Re: history and speculations

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Posted by Tom on July 09, 1998 at 22:14:55:

In Reply to: Re: history and speculations posted by Petra on July 09, 1998 at 01:55:30:

Whoa! Radical is right! Most of what you wrote is coming straight out of left field from my point of view. Let me put it this way-- I disagree, cordially disagree, with virtually everything you wrote. I could spend hours typing responses for everyone of your statements. It is obvious to me that you are quite thoughtful in what you type in your statements and they are definetly provoking! (I mean this in a fun way.)

First off the "giggling" at my assersation the United States is a great country. (I am now breaking out my Lee Greenwood cd and playing "God Bless the USA" while I type.) I truly believe that without size the United States would never have become the power it did. I don't know what country you are from but I get a feeling you are not too appreciative of the importance the USA has played on the world stage in this century. The USA, united and stretching from sea to sea, was able to overcome the evils of totalitarianism that threatened the freedoms and prosperity of people throughout the world. If the US had never grown to be a power who would stopped Japan's ambitions in the Asia or enabled England to continue its struggles in WWI and WWII (although if Germany had won WWI Hitler probably would have never come to power). Not the mention that the US was able through menace and sheer economic power to weather the threat of Soviet comumunism to the free peoples of the world. (Yeah, that's right I am a Republican!) The history of the United States is one replete with the evils of slavery, racism, and religious bigotry. Yet it is a country that is always striving to move foward and acknowledge the wrongs of the past; which is why it is, has been, and will always be a beacon of freedom and opportunity throughout the world. Next time, before you giggle, think of the world without the powerful presence of the US. I find this frightening thought considering the evil men who achieved positions of power in this century and attempted to enforce their will upon millions through any means possible. Who could have stopped them?

On July 4th I am always grateful this country existed to give my ancestors a chance to escape the entrenched poverty, religious hatreds, and the fact that starvation was a failed potato crop away which were the hallmarks of their lives in Ireland. I am damn glad my family was not trapped by some silly ideology that everyone has their own homeland and that they should stay there no matter how miserable and hopeless the place is.

The phrase "Europe for the Europeans" sounds to me like "France for the French" or "Germany for the Germans" or "America for Americans" all of which are the rallying cries of racists and bigots. I believe you had no intention of implying any racism when you wrote this but unfortunately I cannot help notice the similarites. America thrives on diversity despite the protestations of the bigots. When I was in the military one of my greatest thrills was the fact that the men in my platoon were from a vast assortment of racial, religious, and ethnic groups yet we were all one as Americans full of pride in our country, our flag, and our uniform. Today at work I conversed and worked with people whose ancestors or even themselves came from Italy, Germany, Austria, China, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Peru, Africa, the Phillipines, India, England, and Ireland. I think this is great and it's what America should be about. Phooey on "homelands."

Also the conquest of the west was not just a lilly-white enterprise. African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans all contributed to the winning of the west. Unfortunately in the past the contributions of these groups were often ignored by the history books, the novels, and the films on this chapter of American history.. Today a clearer picture of the important contributions of these people in the taming of the west is emerging. How do they fit into the scheme of "bad Europeans" vs. "good Indians?"

One last thing since you believe that even the average settler was some sort of brutish agent of genocide does that mean I should now condemn Laura Ingalls and her family for the evil they perpetrated upon the Indians. Afterall Pa and Ma Ingalls did set up a farm on Indian land. I have no doubt that whenever Pa Ingalls plowed his "stolen" land he was no doubt maliciously grinning with the fact he was fixing those Indians but good with every row he completed!

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