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Believer
16 May 2012, 12:00 PM
Namaste,

Rationality, fair play and compassion are some of the terms synonymous with America and the American way of life. Yet it does not take digging too deep to find some dark facts, some sore spots that tarnish its image. Perusing through the editorials of some papers last weekend, I found a disturbing article written by the daughter of a Sri Lankan immigrant couple, whose mother went through a forced sterilization when her first child was born, (http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/13/opinion/la-oe-rubin-eugenics-mothers-day-20120513).

It turns out that the laws enacted for forced sterilization (to deal with molesters, rapists and habitual criminals) in many states were upheld by the Supreme Court and grossly misused against minorities, against their will with total impunity for the doctors performing the procedures. Oliver Wendell Holmes, a much revered Supreme Court associate justice at the time wrote, “It is better for all world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate off-spring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind……Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” All non-caucasians fell in this ‘imbecile’ class. This selective breeding statement was quoted by the Nazis in their defense during the Nuremburg trials after the WWII. I wonder why were the Nazi medical professionals prosecuted and not given the same latitude as their American counterparts.

Pranam

Eastern Mind
16 May 2012, 01:30 PM
Vannakkam: There is altogether too much secrecy going on in the world of politics and power. Anava and maya have gone underground. Unfortunately, I am rarely surprised.

Aum Namasivaya

Jainarayan
16 May 2012, 02:26 PM
Namaste.

There are a host of things the US has done that I am not proud of... slavery; LSD and other drug experimentation on soldiers without their knowledge; school segregation; discrimination of all kinds including but not limited to restaurants, restrooms and even water fountains that had signs For Whites Only and For Colored Only; anti-miscegenation laws; the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during WWII; the list goes on ad nauseum. Fortunately all of those are, as the song says "dust in the wind". By the grace of God, more of our stupidity wil become "dust in the wind", and blown away.

There's a saying attributed to an old black minister from decades ago: "Lord, we ain't what we should be and we ain't what we gonna be, but thank God, we ain't what we was!"

Eastern Mind
16 May 2012, 02:33 PM
Fortunately all of those are, as the song says "dust in the wind".

Vannakkam: Or ... it's better hidden. Like they'll announce when they dump nuclear waste in the ocean. It's no longer 'black' but now its the 'economically depressed' ... essentially the same group with a fancier more hidden and politically correct name.

Aum Namasivaya

Jainarayan
16 May 2012, 03:08 PM
Namaste.


Vannakkam: Or ... it's better hidden. Like they'll announce when they dump nuclear waste in the ocean. It's no longer 'black' but now its the 'economically depressed' ... essentially the same group with a fancier more hidden and politically correct name.

Aum Namasivaya

Many things are still swept under the rug, certainly. However, there are strides. And fortunately with a better system of disseminating and rooting out information, I think a lot of skeletons will fall out of closets.

For example, one can say what they will about the politics and economics of Barack Obama, but the idea of a bi-racial President of the United States was unthinkable not too long ago. "Oh, it will never happen!" they said, as they did about a woman even making it to a primary ballot.

Believer
16 May 2012, 06:57 PM
Namaste,

I apologize if I gave the impression that I wanted to do America bashing by listing all the proven, well documented litany of excesses, or garner sympathy for the young lady whose plight inspired my post. My aim was solely to start a 'sutra' :) to bring out events in our history which seem to have been ignored by historians, and the main stream media has no penchant for them either. So, these issues have been mainly swept under the rug and do not form part of our scholarly history. While we are in that frame of mind, here is another historical fact which is not taught in schools:

Slavery, by all accounts ended with Abe Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. That is the commonly held belief and that is what is taught in schools. But if we dig a little deeper, we discover the labor abuse system that replaced slavery. Many cities, big and small, passed vagrancy laws in the aftermath of the abolition of slavery. Under this and similar laws, a person could be arrested if he had no valid reason to be at the place where he was. So, if you were out and about walking and not going to work or to any place in particular, you were breaking the law. This law was used to pick up black men out on the streets and hold them in jails as criminals. The cities then provided them as labor to contractors building the railroads or erecting new buildings. It was a win-win situation, as the contractors got cheap labor and the cities got to keep the wages of these 'criminals'. The only losers were the erstwhile slaves who got 'used' in this scheme. As could be expected, the number of such arrests in a city increased whenever a construction project happened to start there. With this cash flowing into the city treasuries, the tax payers did not have to be burdened with paying too much money to run the city hall, and that sat well with people. This practice continued for 4-5 decades after the formal abolition of slavery.

I was surprised as much as others would be, to learn all this. Without making any judgements, I just wanted this to be part of our consciousness of our history. Being aware of the past makes one live a just present, and plan for a more ethical tomorrow.

Pranam.

Jainarayan
16 May 2012, 08:40 PM
Namaste.


Namaste,

I apologize if I gave the impression that I wanted to do America bashing by listing all the proven, well documented litany of excesses, or garner sympathy for the young lady whose plight inspired my post.

Speaking as one American, no apology is necessary.


...
I was surprised as much as others would be, to learn all this. Without making any judgements, I just wanted this to be part of our consciousness of our history. Being aware of the past makes one live a just present, and plan for a more ethical tomorrow.

Pranam.

As far as I can see, none of it is incorrect. Don't get me wrong, I still love my country, faults and all.

There's that saying: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it". No one can change the past, unfortunately, but I sure hope we can change the future. Otherwise, I don't hold out much hope for our species.

Eastern Mind
16 May 2012, 08:54 PM
Vannakkam: Well ... while we're at it.. Many remain unaware of this one:

http://www.iearn.org/hgp/aeti/aeti-1997/native-americans.html

No wonder some Bharat Indians get in defense mode.

Aum Namasivaya

Jainarayan
16 May 2012, 09:37 PM
I don't know how anyone cannot know of this atrocity. If someone proclaims to not know, they're either lying or live in a cave. This is a blot not only on the US but the entire western world. Columbus Day Parades are lately becoming the focus of protests because Columbus was not the hero history painted him to be.

The rest of the Spanish conquistadors and the kings and queens of Spain and Portugal have much to account for in the next life, for all the blood on their hands. Virtually the entire indigenous populations and civilizations of North and South America were wiped out in < 350 years.

Ramakrishna
21 May 2012, 02:45 PM
Namaste Believerji, et al,

Thanks for starting this thread. As a student of American History, I find it fascinating how little most people know about much of the "darker" side of our history. Of course, much of it is subconsciously ignored by the general populace as well as deliberately disregarded by much of academia and mainstream media. But all of that is slowly changing with the rapid spread of free knowledge in this new information age.

A Timeline of CIA Atrocities: http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/CIAtimeline.html

Jai Sri Ram

Shuddhasattva
05 June 2012, 08:44 AM
Namaste

Good thread, I'd like to see it keep going to be that 'sutra.' One issue I'd like to raise is:

At what point does this no longer become an "American" history issue, but an international one? I mean there are many examples of internal nastiness, but what about the external nastiness that impacted, and continues to impact, the rest of the world in many unsavory ways?

On one hand, America has offered some support to other parts of the world in bad times, but I think on the whole, American intervention and "assistance" has been decidedly negative, to say nothing of the overriding and thinly-veiled imperialism permeating US Foreign Policy.

Here's one way to look at it:

The cold war set the world up like a chessboard, forcing smaller countries to align themselves with one pole or the other for economic and political survival.

As this war was, at its heart, an economic one, the frontline "soldier" in this war, on the American side, was the transnational corporation, working hand in hand with the State Department (and the CIA, for that matter, and the rest of their alphabet soup buddies) to secure resources for American consumption, or American benefit from the processing and sale thereof on the world markets, while simultaneously imposing the dominant economic ideology in conflict with communism. I hesitate to call this capitalism because it so far removed from the original vision of capitalism.

With the collapse of the Soviet bloc, America was very nearly able to "sweep the board," ushering in the era of globalization - even more consumption, even more exploitation.

To what extent does the American government, or better put in my opinion, 'control apparatus' that includes, but is not limited to the government, and certainly does not include the people in any meaningful sense, represent an obstacle to peace and economic prosperity for the rest of the world, and is America's externalization of its "nastiness" more or less as a direct result of the darker chapters in its own history?


Namaste

Believer
05 June 2012, 12:16 PM
Namaste,

As I mentioned before, I started this thread not as a 'America bashing' thread, but ONLY to bring out some historical facts/situations which are neither taught in American history classes nor touched by the subservient press. If the members choose to extend it beyond that, instead of starting another thread tailored to their desired topics, so be it.

The leader of any country is sworn to protect and enhance the interests of his nation. For some reason, we Indians are too stuck up with the phoney morality talk and can't get it through our heads that national interest trumps everything else. All this talk about cold war and warm war and hot war is old wine in new jugs. It was being examined and dissected when it was happening, and again exhumed and examined by qualified coroners after the fact. We need to learn a lesson here about being assertive and looking out for our national interests, not piling $hit on America. The brilliant minds need to devise ways to counter the effects of globalization, if it is that bad, instead of pointing fingers at the sources of globalization. The question is not that others are working in their self interest; the question is how is India protecting its sovereign interests. Finger pointing or asking for pity or indulging in self pity is a defeatist attitude, not worthy of a proud, hard working nation, that India is. And with that, I will get off my soap box.

Pranam.

Jainarayan
05 June 2012, 01:02 PM
Namaste.

Sometimes a nation needs a "time out" from world affairs and needs to turn inward to better its situation; to pull itself up by its bootstraps. Russia, for one, needs to kick itself in the a$$.

The challenge is for a nation to realize that and start effecting some change. How? I don't even pretend to know. It's just an observation, as I'm sitting in my cubicle doing nothing but growing older.