One of my fellow expatriates responded to my “I don’t Get It” post with an email. Like all good opinions, I find his his very thought provoking (and substantial!) and I feel they deserve their own post. I’m not with him on everything, but I defer to his personal knowledge on much of what he observes, since this guy has done nothing but travel the world since the war in Vietnam. He taught himself Spanish and Portuguese, has lived off and-on-south of the US border for much of his life, and he has had more experiences than most could hope to have in two or three lifetimes. I have a LOT of respect for this guy. He speaks from his heart, his mind, and from his life encounters. He gave me permission to post his thoughts in my Blog, but I hope someday he will post similarly in his own.
Phil, Good post there, lots of thought-provoking items.
I agree fully. I grew up in Minnesota and saw it the same way; I never hunted deer. We lived up north by the Canadian border and every year there'd be this massive migration of Minneapolis businessmen coming our way to kill deer. And that silly ritual of tying the carcass to the fender of the car!
If I had a Blog I'd be ready to deal with this issue big time. Americans take care of our people. You remember barn raisings from the old days? Somebody's barn burns down and the next weekend every neighbor for miles around is there to help this guy put up a new one; women and kids there too to feed 'em.
Onetime when I was a kid, my dad about burned himself outworking full time and building a new house out on ourfarm. He suddenly got so sick he ended up beinghospitalized for two years. It was September and thehouse was uncovered, just the basement exposed but allthe lumber and other things inside it. Next weekend everybody we knew, and some we didn't, showed up withall their tools and put up the floor on the house so it would be a temporary roof and then tarpapered it so that it would be protected during the winter.
It's called being neighborly. We've sort of lost this in the urban setting, but it's still part of our nature.We just take care of our people. Other cultures refuse to get involved. We see somebody beating a woman or acting up, we get in there and help or call the cops. That's who we are. We are Americans and everybody around us is our responsibility.
One time in Mexico I heard a nasty fight in another apartment in our building. I had just moved in and had a phone but no phone book, had no idea how to call thecops. It was Sunday morning and I ran out to the main avenue and flagged one down, and rode back with them.When I got there my neighbors were outside the building, they told the cops the fight was over and the people had left the building. I look up and see an arm come out of the window from that apartment to open it to see what's going on. Lying fools were coveringfor the bad guys and keeping the cops at bay. The just don't get involved even if somebody's life is atstake.
I see snatchers here in the jeepneys and people just let them do their thing and don't get involved. Cops have told me that's typical because they fear retaliation. It takes courage to be involved and WE do it. They don't here. . . or in other countries.
I've tried to tell these liberals that that's the reason we are in Iraq and other places. We are Americans and we help out our neighbors. That's what Americans do. Our neighbors include other nations too, and not just our own family and "tribe." Those people who criticize us for getting involved see us as meddling but it's not meddling; it's helping our neighbors.
The first time I ever saw the Independence Day parade in Mexico, I didn't know Spanish yet. A girl fainted near me and all the locals did was form a circle around her and stare. Nobody moved! I ran and found the first aid station and motioned the guys to come with me. What is this with these cultures andtheir non-involvement? I don't get it. Why do Americans take charge and others don't?
Another time I was riding a crowded bus in Mexico City. I saw a woman nearby with her bag over her shoulder and the top open. From the mass of humanity around me I saw a hand come out and reach for the bag; I couldn't even tell where the hand came from. Others had to have seen it but did nothing. I yelled out,"Hey everybody, please watch your bags! There are thieves on this bus!" The woman then shifted and put the bag in front of her and closed it. We are a different kind of people than most folks onthis planet are. Everybody is our neighbor and we are bold enough to get involved. Liberals say it isn't any of our business. THEY just don't get it.
I fight with this too. I've been the victim too many times of Mexican abuse. I, like you, am NOT a racist, but I have to admit that some cultures do have a greater propensity to crime than others. I haven't had much interaction with blacks but generally speakingwhat I've had has been more negative than positive. I can speak very knowledgeably about Latinos though and there are a lot of really negative things to say. I tell my Filipino friends that Blacks and Latinos each compose 13% of the American population. Yet, blacks are 45% of the prison population; Hispanics are about 30%.
I have a friend in Brazil, a real live member of a communist party (we do have some interesting e-mails) and she once went on and on that this was evidence of racism in the US. I said no, it's not evidence of racism; it's that these folks are doing the crimes. Period. Another interesting tidbit: Asians are about 6% of America, but less than half of one percent are in the prisons. That tells me Asians are pretty good immigrants, have strong family cultures that keeps kids from going wrong.
Looking back to the above I see that I wasn't very structured in writing it; it's cuz I was on a rant, I'm pretty passionate about this issue. Again, you and I are not racists but refuse to be cowed by the PC defeatist liberals who want us to feel guilty about those stats. Hey, you do the crime; you do the time!That's the way it's supposed to be.
Still thinking about your last Blog. I was a poor upstate Minnesota boy, really naive, small-town type, never saw a black man until I was 16. . . and he was African and not even American. Started college in Minneapolis when I finished high school and I'm soooooo incredibly shocked at how the blacks used the mo-fo words in EVERY sentence. Then shortly after that, just 3 weeks in college I think, I joined the army.
Over the years I guess I've gotten so used to it that it no longer surprises me but I still find it disgusting. What a horrible thing to say! I wonder if this came about as a form of expressing their outrage against Whitey. Just for the shock value. But then again they do it when we're not around too.
In Spain, even the most elite and educated types continually use "coño" (vagina) in every sentence, and perhaps as often as our blacks use mo-fo. In the case of the Spanish I can sort of understand the psychology of it because they were under an oppressive catholic church until Franco died. And that's just 30 years ago. They didn't talk like that in Franco's day, I can assure you! Now they're free of the church and this is perhaps a way of sticking it to their former oppressor.
I have to say you really are good at the give and take of debating, and evidently get a lot of pleasure from it. If I were as good at it as you are I'd even consider getting into politics. I do have some strong opinions about many subjects and would love to be able to express them in the public arena. Especially this latest immigration issue . . . this one really can make me passionate. I do envy your ability to come up with immediate counter arguments and examples to support your theses.