The Real Issue In America
The attitude of the American majority toward certain American minority groups
in the U.S. and throughout the world has been and still is “the real issue in
America.” To a large extent the Industrial Revolution and American History
underscore the reason for this attitude. History reminds us that this American
majority (former British citizens) were once viewed by the British Government
as social outcasts who by neccessity became the instrument of Great Britain’s
Industrial Revolution and the Institution of Slavery. At the time, these British
Subjects accused and portrayed the British Government as the enemy and
oppressor of their dreams and aspirations in the New World (America).
However, history also records that these British Subjects won their freedom
from Great Britain at the expense of African and American Indian freedom. This
basic ideological contradiction eventually caused a split in America (Civil War
North vs. South) with abolitionists who saw slavery and Indian reservations as an
equivalent injustice to the British Government’s oppression of their rights in the
Therefore, is it not fair and just when American Indians see themselves as
prisoners of war under occupation by former British Subjects who defected to
North America? American Indians are angered further (justifiably so) when they
recall the many Indians who taught these British settlers to grow corn and survive
in a new environment (America), only to have their land appropriated. American
Indians view these actions toward them in the same light as foreign intervention
in Vietnam, South Africa, Korea, Argentina, Chile, Iraq, Palestine, and other
parts of the world.
In America, “the real issue” is always the one nobody feels comfortable talking
about. For example, during World War II, JapaneseAmericans, born legally as
American citizens, were detained and placed in U.S. Government relocation
camps. German American citizens were not subjected to the same type of
treatment. Why the Japanese and not the Germans?
During the civil rights movement in the 1960’s, AfricanAmericans, born legally
as American citizens, were killed, beaten and jailed across the U.S. for having
peaceful, nonviolent demonstrations to achieve racial, economic, political, and
Another example of this majority attitude surfaced in the midst of the U.S.
Iranian hostage crisis. Iranian people, some born legally as American citizens
and some not, were subjected to harassment by the U.S. Government and the
American people at large. Iranians were victims of mob attacks, personal threats
against their lives, and other barbaric offenses.
And of course, most recently, the witchhunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction
(WMD) in Iraq that never materialized. This preemptive strike on a sovereign
nation was allowed under the pretext of an alleged connection between Osama
Ben Laden and Iraq that has never existed. Is this a political/terrorist issue or an
oil/economic issue for certain special interests?
We as Americans have the tendency to talk about human rights, yet, our attitudes
and actions show the world another picture of us. How can we stand by and not
remove the people at the top of the military/government that were responsible for
the torturing of prisoners in Iraq?
Should we deport, drop bombs on England, or harass all British people in
America if England takes antiAmerican actions similar to the incident in Iraq?
Or, maybe the British should deport all the Irish in England who support the
antiBritish revolt in Ireland. Why not deport all the Italians in America if Italy
The Klu Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party have done more to distort and
destroy the American Constitution and American founding father ideals than any
other organization, group or individual in the U.S. Why haven’t we deported
them to a communist country or some place else that accepts their philosophy?
In our recent past, the Haitian boat people were victims of this American
Government and/or American majority attitude. Our Government launched an
anti Haitian campaign long before the majority of the Haitian boat people even
arrived on our shores. And, once they did arrive, they were labeled with every
form of antisocial disease under the sun – from ‘Herpes to AIDS. Why was it so
important to mount such a blatant attack against the Haitian people? After all, the
U.S. Government admits they defected from a noncommunist country, which
should mean they are friends and not enemies.
It seems that we have a history of putting dictators in power and then taking them
out of office by any means necessary when their existence is no longer expedient
to achieve U.S. goals and objectives. The “A” list is quite long: Noriega, Marcos,
Shah of Iran, Bastista, Osama, Papa Doc, Sadaam, and Khadafi (all nonwhite –
men of color).
How can our President or any other American citizen legitimately talk about
human rights when we ourselves have lessons to learn? As Americans we should
stop making ourselves the laughing stock of world opinion. Let’s take a close look
in the mirror for a change and soon we will discover “the real Issue in America”
(double standards regarding people of color).
Submitted to Lewis Harrison at the Harrison Center for Personal Development by the author with permission to print in this blog.
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