflix, which is the only place we watch movies, I’ll click on it for sure. As for Americans doubting themselves. I don’t think many Trump fans doubt themselves. The doubting (and cursing) erupts almost entirely on the other end of the political spectrum. They are full of doubt … and ire.

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  9. Just what is it the left wants? Nothing appeases them. Free everything and a happy life for all? Somebody has to pull up their pants and go to work to pay the bills.

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  10. Felipe,
    For the most part, we are or have been slaves for the majority of our lives. First to our parents, then to our husbands/wives, and always to whatever government edicts we live under. Total free-will is nonexistent.

    Landslide

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    1. Larry: Aw, you’re just being grim now. Things not going well? I hope that’s not the case.

      So your bride rules you with an iron hand? She seems way too nice for that. Now use your free will to step out in the lovely Hawaiian sunshine!

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  11. Well, if you sue the Roman Empire, be careful. If they find that you’re descended from Northern European invaders, you could well get counter-sued and lose it all.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where it’s definitely the Left’s turn to be crazier than the Right. But this too shall change some day.

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        1. Kim: A pathetic indication of our times. Luckily, that sad segment of white folks are the minority, living mostly in New York, San Francisco and Seattle. That they are a minority will be proven spectacularly in next year’s presidential election.

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