Hey, Jim Bracco--
I'd like to thank you for several things:
1. Thanks for expressing your counter-argument. As an outspoken guy myself, I know how scary that can be sometimes.
2. Thanks for admitting that you endorse genocide. At least I think that's what you implied. Your characterization of (all?) Indians as brutal seems to be in the context of justifying the Europeans' treatment of them. [Of course, there are a couple of problems with your thinking here. First of all, not all of the hundreds of Indian nations engaged in slavery, wars of aggression etc., though some did. Secondly, if pointing out that some ethnic group has done evil things justifies exterminating them, understand that this leads to an unending cycle of genocide. The same "reasoning" would justify the genocide of all Americans, then the genocide of whoever killed us, etc. ad infinitum. But something tells me that if, e.g., the Chinese did to us what we did to the Indians, you wouldn't be keen to wave their flag.]
3. Thanks for illuminating the darkness at the heart of the American psyche by responding to my attack on genocide and slavery as if that constitutes an attack on the USA. I couldn't have put the connection more clearly myself, and you did it without even trying!
4. Thanks for giving a brief list of the sort of feel-good misconceptions that make up the myth of national righteousness, so popular in the USA as well as many other countries ("...freedom, liberty, peace and prosperity..").
There's not space here to educate you out of the patriotic mythology and into an honest understanding of American history and policy. I'd offer a reading list, but I suspect you don't want your bubble popped. So I'll content myself here with a few comments:
It's unclear why you thought my smoking weed was relevant to the discussion at all. For the record, I don't do it nowadays, but I used to. When I smoked weed, I had to be careful not to be caught by the US government, which would happily have made money by criminalizing me and jailing me, substantially ruining my life in the process. So it's ironic that you bring up the subject of weed in the context of your starry-eyed rhapsodizing about how "free" we are in this country, LOL!
The idea that you consider a freedom fighter like Sitting Bull less worthy of memorialization than a genocidal slave owner like Washington speaks volumes about your values, and what is says isn't pretty.
Note that some of your arguments are the same arguments people are offering in support of the Confederate flag. If they justify waving the one flag, they must justify waving the other.
You invoke "...our ability to surmount our deficits and advance toward our ideals." But you seem oblivious to the fact that that must start with admitting (and not justifying) our brutalities. Rationalizing them and venerating the perpetrators is a recipe for continued brutality, not a path to "surmount(ing) our deficits and advanc(ing) toward our ideals."
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