COLUMN: American attitudes pervade the globe

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 9:42 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 12, 2010

For a long time, I imagined that a lot of Americans did not realize we are acting on the world’s stage. In other words, what goes in our country doesn’t just stay in our country, it’s seen on television screens throughout the world. The racist, sexist and just plain mean spiritedness of individuals within our midst has manifested itself and is being telescoped to other countries, many of whom are our enemies.

Now, I know that those Americans are not only cognizant of the facts, but are actually proud to show the world what kind of attitudes they have. They like parading their hatreds in front of our enemies. They believe their own lies. In their minds, the American military can beat up everybody. They don’t have to worry about the messages we send our enemies. They are hate-filled and they are proud of it.

Like most people, I believe we could become a unified nation. But I have to admit there are those among us who will never get over their hatreds of people who are different from themselves. They will never be able to live in peace with those with whom they disagree. They are determined that we all must live by their rules or there will be no peace.

I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I consider it important at this stage of our political life to declare myself opposed to what I consider to be un-American behavior. For any who are unwilling to publicly clarify their position on this matter, I have no choice but to assume they are in agreement with the dividing forces. Life, I feel, is simply too short for some of us to have to go back and re-fight the same battles we fought nearly 50 years ago.

Unfortunately, young people who want to safeguard their democratic way of life may have to fight for their rights. Great leaders have warned us before that social change is never permanent. If people want to maintain the freedoms they have inherited, they may have to put on their fighting clothes. These people who want to turn back the clock to the times when the white male ruled our society, I hate to say it, are going to have to be fought off. They have thrown down the gauntlet and they will not back away.

As ugly as it sounds, this may not just be a family fight. Some countries view the foreign policies of our past as racially unjust. Many terrorists are just awaiting the opportunity to cause havoc in America. The misguided souls who think their enemies are those representing the other political party are so blinded by their hatred that they can’t identify their real enemies, are tragic. Still, all of us will be dragged into the mire of their meanness. Our generation as well as future generations will be held accountable for their misguided angst.

So many people who have suffered financially and emotionally during this domestic crisis, who are already on the brink of even greater disaster, are being driven into hopelessness by these political agitators and media monsters for their own purposes.

In non-democratic countries, they would have been silenced long ago.

The real sadness is that every day thousands of young men and women are required to take up arms and fight on foreign soil to defend these muckrakers who are determined to keep this country troubled and divided. The idea of joining the military to fight our real enemies is out of the question. As we all know, old men make wars for young men to fight.

Obviously, some Americans have ceased to believe we can solve our problems by engaging in civil discourse. They believe that name-calling and committing despicable acts violence are the way to solve problems.

Well, each and every one of us has a stake in deciding the kind of country we want to be. Allowing others to make my decision for me—out of fear or a desire to be well liked—will not work on me as it did not work for generations before me. It is my fervent desire to live in a city, a state and a country where it is safe to be a human being.

I will not accept less than that and I believe the Constitution of the United States of America is on my side.

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phillipp young April 13, 2010 | 9:53 p.m.

we need to stop worrying about what every other country thinks of us and worry about fixing our problems.
thats part of our problem today, too many people want to make this country or that like us or be like us. There has always been hatred in the world, always. Americans didnt invent hatred, nor are we the only country afflicted with it.So quit worrying about what the rest of the world thinks of us. No matter what we do, there will always be someone who doesnt like it.We are who we are, the only "person" we need to impress is God.

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