Are Some Americans Really This Stupid or is this a Fake Video

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as a black american i know far too well how the media lies and sways public opinion.

sarasara, we are very ignorant here because the only way for us to know the other side of the issues is to get news from those that are suffering.

most americans cannot read arabic and i'd argue that any news in english will slant in favor western thought.

i don't know anyone that would see hezbollah as freedom fighters, even though to many that is what they are. there is rarely news that paints israel as oppressive.

the problem is, that here in the united states, to say anything against israel often makes one look anti-semitic. i'd argue that any politician that wants to get in power MUST be pro-israel.

someone has to not be afraid to write in english what is happening around the world because as far as our news is concerned, arabs hate americans/democracy/freedom and are blowing themselves up in hopes of destroying western ideas and to convert everyone to islam.
Originally Posted by frau
This is a guano, but as a journalist and a black woman, I get really sick of people slamming "the media" and claiming we're all a bunch of lying, scheming n'er-do-wells who are out to sway public opinion.

Notwithstanding the dimwits at Fox News, I don't know any journalists who are like that. The journalists I know are all extremely talented, hard-working people who care deeply about getting the truth out. A number of friends/colleagues, reporters and photographers, have covered Iraq and the West Bank. (I've reported from Afghanistan myself.)

They made damn sure that they got the side of Iraqis who've been victimized by the war, or the side the Palestinians--often risking their lives to do so. One photographer I worked with in Afghanistan now walks with a permanent limp. She was covering the West Bank, doing photo essays on Palestinians and was clearly wearing a "Press" vest" when an Israeli soldier shot her in the pelvis. He was aiming for her crotch. (Oh, and she's Jewish, by the way. Not that it should matter.)

Sarasara, I don't know if you've ever visited the States, but I hope that you do so one day. There's a big difference between what the government did/does (and yes, hello, Bush hasn't been president for nearly 2 years) and the American people. Some are incredibly narrow-minded, ignorant and short-sighted, but many are not. I don't know anyone who supported the war in Iraq.

And a lot of the "support the troops" thing comes as a reaction to the way that soldiers were treated during the Viet Nam war. Then, there was a draft, and so soldiers had no choice but to fight--or face jail. The war was very unpopular and when the soldiers came back home, they were treated horribly.
3B corkscrews with scatterings of 3A & 3C.

Last edited by journotraveler; 12-21-2010 at 10:44 AM.
journotraveler, the media routinely almost exclusively covers black crime as if white crime does not exist (oh wait...there was that madoff guy). in the media, whenever black culture is covered it's always from the point of view of the poor black children struggling to get an education in the ghetto or the poor single mother trying to find a job or the guy who got out of the gang who is in rehab or something like that. we are almost always the victim, the sad poor soul that needs help. if obama didn't run for senate and president it would almost sound like a fantasy based on how the media chooses it's stories.
as for iraq...i don't recall any stories that see americans as the aggressors, how could they? sure, you report a story truthfully, but whose truth??
i'm the average american who gets her news from the big three networks and cnn. where are the stories that show americans as the invaders? as the killer of mothers and innocent children?
journotraveler, the media routinely almost exclusively covers black crime as if white crime does not exist (oh wait...there was that madoff guy). in the media, whenever black culture is covered it's always from the point of view of the poor black children struggling to get an education in the ghetto or the poor single mother trying to find a job or the guy who got out of the gang who is in rehab or something like that. we are almost always the victim, the sad poor soul that needs help. if obama didn't run for senate and president it would almost sound like a fantasy based on how the media chooses it's stories.
as for iraq...i don't recall any stories that see americans as the aggressors, how could they? sure, you report a story truthfully, but whose truth??
i'm the average american who gets her news from the big three networks and cnn. where are the stories that show americans as the invaders? as the killer of mothers and innocent children?
Originally Posted by frau
Read newspapers. Read magazines. Broadcast media's task is to compress complicated issues/stories into bite-sized pieces. There's little room for nuance and context. Yes, there are issues with the way race is covered in this country--but there are a lot of very talented journalists of color who are turning out beautifully nuanced work. And there are white journalists who get it, who are doing those stories, too.

As for the stories showing Americans as invaders and killers of children, check out Anthony Shadid's Pulitzer Prize-winning work from Baghdad for the Washington Post. He's Lebanese-American, speaks fluent Arabic and stayed in the streets when the U.S. started bombing in 2003. He lived among the people and wrote about their lives and what they were experiencing.
3B corkscrews with scatterings of 3A & 3C.
thanks for the article. i will read it.

a good example of the kind of b.s. journalism that gets touted as a great piece of work was that bullsht that soledad obrien put out, black in america. same ole tired stories.
thanks for the article. i will read it.

a good example of the kind of b.s. journalism that gets touted as a great piece of work was that bullsht that soledad obrien put out, black in america. same ole tired stories.
Originally Posted by frau
I didn't see all of that series, but I didn't love what I saw. But again, television. Some broadcast journalists do do in-depth stuff--Vickie Mabry on ABC/Nightline (though I haven't watched in a long time) and of course, my absolute favorite, the late, great Ed Bradley.

ETA: Anthony Shadid did a whole series of articles from Iraq, for which he won the Pulitzer. If you click on the link, you can find the others. But that one was particularly illustrative.
3B corkscrews with scatterings of 3A & 3C.
I think journotraveler brings up a good point. When people say "media" these days, all they're usually talking about is tv and internet. Sometimes movies. But there is a great big world of books, magazines, and newspapers out there.

I think it really helps to get a subscription to multiple newspapers. That way you get different points of view, and it makes it easier to pick up on who is more biased (in either direction) and who is more balanced.

Why don't people watch C-SPAN more...

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.
let me just add that i do not believe our troops are murdering criminals.
no, i believe most are young boys who were told they were fighting terrorism and helping to end tyranny is places in afghanistan, bring liberation to women and to prevent a government from oppressing one religious group over others.
it's complicated, but our government's job is to make things simple. we have to win our objectives. it's not different than any other country.
we are no more cruel or insensitive than any other government or people.

i'm looking for job opportunities in kandahar, afghanistan. why? because it pays well. i'm sure that is why many soldiers join the military, for financial reasons. the whys and hows are secondary.

Last edited by frau; 12-21-2010 at 01:55 PM.
nm

Last edited by Eilonwy; 01-31-2011 at 04:20 PM.
but we'll still be the coolest country!
Originally Posted by frau
frau, you're not allowed to say that either!!!
Sarasara, I think your posts are frustrating people not because your views don't apply to many Americans (they do!), but because not every American is like that. The Non-Hair Board has a high proportion of Americans who are quite liberal and who keep themselves well educated about world issues, and who are also aware of which issues they don't know so much about.

I really dislike the Americans you're describing, too! But I can very safely say that I am not one of them. I really do not fit your descriptions. It feels like we're just strawmen receiving anger that is justified in general, but is not justified toward us.

I understand that not all Americans are like the ones I'm describing. I know a big percentage may not support the war. I know there are Americans who went to protest. I don't know what made me bring this discussion, actually, since my main post was about the video. I think it bothered me that people kept saying that there "are stupid people everywhere, not just the US." It felt like people were justifying other peoples' stupidity. And as I mentioned before,I don't care about stupid people, as long as they don't interfere with other peoples' lives. Which is very much not the case in the US government, as the people have the power to choose ruler of the world. In which case stupidity is very harming and not justifiable.


About being to the US-

Yes, I've been to the US a few years ago. People were very friendly, much more than people I've seen in other countries. On a superficial level, I really liked Americans. In real life, I haven't interacted very closely or personally with them (i.e: I do not have close American friends who I go out with...etc). The only person I've know closely is my host mothers' friend. She's around 60 years old and lives in Japan. She's been living in Japan for more than 30 years and is in love with it. She's pretty anti-USA. I don't have problems talking politics with her.

About me "realizing" that Bush is not president anymore-

What's your point about Bush not being in office? I hope you do realize that Bush leaving does not mean that his effects in the region have ended. I don't know if Obama is making wonderful things in the US (and from what I understand, he's not) and so you would think elsewhere the same is happening, but its not. Even if Bush dies right now, his actions won't die, and they're still playing out somewhere else in the world. But if you want me to add Obama's name alongside Bush's I don't mind. I might not jump around in joy if someone throws a shoe in his face the way I did when it happened to Bush, but I don't exactly see him as a "hero" either.

And about the media-

Yes, the media is skewed. For example, if it weren't, you would easily see the crimes and massacres that Israel has comitted (with the US's help, of course) on TV and major newspapers. You won't have to go looking for them. The truth should be displayed easily, and everyone should be made aware of it, just as they are being easily made aware of Britney Spears shaving her head.


ETA: And by the truth I don't mean an article here and there. It means the truth. The dead children, the dead women, the dead innoccent men. The torture. The destruction. Pictures. Everything.


On powerful nations being no less "cruel" than the USA-

Maybe whenever people have power they misuse it. But that doesn't mean that the US government is not an inhumane, cruel government. I'm not sure about other "superpowers" that existed before, and I haven't done research about the amount of destructions and death those other powers have caused, so I can't compare. But, compared to other governments that exist today, yes, the US is more inhumane and more cruel. I'm not stating my opinion. It is a fact that the US has caused many inhumane, cruel deaths and destruction to people in many parts of the world.

we are no more cruel or insensitive than any other government or people.

I know you're aware of other governments who are less cruel and less insensetive to other human beings. Even if they've comitted big crimes before, I'm pretty sure countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Austria and many more can be regarded as much, much, much less cruel than the US. And much more humane. I don't understand how the US government is not considered less humane. Even though this type of statement annoys me, I'm really asking, and not being snide. How is it NOT less cruel than other governments today. Under its own definition, the US government is a terrorist government.



Terrorism is defined in the U.S. by the Code of Federal Regulations as: "..the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85)


terrorismfiles.org : Definition of terrorism


The US has used force and violence to reach political objectives. From my understanding, that happened both in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Bombings on Afghanistan started on October 7th, 2001, because the Taliban refused to hand in Osama Bin Laden without proof or evidence.

On November 1st, 2001, Amir Khan Muttaqi said:
"We do not want to fight. We will negotiate. But talk to us like a sovereign country. We are not a province of the United States, to be issued orders to. We have asked for proof of Osama's involvement, but they have refused. Why?"


The US started a military action against Afghanistan to reach a political end. They did so without negotiations, even though the Taliban were willing to negotiate. The US refused to give proofs or evidence as well. The Taliban at some point agreed to handing in Osama Bin Laden to a neutral country, an offer the US declined. The US initiated violence to coerce a government and people into doing things that would make them reach their political goals. Under the US definition of terrorism, the USA seems to be a terrorist.

Ok, bombing away on "suspects" is not terrorism? What about the civilians ?

I know you know that there are many, many crimes such as these which the US government has committed. So (not out of sarcasm) I want to know, why would you think that the US government is not more cruel than other governments that exist today?

Last edited by sarasara; 12-22-2010 at 12:49 PM.
Sarasara, I actually like you and think you're going through a hard time. So I'm giving you the benefit of a doubt here. I did not take offense to your initial post, or your starting this thread. But I personally believe continuing this thread in this forum in this manner is fruitless. A lot of people in the US suck. We get it. We admit it. We accept it. I think many people here get your point. I think the US makes ****ty decisions. But no, I'm not going to say it makes the ****tiest decisions of all. Yes, the US dropped a nuclear bomb on Japan, and that is why they're our allies today. That was a ****ty, ****ty thing to do. I don't wash away that mark on the US anymore than I do of the many people that have benefitted (and continue to benefit) off the free labor of my ancestors.

Everyone does dirt.

As a black woman from the USA (i.e., not falling under caucasian in any way, shape or form), I know how I and my cohort are seen by some (i.e., not all!) people in Japan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, India, Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Sudan, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Venezuela, Nigeria, Austraila, etc. Um, if my black ass walked over there and tried to act brand new, like I'm American and they can't touch me or people in those countries are so pure and good they will never harm me or think ill of me, I'd be prone to get slapped back into reality real quick (at the very least).

So yeah, there are bad, bad people here. But there are bad, bad people everywhere. Trust and believe. Unfortunately, the US does not have the market cornered. As a black person in this world (who can't even tell you where the eff the bulk of my ancestors came from except a general answer of Africa), I'd be a damn fool to trust anyone, including peope of color, that expresses obvious disdain for me any more than say a NeoNazi or a member of the Ku Klux Klan. All don't like me, and that's all I need to know.

If you're hoping for the majority here on this board to fall on their knees and beg for forgiveness, trust, they won't do it. People don't even do that for people here in the US who have been royally screwed over. Bombing Japan ended World War II. The war ending was good. The way the war was ended was not good. Everything cannot go into a neat little good or evil pile. Sometimes it's all a nasty cluster ****.

I agree that Iraq was an illegal occupation, but I'm not so sure that Afghanistan was. A city in the US was bombed, surely you wouldn't expect anyone to sit on their hands? If someone bust up in my house and raped me and was fool enough to leave me alive, I'm sorry but when I stop reeling from the shock....I'm probably going to do something about it.

When I first left home, I thought my new place was awesome and every other place sucked. When I moved to the Northeastern US, at first I thought everywhere else in the US sucked in comparison. Once the shock of being some place new wore off, I came back to earth and realized that every place has positives and negatives. There is no utopia and there aren't any utopian people. Again, everyone does dirt or has some sort of skeleton in their closet.

Back to the original topic, yes, some Americans are just that stupid. I wish the stupidity was isolated to people in the video, but it's not.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.

Last edited by curlyarca; 12-22-2010 at 01:22 PM.
Curlyarca, I agree with what you wrote on the Black woman front - amen!

I will say to sarasara that you're letting Europe off the hook. The Holocaust was not that long ago, and there is still a lot of racial and religious intolerance in places in Europe (not saying it is all like that, but I do think it is still a serious problem.) And as Black people, we can't forget who initially engaged in African slavery (because they had wiped out so many of the aboriginal people who otherwise would have had to do it) and who were the original colonizers. I see the US as continuing where England, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark etc. left off.

And to curlyarca... I do have BIG problems with the war in Afghanistan (in which my country and family members are also involved, regrettably), because, as sarasara pointed out, the US was not very forthcoming with evidence (do they know Bin Laden is there, etc.) Also, horrible as 9/11 was, I don't believe in "an eye for an eye", and I don't think that 9/11 was worth 8 years of warfare and the total devastation of a nation that I doubt the invaders will be able to fix. I think there were other more productive ways to address 9/11 that Bush chose not to explore.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Curlyarca, I agree with what you wrote on the Black woman front - amen!

I will say to sarasara that you're letting Europe off the hook. The Holocaust was not that long ago, and there is still a lot of racial and religious intolerance in places in Europe (not saying it is all like that, but I do think it is still a serious problem.) And as Black people, we can't forget who initially engaged in African slavery (because they had wiped out so many of the aboriginal people who otherwise would have had to do it) and who were the original colonizers. I see the US as continuing where England, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark etc. left off.

And to curlyarca... I do have BIG problems with the war in Afghanistan (in which my country and family members are also involved, regrettably), because, as sarasara pointed out, the US was not very forthcoming with evidence (do they know Bin Laden is there, etc.) Also, horrible as 9/11 was, I don't believe in "an eye for an eye", and I don't think that 9/11 was worth 8 years of warfare and the total devastation of a nation that I doubt the invaders will be able to fix. I think there were other more productive ways to address 9/11 that Bush chose not to explore.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Amneris, I agree with you. I have big issues with the war in Afghanistan, too. Whether it was illegal or not, as I said, I'm not sure. I understand that initial lash out response that the US had. I don't think it's worth killing innocent people over,and definitely not a decades worth. I just don't think Osama bin Laden is/was as elusive as we've been led to believe. And yeah, our intelligence was anything but.

It's just a big mess. And yes, Canadians are suffering in it, needlessly. I wish the Canadians would leave Afghanistan, maybe we'd be forced to then. It's all very depressing.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.
And about the media-

Yes, the media is skewed. For example, if it weren't, you would easily see the crimes and massacres that Israel has comitted (with the US's help, of course) on TV and major newspapers. You won't have to go looking for them. The truth should be displayed easily, and everyone should be made aware of it, just as they are being easily made aware of Britney Spears shaving her head.


ETA: And by the truth I don't mean an article here and there. It means the truth. The dead children, the dead women, the dead innoccent men. The torture. The destruction. Pictures. Everything.
Sorry, Sarasara, but I just showed one example of one journalist's work in Iraq. I've seen these stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Not exactly obscure media publications. There have been many stories run about the torture of prisoners in Guantanamo, etc. With pictures.

Like Curlyarca, I like you a lot, too. (And I agree with everything that she wrote in her latest post.) But right now, you don't seem interested in hearing what other people have to say; you seem to be interested in telling us how much we suck as a country. I don't know what you expect from us. Most of us here have said that we can understand your point of view; many of us agree with you. I'll be the first to admit that I am ashamed of this country's foreign policy. And we're pointing out that Bush is no longer president because you write as though he still is president. Of course his policies have long-lasting effects. You think we're not feeling them here in this country?

You say that you see that some Americans aren't the boogeyman, your attitude/writing style says something completely different. You come off as contemptuous of the other posters on the board. And that, in my opinion, is what people are reacting to.

I was in NYC on September 11, by the way. You might think that we had it coming, but it was a terrifying day for me. It was a terrifying day for my family, who freaked out because they didn't know where I was for a while that day. I know people who lost loved ones on that day. My husband's cousin narrowly escaped getting killed that day. These were regular, working folks who didn't have sh** to do with American policy abroad.

And yes, I get that for innocent Palestinians and Iraqis killed/maimed/injured, it was terrifying.

ETA: I agree with Amneris about not letting Europe off the hook. I was going to say the same thing myself.

As for Afghanistan, I was against the war. I spent a month there in 2002, and I was shocked to find so many Afghanis who were *thrilled* the day the U.S. started bombing Afghanistan. I think we've done a horrible job there. It's worse now and that is really saying something.
3B corkscrews with scatterings of 3A & 3C.

Last edited by journotraveler; 12-22-2010 at 02:36 PM.
I wouldn't say that people are fundamentally better in one place than in another. But there are definitely countries with lower poverty and crime rates than what the US has, and that seem to have less sexism and homophobia as well (although they may make up for it in xenophobia). And people risk their lives every day to get to Canada and Sweden and China and so on. Illegal immigration is usually more about perceived job opportunities than it is about rights, I'm pretty sure. People follow the money to wealthier countries.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
Not only is it about perceived jobs opportunities. The jobs are actually more abundant in "first" world countries. The question is WHY? When the colonialists took over all the so-called third world countries in the Americas who profited????? They didn't give the profits and sugar, tobacco, etc. to the slaves and surviving native Americans - NO. They send the profits and commodities back to Europe and up the line to the ruling colonialists of the so-called United States of America.
So if you're country is destitute as a result of being raped of its natural resources and due to the legacy of corrupt politics that the colonialists left us - what else is there to do but leave it and travel to the economically stronger coutries who stole those resources and left those corrupt practices in place????

Simple math.
I would also like to point out that even if the video HAD been real, there are idiots in EVERY country and it makes no sense to target Americans as the "stupid ones".
Originally Posted by NYCurlyGirly
Honestly! I get so tired of being targeted by residents of other countries as somehow needing to be accountable to them for everything our country does......I don't deny there are flawed policies, heinous actions, and atrocities, but honestly, where is it better? Where are the people truly, fundamentally better? Where is there no corruption, no dishonesty, no poverty, and equality all around? And if we're all so dumb, why do people continue to risk their lives every damned day to get here?

And since I'm ranting now, I would also like to add that the recent immigrants who made the news for donating blood made me happy as hell to have them here.
Originally Posted by ninja dog
You should be happy and grateful, cause you yourself are an immigrant.

There is only one true "American" and that is the Native Americans who were here for thousands of years before the Europeans brought their germs and guns and took over. :-)

And if the European is American, then ALL OF US are American.
The so-called United States of America is the new-age Roman Empire.

Not that bad? Are you kidding me?

The very soil/foundation on which this country was founded is BLOODIED, scattered with guts, dreams, and hopes! It was founded on EVIL and has continued on that course like a well-oiled machine EVER SINCE.

People were murdered and exiled in order for happy, lil', European families to set up camp on the "land of the free". LOL
People were whipped, maimed, lynched, ostrasized, murdered (savagely), separated from their families, bred like beasts to create more workers, fed on troughs like animals, and psychologically shattered so that "America the great" could flourish (flourish for whom)?
It was only about 60 years ago that the civil rights law was passed. And do you think all was well as pie the day after it was signed??? Or the week after? How about the decade after?

How about all the nefarious wars to help establish democracy in other countries? LMAO Aww..we're so kind. We care about others so much that we are willing to sacrifice our own soldiers. :-) NOT!!!!!!

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