Im sick and tired of The American Guilt Complex - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-13-2002, 10:00 PM   #1
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Im sick and tired of The American Guilt Complex

I dont get it.
It seems that there is a subtle animosity towards The United States by other countries and by some of her citizens.
And because of this many Americans start thinking of only negative aspects of our nation's history.



Everything from -
-slavery
-capitalism
-discrimination
-intolerance ect ect ect.

Thereby causing us to feel shitty to be American.


I do not subscribe to this philosophy.
It is a ploy for the weak-willed and feeble minded..

The America I believe in is one that-

-DOES NOT live in the past consumed w/guilt over her past mistakes.

-looks forward to the future so that ppl of all color, creed and religion can live together harmoniously and celebrate our differences, and not be threatened by those differences

-grows and thrives and is a beacon to the other countries who's citizens want to join us in this idea of America.

Thats the America I know
Thats the America I love.

Out-
Diamond

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Old 11-13-2002, 10:07 PM   #2
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Re: Im sick and tired of The American Guilt Complex

Quote:
Originally posted by diamond

I do not subscribe to this philosophy.
It is a ploy for the weak-willed and feeble minded..

The America I believe in is one that-

-DOES NOT live in the past consumed w/guilt over her past mistakes.

-looks forward to the future so that ppl of all color, creed and religion can live together harmoniously and celebrate our differences, and not be threatened by those differences

-grows and thrives and is a beacon to the other countries who's citizens want to join us in this idea of America.

Thats the America I love.

Out-
Diamond


Preach it, brutha diamond!

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.
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Old 11-14-2002, 12:46 AM   #3
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I love my countries!
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Old 11-14-2002, 02:57 AM   #4
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Re: Im sick and tired of The American Guilt Complex

I don't think MANY Americans are like this. I think the few that are are very VOCAL, they organize marches, they know how to get media attention and they tend to do their recruitment at universities.

There are three popular movements of anti-Americanism in the world at the moment, IMO:
(1) the domestic movement
(2) the pan-Asian movement
(3) the European movement
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Old 11-14-2002, 05:02 AM   #5
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I don't have an American guilt complex, but I am aware that as a country we have done some pretty unsavory things. My philoshopy is that if you forget history you are doomed to repeat it.

I feel bad about the way our forefathers treated Native Americans, African Americans and other groups over the years. However, there are a lot of things that I am proud of about this country. The main one being that I can sit here and express my opinion.

While America isn't perfect, it is certainly better than some of the alternatives out there.
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Old 11-14-2002, 10:02 AM   #6
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I think that you always try to knock down whomever is on top of the heap, and lets face it. We are pretty much that country. As for all the bad and evil things we have done I don't think there are many countries closets that you can look in and not find some not so great things that I am sure they are not proud of.
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Old 11-14-2002, 10:49 AM   #7
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You know what? America has done some disgusting things to other countries over the years (think El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, Vietnam...) and it should be ashamed of itself. Equally Britain, France, Holland and any other imperialist power should be ashamed of themselves for their disgraceful treatment of their former colonies. It's not anti-American to condemn those actions anymore than it's anti-British, anti-French, anti-Dutch to condemn the behaviour of those countries.

And on the subject of anti-Americanism or whatever it's called today. There is an absolute difference between condemning the actions of a government and condemning the people of that country. To label someone anti-American implies they have something against the American people, instead of simply recognising their entirely legitimate concerns with the actions of the United States government.

You can't just draw a line under the past and say you've moved on. A murderer can't claim to feel regret for his/her crimes and so demand to be released from prison. So why should a country be able to absolve itself of responsibility for past crimes? Particularly when it continues to commit similar crimes on a daily basis.

And, one final question - boywonder, what do you mean by the 'European movement'?
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Old 11-14-2002, 11:47 AM   #8
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The beauty of this country is that you don't have to be satisfied with the status quo. We have the freedom to speak out against the things we don't believe in. This includes the actions of our own country. Yet when people speak out against certain things they aren't happy with in this country they get labeled anti-American. The citizens of America are taking a step back as soon as you start labeling your neighbors anti-American for practicing their freedom of speech. The weak and feeble minded are those who live, believe, and don't mind everything this country spoon feeds them.

Quote:
-looks forward to the future so that ppl of all color, creed and religion can live together harmoniously and celebrate our differences, and not be threatened by those differences
Do you think this will ever happen if people don't point out and learn from the mistakes of this nation, and just sit back and accept everything this nation does? You can't honestly believe every action your beloved Bush is heading this nation towards this...
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Old 11-14-2002, 12:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by daisybean
I don't have an American guilt complex, but I am aware that as a country we have done some pretty unsavory things. My philoshopy is that if you forget history you are doomed to repeat it.
that also goes for every country, really. i don't think it's just americans that need to remember the negative as well as the positive, but that goes for any country as well.
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Old 11-14-2002, 01:27 PM   #10
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Yes, I would like to know what you mean by that, boywonder. What do u mean by the 'European Movement', and, more importantly, how on Earth is is anti-american?

Bizarre.

Ant.
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Old 11-14-2002, 02:23 PM   #11
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By anti-Americanism, I don't separate the government and the people. I'm refering to the public conception of America in countries like France and Germany. Americans have long been aware that the country is often viewed as imperialistic, too individualistic, materialistic and ignorant. This negative image of the United States is still very much alive. Since the Reagan presidency, cartoons in the European press have represented America as a wild cowboy who fires his gun without concern for anyone or anything. It's the image of Americans as fat, glutonous fools who seek nothing but pleasure. From our political disagreements, stereotypes have formed within Europe that Americans are uninformed about the issues. We are slaves of a moronic administration and we're too powerless or clueless to do anything about it. This is also the impression I get when talking to my friends from France. It's a smug indignation that their government is superior to us in its form of politics, its economic structure and the way it treats its people.
We may all pretend like the actions of our government are separate from us and that every European is able to distinguish the two, but it's untrue. We can't expect there to be no negative stereotypes built up after 50 years of cold war policy.
Some of you may claim that this is all in response to Bush, but this behavior didn't start 2 years ago. Some of it may have to do with our superior political influence and military strength in the world, I don't know. I do know, however, that we get a lot more criticism about our past from our "allies" than we dish out to others. I don't exactly think that Europe's hands are clean either. Why don't Europeans let the people within our country make us feel guilty for our past (once in a while) and leave it at that? Do we need a reminder? I don't need to be asked why capitalism is so out of control here. I don't need to be asked why the minimum wage isn't higher or why we don't have a stronger labor movement or why we don't have universal health care.

I don't want to suggest that every European is like this. It's just a prevailing trend that has been growing. WE are in a representative democracy, so we can't expect ourselves as a whole to be separated from the government. If an issue is important to the public, it should be on the political landscape or we should demand for it to be there. For this reason, our policy reflects on US.

Several key issues that Europeans bring up with our policy are:
gun control, death penalty, energy consumption (and the signing of the kyoto treaty), nuclear weapons policy, the ICC, etc

Here's an article on the issue from the Washington Post by a writer for the UK Guardian:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...&notFound=true
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Old 11-14-2002, 03:07 PM   #12
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"I don't need to be asked why capitalism is so out of control here. I don't need to be asked why the minimum wage isn't higher or why we don't have a stronger labor movement or why we don't have universal health care."

I do understand your emotion, but you also don´t have to feel attacked personally. Keep in mind that our countries (most european and the u.s.) are hardly ever forced into their decisions by other countries.

I don´t understand though - if most Americans, I hope, have understood that its not AntiAmerica, but AntiOutofcontrol monetarism/ neoliberalism - why they don´t take a more active role in the political process.

On the other hand, I can understand them, because not everyone is interested in politics. Also in Europe, many are not interested. Sometimes they get interested when they lose their jobs.

However, there is absolutely no reason to judge America as a whole, or Americans. Europeans should better take a look in the mirror. Sure America was and still is very dominant, but its us who started with capitalism, colonisation, and that stuff.
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Old 11-14-2002, 05:38 PM   #13
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I think I understand what "BOY" is talking about. Many people here talk about alleged crimes or actions they consider to be crimes of the US government. But whether or not many of these actions are actually crimes is open to dispute and opinion. Many attempt to paint certain things or classify certain things as crimes of the US government when in fact they are not and are legitimate actions. This attempt to paint the US government and its actions as criminal without facts but with what is mainly opinion and speculation, instead of remaining more objective, can easily be "seen" as being anti-American.

If were going to talk about crimes or state crimes, where is all the post and statements about the actions of governments that commit crimes on a daily basis throughout the world. If people here are so concerned about what they percieve as injustice, why don't we have more post slamming the Iraqi, or Iranian government, or the North Korean government. I have yet to see a single person(correct me if I'm wrong) who regularly criticizes the USA, criticize North Korea with the same frequency. I'm not attempting to criticize, its just a general observation.

I don't think anyone here is really anti-American. But it would be nice to see some more balance when digging up or accusing certain countries of crimes. I could be guilty of this myself in regards to countries that rarely make the news but have terrible human rights abuses, yet I have not mentioned them.
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Old 11-14-2002, 06:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
Europeans should better take a look in the mirror.
I know a lot of Europeans who are very critical when it comes to European politics as well as American politics. You might not notice it by visiting this forum because most of the active members are probably from the US and predominantly post about (gasp) American politics. Just check out Free Your Mind and see how many political threads posted by American members are about US politics. That's why I almost pee my panties laughing when I find yet another thread posted by an American asking these "Ooooh why do they hate us..?" type of questions.

I don't think I've ever seen threads dealing with European issue's get more than 15 (and yes, this is a guess) replies.
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Old 11-14-2002, 06:06 PM   #15
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Well, if one were to look at it from such a point of view, I would have to agree. However, the way you phrased it the first time it seemed that the 'European Movement', which is the integration of European countries under the EU, was an anti-american movement, that is neither accurate not true. Partial public opinion with criticisms exaggerated by sensationalist reporting is hardly anti-americanism.

Do some parties in som European countries disagree strongly with the way America handles some things? Of course, and why shouldn't they, they are entitled to an opinion. Is Europe anti-American? No. It isn't, purely because it isn't wise to be so.

I've said it again and again, the only real anti-Americanism I have seen so far is 9/11. Anti-Americanism is a term that has been used too liberally, without reallly acknowledging the implications.

I will accept that if you were to ask, for instance, a Frenchman about the issues raised in that article you supplied, there is a substantial chance that he would comment on how the American election was a joke, ownership of weapons is a ludicrous concept, the death penalty is outdated and America may seem to have this gung-ho attitude to things - this is the situation at its worst; is THAT Anti-American? Surely not.

No more Anti-American than Americans' critical jokes concerning the French is Anti-French.

Ant.
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