This article was written in response to an opinion piece that ran in The Standard Times newspaper on August 30, 2005 and my response was published September 10, 2005 in said paper.
It is amazing to see the lengths people will go to slur America, even going as far as to defend street criminals. Mr. Andrade says the t-shirts (stop snitching) are "a reaction to the witnessing of the very real code of silence practiced by the oppressors who own and run this country." He says criminals commit crimes because they see the hypocrisy of U.S. policies and history. He claims the U.S. committed genocide against Indians and Africans, and this is covered up by the government, schools and the media; therefore, the connection to the "stop snitching" t-shirts. I would like to know how these criminals would see this hypocrisy if it is not taught in schools or talked about in the media as he claims. They don't do their own research in between drug deals, do they? The real history of the genocide committed by the U.S. includes the deaths of 50 percent of the native population killed by smallpox, to which they had no immunity, and to other diseases. Was it genocide when millions of Europeans were killed by the same disease? Taking land by force also wasn't something the Europeans invented. "The American Indians took one another's land by force... Indians often joined with the Europeans to attack other Indians... To share in the spoils or to exact revenge," according to Thomas Sowell, author of "Black Rednecks and White Liberals." Also, the Indian population declined during their migration away from the growing population. This is not unprecedented in history. The Germanic tribes were pushed West by the invasion of the Huns during the late Roman Empire. In the matter of slavery, it wasn't peculiar to the U.S. but took place on every continent and included "Africans enslaving Africans, selling some to Europeans... Keeping some for themselves," according to Mr. Sowell. The U.S. fought a war against Tripoli to stop American sailors from being enslaved. "While slavery was common to all civilizations, only one developed a revulsion to it," Mr. Sowell says. This was Western civilization. This led the "criminal" Abraham Lincoln to free the salves with the Emancipation Proclamation. The media do have stories that are negative about us, especially now. The Center for Media and Public Affairs Studies show that two-thirds of news coverage of Bush during his first 100 days was negative. Coverage of Bush's Social Security plan were 83 percent negative. Only 32 percent of coverage on the Iraq war after the "mission accomplished" speech had been positive. If you go back to the Vietnam War, the media played the decisive role. "Even the current communist rulers of Vietnam have admitted that they lost militarily in Vietnam but hung on because they expected to win politically in the United States- as they did, with the help of the Jane Fonda's, the Walter Cronkites and a cast of thousands in the streets and on campuses around the country," Mr. Sowell wrote. To use any smear of American history to legitimize crime is wrong. Haven't you heard the saying, "two wrongs don't make a right"?
You mustn't confuse criticism of the American government with criticism of America itself, or the American people. Taking it personally is a sure fire way of missing perfectly legitimate criticism of American foreign policy.
Was the Vietnam war a shocking and needless loss of life or wasn't it? Same with Iraq and Afghanistan? This is what we need to be asking.
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