Posted by Vita on July 18, 2000 at 09:15:58:
In Reply to: Re: History Lesson/ Hollywood's propaganda posted by Bill R on July 17, 2000 at 19:53:03:
as some of you know, I am an immigrant too, came over by way of ...oh, Vienna Prague Tirana Rome Istanbul....
all picturesque towns, diverse folks and cultures, right?
I might be a bit long winded, please bear with me, as I am about to write a declaration of love.
When I came here, I had two images of America... one based upon the terrible and quite effective anti-American propaganda ... the Ugly American, the slave owner, blood sucking capitalist, and all that; and the other one was of course America of Mark Twain, Upton Sinclair (though anti capitalist, his books were realistic, which made you love Americans for having suffered so much versus hating them)and many many others.
I mean I can go on and on, but perhaps you'll read my novel The Horseman for a view of how America was seen by some, overseas, and especially in the 60s.
One brief point: as I said, when I came here, one view I had of Americans was 'slave owner' and I remember quite clearly, I think it was my second month in America, in the New York City Downtown subway, stepping back and letting a black man enter first, because the tape that was playing on the back of my mind was that "he had been so abused, and here I was, little old Miss Empathy, giving him the respect he was not getting from these nasty nasty Amis."
OK, and this is a true story; few minutes into the ride, he smashed me on top of my head with his fist(I was sitting next to the automatic door)made a grab for my purse, all choreographed to the second, so that he can jump out of the opening door and make his getaway. Now, I was here only few weeks but had immediately found a job as a live in maid (and talking about slave work!) where I was putting in 20 hours out of a 24 hour day, shopping, cooking, cleaning, hand-washing laundry, scrubbing floors and toilet and emptying you know whats, and making a whopping $115 a week, so I was not gonna let anyone, even if he has suffered under the boot and whip of a Capitalist Pig American, take away my hard earned money, so I held on to my purse as if to dear life and did not surrender. He had to disembark sans my blood sweat and tears money.
Now I looked around, and all the folk on the train, black white yellow, of Germanic, Latin, and African ancestry, studiously avoided my imploring gaze. No one asked if I am OK, no one recommended we call the conductor, nothing (surely some of you remember the murder of Kitty Genovese in the late 60s)....
I cried out with my then terribly funny thick accent, "...is anyone coming with me as a witness? it's enough if you just stand by me when I talk to the cop on the platform..."
well, just silence. they did not even blush.
The point of this is, the shoe always fits the other foot. Surely the perp's ancestors had been used and abused, surely the ancestors of those many on the train, had been used and abused, too, and guess what, I was being used and abused as well, and no one wanted to get involved.
That was a lesson to me. I have had many lessons in other countries, before, but this one stuck, because it was happening in AMERICA. I began to study human nature more and more, deeper, closer, etc
My point? Today I am VERY MUCH AN AMERICAN. VERY PROUD AMERICAN.
I do feel like tarring and feathering him/her when she speaks against the United States of America in a manner which gives no quarter to America.
With all its warts and faults and its CIA and FBI, this is still one of the best places on earth. Many diverse peoples, of Irish, German, Scottish, British, Latin, African, Asian, ancestry, and those English who wrote the Magna Carta long before the Constitution was written, sooooo many came together and built something with the best of intentions.
It was inevitable that America would outgrow the Continental rule. Can't go against evolution. The Ottoman Empire lasted much longer than the British Empire, and in the end, went down. It is quite possible that sometime in the 21st Century, The United States of America might be the Divided States of America. Though my studies (and ah hem, Crystal Ball) lead me to bet more on a One World Rule.
Change is inevitable.
I like LOTMLand because we talk a lot about AMERICA. Its stand and rise AGAINST ALL ODDS. Long Live America The Phoenix.
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