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Which Group is Next?


Last Edited: September 17, 2006, 5:16 pm

I always feel as if I should begin each entry with a disclaimer. "I am not a professional writer. This is not a political statement. I am only expressing my feelings today."  I hesitated posting my first entry, because I often just want to throw out a few ideas, not back them up with articles, quotes, dates and statistics. So please just take this for what it is...my opinion from my heart and what's left of my mind.

We all know what racial profiling is.  In fact, even I've done it. However, if someone called me a racist or a bigot, I would protest vehemently, but I know I've crossed the street a few times to avoid someone I suspected might be a threat because of the way he looked. Maybe it wasn't just the color of his skin. It could have been all the tattoos or the body jewelry, or maybe he just didn't look “right” to me. Is it wrong to protect yourself from what you perceive to be potential harm? Of course not.

So what is the difference between self-preservation and hateful discrimination? When average citizens start to panic just seeing someone who “looks like an Arab” and wonders if he's going to throw a bomb in his seat and ruin the family trip to Disney World, the atmosphere is nothing less than unjustifiable paranoia. (By the way, people from Iran are not Arabs) 

If I were planning to bomb an airline, I would probably not board wearing a turban, speaking in a Middle Eastern language or acting suspiciously. I would try to look as American as apple pie. Maybe I'd sport a colorful Hawaiian shirt and khaki shorts or a baseball cap so when Airline Security is detaining the dark-skinned lady wearing a Sari, I can slip by with a nod & a smile.

Last week in Cuba several leaders who are anti-American met in unity. Pretty scary stuff! Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Republic of Belarus, Venezuela...Now wait a minute! Venezuela? Do they wear shumaggs? OMG!  How are we going to find all the Venezuelans in our neighborhoods?

Entry #3


truecriticComment by truecritic - September 17, 2006, 11:36 pm
Michigan has the largest Arab population in the US. We are not running from them, we visit them regularly. They run convenience stores and gas stations. 8>)
emilygComment by emilyg - September 17, 2006, 11:46 pm
truecritic - ga., too.
TenajComment by Tenaj - September 18, 2006, 12:01 am
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the US ran them out, rounded them up and put them in concentration camps.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 18, 2006, 12:14 am
Nice entry justx.

Seems to me profiling's something we all do, one way or the other. I've seen you do it on some of your forum entries, and I certainly do it. It just happens the way you might do it, or I might do it, is okay with you for yours and me for mine.

For instance, I tend to like Christians okay as individuals, many, many of them. But as a generic group, or institutionally, I'm scared to death of them, mistrust them, expect them to attempt to be willing to kill, jail, persecute anyone who disagrees with them.

That's profiling, same as Christians and a lot of other folks are doing with Muslims. If I did any thinking about it to speak of, I'd probably have to agree Muslims can be profiled by identical criteria with equal justification.

You've been making such an issue on your blogs about not being a writer, I wonder if you aren't profiling them. Far as I know I'm the only one on LP, one of a kind.   But I'd hate to see you hold my particular attributes against the others. Some of them are nice people.


justxploringComment by justxploring - September 18, 2006, 12:19 am
Tenaj, over 62% of them were U.S. Citizens. Germans were also put into War Camps. It was justified as a way to protect our national security, but I think it was due to fear and racism. Their homes were taken away from them, along with their dignity. People hear about the Japanese invasion but few ever remember the Japanese-American Soldiers who defended their country, which was the United States of America. While these brave soldiers were fighting the Nazis to defend our freedom, their families were being herded like cattle into internment camps because they had slanted eyes.
justxploringComment by justxploring - September 18, 2006, 12:27 am
Jack, I was writing when you were posting, so I didn't catch your comment last time.

The only reason I have been saying "I'm not a writer" might be out of my own insecurities. I wasn't talking about professional writers anyway. It was my way of saying "excuse me if I don't use the proper sentence structure, grammar or even say something that makes no sense to you." That's all.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 18, 2006, 12:27 am

The 442nd was made up of Japanese American citizen soldiers recruited from the camps. Fought all across Europe as one of the most highly decorated US military units of the war.

Rounding those folks up might have been racism, or it might just have been opportunism. Many lost valuable homes and property and never got them back, never were compensated in any way. Racism has a way of paying off by sleight of hand.

For instance, ain't it handy all those Muslims are sitting on top of such an amazing deposit of oil reserves. Disgusting. Makes hating them a lot easier.

justxploringComment by justxploring - September 18, 2006, 12:41 am
Oops - I just noticed I did use the word "professional" writer. Sorry. My mistake. Still, it was not meant to be a criticism of them at all!

Interesting that we were writing about the 442nd at the same exact moment 12:27am. Your comment about the deposit of oil reserves is some food for thought.

I just looked up the population of Arab-Americans in Michigan and 50% or more are Christian.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 18, 2006, 1:31 am
Anti-American's an interesting term. You almost never hear or see 'pro American' used in reference to any foreign leader.

Pro-American, I suppose, would mean the leader was in favor of having his country bombed the bejesus out of and invaded, whereas, anti-American leaders would be opposed to such a thing happening, and probably figure there's a chance of it.

The ones who are neither anti- nor pro- probably figure it's best to stay in the shadows and hope someone else gets to be anti-American, or they've already been and are scared to get back into the limelight.

ToddComment by Todd - September 18, 2006, 9:23 am
There seems to be some misinformation posted here about the Japanese American internments during World War II. It was an unfortunate incident, one of many mistakes made by the United States during its relatively brief history.

However, people using this bad incident as a moral equivalent to the atrocities of other countries are obviously looking for ways to over-emphasize our mistakes. As far as I know there has never been a perfect regime on the face of the Earth. But the United States is the closest thing to it, and constantly looking to its darkest moments is something best left to her enemies.

By the way Jack, one of our greatest presidents ever, Ronald Wilson Reagan, pushed through reparations to surviving Japanese family members in 1988, and issued a formal apology from the United States government. The act was sponsored by California Congressman Norman Mineta (D) (who was an actually in an internment camp when he was a child) and Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson (R). Ronald Reagan was among the best because he did not just pay lip service to his conservative principles, he lived them every day. His principled approach to the unfortunate Japanese internment is a good example of that.

You can learn more about the Japanese internment here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_American_internment

By the way, to NOT use profiling to stop the terrorists is just plain dumb, and I have previously blogged about the British have successfully used it here: http://blogs.lotterypost.com/todd/2006/08/muslims-face-extra-checks-in-new-travel-crack.htm

Calling it "racial profiling" is inaccurate, and panders to the emotions of those who are sensitive to race issues. Someone wearing a turban has nothing to do with race, but even mentioning turbans is weird, because turbans are mainly used by Sikhs, not Muslims. No serious law enforcement is going around profiling people with turbans. You may FEEL that way, but it is not reality.

Rather than turban-hunting, it would be much more reliable to do extra background checks on young Middle Eastern males, between the age of 18 and 35, who are getting ready to board a plane full of passengers. This is called common sense, not racial profiling, and one day it may stop YOUR plane from blowing up.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 18, 2006, 10:05 am

Maybe the issue isn't so much whether we as a nation make more, or fewer mistakes than other nations make, or have made in the past.

Maybe it's more a matter of recognizing the moral and ethical responsibilities we have as a nation to examine our behavior in the present in an attempt to catch our mistakes before we make them, instead of having to make reparations 40 years later after a lot of the people who experienced the mistake are dead.

Seems to me our reluctance to do this is demonstrated in your example of the Japanese American citizens. By 1950, any American who thought about it was able to see the injustice we'd committed against Americans of Japanese descent. I first learned about it sitting in a barbershop as a youngster.

But it took 40 years to institutionalize what everyone knew. If it hadn't been for a particular prez with a sense of justice, it might never have happened.

As the overwhelmingly most powerful nation on the planet the responsibility is magnified, the moral and ethical responsibility, to do a lot of self-examination, use a lot of circumspection in the use of that power, both at home and abroad.

The real issue is whether we can be accused of doing that. If we can, it would be interesting to know exactly where that circumspection, introspection, self-examination, and recognition of our moral and ethical responsibility to do so is manifesting itself.

Where, a person might ask, is public debate and discourse taking place in any institutionalized attempt to examine ourselves and our own decisions now, rather than 40 years from now?

It's happening to some extent on the Internet and in forums such as this one, happening on the editorial pages of the alternative media, but it's vilified, rather than welcomed.

Just my take.

ToddComment by Todd - September 18, 2006, 10:51 am

Perhaps your statement is just so nuanced that I don't understand it, or maybe it's just my own failing. I see some thoughts, but having a bit of trouble seeing the opinion or thrust.

With the issue of self-examination, I don't think there is any shortage of that happening in America. In fact, I don't think anyone could argue that there are any more self-introspective countries in the world than America and Britain.

Rather than requiring more self-examination (which to the extreme leads to paralysis) and more political correctness, we should be focused on applying more common sense, which is what I have been trying to get at here.

America's policies of spreading freedom and democracy is not amoral, it is what a responsible society SHOULD do. Unlike what liberals would have you think, we do not spread democracy with the sword. We take out threats to our personal freedoms with the sword, but we apply our political and economic strengths to liberate oppressed societies. Again, finge liberal arguments of America going around the world forcing countries to convert to democracies is just plain wrong.

There has never been a country in the history of the world to amass as much power and use it so little.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 18, 2006, 11:53 am

I've just posted a blog entry in an attempt to explain myself better. Maybe that will be easier to understand.

The view that there's 'plenty of self-examination' happening in America is one that easily fits those who happen to agree with the policies being applied. Those who disagree would argue otherwise.

The question is, do you, do I, does anyone, whether they agree or disagree, have any idea where the majority of the American people stand on these issues and the more fundamental ones of national direction during these post-Cold War times?

I don't believe they do. It's not apparent anyone's asked, from the White House. Because they, not the American people, know what's best.

Rick GComment by Rick G - September 18, 2006, 12:00 pm
Hot-button topic, Nancy. Good one.

I only have two comments. What we are doing in Guantanamo is morally and ethically wrong and it is not the United States that I've known, with it's insistence on freedom and justice. It does remind one of the Japanese internment camps.

And I agree with Todd, Ronald Reagan was one of the best presidents we've ever had.
justxploringComment by justxploring - September 18, 2006, 12:50 pm
"However, people using this bad incident as a moral equivalent to the atrocities of other countries are obviously looking for ways to over-emphasize our mistakes."

I agree with this statement to a point. Some people compare it with Nazi Concentration Camps, and we didn't murder or torture the Japanese in the internment camps. It was a measure to contain them. However, it was still wrong in my opinion. These were United States citizens with homes and businesses and sons, fathers and husbands fighting in Europe defending us. Yes, I know about Reagan & Mineta, etc. I was commenting on how fear and hysteria and racial profiling can cause a kind and compassionate people to commit some pretty foolish and immoral acts. I try very hard to keep my posts factual, but brief. It's not easy!! To the best of my knowledge, most of the families never were compensated for their losses.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 18, 2006, 1:58 pm

You were factual. The single criterion used to decide who was rounded up and put into camps involved the national origins of the parents or grandparents of the 'detainees'.

The questions orbiting that fundamental fact can be argued, but the basic fact cannot.

The related question of whether something similar is happening in America today isn't influenced by what clearly did happen then. And the fact we had no ovens and gas chambers is more a matter akin to the old saw about the guy who asked a woman whether she'd have sex with him for a million bucks.

"Yeah", she said.

"How about $20?"

"What do you think I am?"

"We've already established that. Now we're just haggling over the price."

Nope. We didn't have gas chambers, ovens, and the US Citizens in the camps weren't Jews.


ToddComment by Todd - September 18, 2006, 2:14 pm

Wow, really seems the longer things go on the more I disagree with you.

First, we DO know how the majority of Americans think. It is called "elections". As flawed as they are, they are the best way to know how people really think. (As opposed to what the polls or the pundits think.)

Second, you are way off-base saying that the difference between Americans and Nazis is "nuance". I'm not even going to bother getting into detail because it's a rather insulting proposition. It's George Soros material.
four4meComment by four4me - September 18, 2006, 2:38 pm
As much as i hate to admit it Ronald Ragan was the best president we had. he fixed the national deficit and as a leader was feared by all other countries leaders and dictators. When people woke up every morning nobody knew what he was going to do next they were on pins and needles. I admired the man and the way he conducted business for America. Hope we get another like him. But i doubt it. He broke the mold.

As for the other stuff on this blog who's to say what was right or wrong things were done in the name of national security back then because of the FBI's. influence over the conveying authority. then the cia stepped in were in a world war and did what we had to in order to preserve our way of life.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 18, 2006, 2:44 pm

Firstly: Elections? Two choices with ready-made platforms. That might seem to you to be a way of finding out what Americans think. It probably seems less so to me.

Second: You've misquoted me. I didn't say the difference between Americans and Nazis is 'nuance'. I said the difference in the herding folks off to ethnic concentration camps, and the degree to which they're mistreated from that point forward is nuance. Degree. Once the process begins the issue of how far it goes is entirely a product of circumstances of the moment.

The difference between Americans, whatever those are, and Nazis, is as great as the difference between the British during certain times of their history, and the Nazis. As great as the difference between the French, during some specific times of their history, and the Nazis. As great as the difference between every human population on this planet at one or another time of their histories, and the Nazis.

I don't know who George Soros is. Couldn't care less.

But I'll tell you I don't believe it's possible to 'insult' Americans. We're too diverse in attitude, ethnicity, intelligence, goals, financial prowess, and viewpoint. Whatever we might believe, some sizeable portion of the population will almost certainly agree.

The fact you have a political viewpoint, or I have a political viewpoint doesn't give us license to believe we speak for Americans. It doesn't even give us reason to believe we speak with wisdom, whether what we believe is popular, or unpopular.

It just means that's what we profess to believe.

Recognizing that fact is part of what ought to make a good American, as distinguished from a good Nazi.


ToddComment by Todd - September 18, 2006, 3:02 pm
Americans were insulted by 9/11. I don't know how anyone could call themselves an American without being insulted on that day. Yes, it is possible to insult Americans.

I do not ever equate any American action with Nazis, just as I don't equate any American action with the fascist Muslim terrorists. I stand by my assertion that you have done that. Here's a link about George Soros (although it does go very light on his fringe radical liberalism): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros. You SHOULD care, if you care about geopolitical matters.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 18, 2006, 3:28 pm

Feel free to continue this on my blog if you wish to continue it. No point belaboring this one.

I'm as good an American as you, amigo. As wise, as savvy, as fair, and with at least as much concern for what direction the country takes as you are.

The fact we disagree is allowable. It's that kind of country.

Thanks for the link, but I honestly don't need to be told by someone, be it George Soros, wossname, Russ Limabugh, anyone, what I ought to think.

Hopefully someone else will find the link useful.

Comment by luckierlady - September 18, 2006, 3:32 pm

To treat with gross insensitivity, insolence, or contemptuous rudeness.
b. To affront or demean: an absurd speech that insulted the intelligence of the audience.
2. Obsolete To make an attack on.
v.intr. Archaic
1. To behave arrogantly.
2. To give offense; offend: a speech that was intended to insult.

I just jumped into this, thinking it might be interesting to read blogs here besides Rip Snorter's. Based on the above definition, I don't think the word "insult" works with the 9-11 attacks, unless Todd meant it in the archaic sense of the word, "attack". Being insulted would work well with being offended by remarks or insinuations, but I don't think it works with what happened on 9-11, no matter who was behind it. Just a few words from an English major.
Besides, if Americans are insulted, as individuals, or as a nation, it was because they chose to feel that way, not because it was forced upon them. They could have felt some other way.
Don't bother replying to me, as I think it's in my best interest spiritually to back off of these topics. It was fun, though, for a few minutes.
ToddComment by Todd - September 18, 2006, 4:16 pm
Luckierlady and Jack,

I'm not sure why you would post something and say "don't respond." Are you saying that your opinion is so right and so final that mine is unimportant to you?

Luckierlady, I don't need a dictionary to tell me that this country was given thew ultimate insult on 9/11, but the fact that even your dictionary definition states it makes your point incomprehensible. What part of "To make attack on" don't you understand???

Jack, Interesting and strange at the same time that you decided to introduce Rush Limbaugh to the discussion. Do you feel that the introduction of his name into the discussion carries its own argument? Hmmmm.... LUCILLE BALL! Does that name help the discussion at all?

I don't know how one measures "good American". How do you define it?
justxploringComment by justxploring - September 18, 2006, 6:58 pm
This should probably be another blog entry, and maybe when it gets closer to election day I'll post again, but since "Elections" were brought up, I want to remark how shocked I am to meet people all the time who openly admit "I never vote." Just today someone said that to me. I know for a fact that some of my neighbors are liars because they didn't know where people in my district vote and it's right on the voter's registration card. Also, this year they asked for a photo ID and nobody seemed to know that. I guess I shouldn't knock those who admit to never voting. At least they're not pretending they're good Americans. Maybe I should give the confused people I talked to the benefit of the doubt. They were probably thinking about that election in Bosnia or Iraq they voted in. For God's sake everyone - no matter how lousy the choices are, there's got to me someone you like better than the other guy! Voting is what people have died for, so it's our duty and responsibility.
Rick GComment by Rick G - September 19, 2006, 12:18 am
Yes, we've been insulted. John Walsh should do an episode on bin Laden. Maybe someone in this country will do something to catch the criminal. He seems to get results.
justxploringComment by justxploring - September 19, 2006, 3:48 am
True, Rick. How do we really know he's still alive? Maybe he died a few years ago. I mean, it would make no sense to hunt for a dead guy, right?

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