Terrorist storm the White House and manage to take it and hold the president Hostage. There was one scene it was of the American Flag full of bullets holes and burned, a terrorist takes it down and unceremoniously throws it down on the lawn. The scene touched me as an American, that flag actually means something to me. I tried to imagine what it would be like if someone just came to American stormed and defaced the white House took the president hostage, how awful I’d feel. It was a sobering thought that really touched me. Someone in the back row said out loud: “That’s just fucked up. That’s just wrong” and we all nodded or chimed in with that sentiment.
After the movie, on the way back to our point of departure we all talked about how bad-ass Gerard Butler was and how it would suck if someone decided to do that to America. That then is when it hit me, like a kick to the scrotum. Mentally I doubled over in pain when from the dark recesses of my mind the last hundred years of US foreign Affairs arose.
Taking the Negative
Imagine that you were not an American or of a European (Eastern or Western). Imagine centuries of your ancestors living closer to the equator than the frozen wasteland that was home to the frost giants and Norse gods of olden time, has given you an over-abundance of melanin in your skin. Imagine if you will a regular summer day, your wearing clothes that help keep your body cool , and all of a sudden someone storms the capital of your country, and holds your president hostage and demands a ransom. Or perhaps they install a new government, or perhaps they just fuck shit up and leave
Unfortunately that isn’t fiction for a lot of people around the world in Latin American, Africa, and parts of Asia. Can I share with you some quotes?
William Blum, USA writer from the book, “Rogue State”:
“From 1945 to the end of the [20th] century, the USA attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable regimes. In the process, the USA caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair”.
Michael Krenn, quoting the USA chargé d’Affairs in 1929;
“Until the Venezuelan people could be trusted to make the right decisions concerning their political and economic direction – and that time was deemed to be in the very distant future – it was best for all concerned that they be kept safe from democracy.”
CIA document, dated 10 September 1973 about Chile:
“The coup attempt will begin September 11. All three branches of the armed forces and the Carabineros are involved in this action. A declaration will be read on Radio Agricultura at 7 A.M. on 11 September.”
Jack Kubisch, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. Testimony before the USA House Subcommittee on Inter American Affairs 20 September 1973 about the Chilean coup:
“Gentlemen, I wish to state as flatly and as categorically as I possibly can that we did not have advance knowledge of the coup that took place on September 11.”
“Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions”
― Frantz Fanon
chart taken from here: http://www.krysstal.com
|1957||Haiti||Haiti is near the USA|
|1963||Dominican Republic||Business Interests|
|2009||Honduras||Attempted to Change Constitution|
My Dilemma as An American
As a Haitian American I have a few dilemmas some other Americans wont have. Well there is the history of American Involvement and occupation of haiti for 19 years. Do you like that post of the Marine storming and killing Haitians.
In September 1915, the United States Senate ratified the Haitian-American Convention, a treaty granting the United States security and economic oversight of Haiti for a 10-year period. Representatives from the United States wielded veto power over all governmental decisions in Haiti, and Marine Corps commanders served as administrators in the provinces. Local institutions, however, continued to be run by Haitians, as was required under policies put in place during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson
I remember in the 80’s in NYC, a lot of people were saying that Haitians brought AIDS to the US. Actually Arsenio Hall made a joke about it if I remember correctly. A lot of people are anti-immigrant in the US which is odd to me. I kind of on the one hand love being American but kind of feel that the long terms reason I am in America is because of gross atrocities committed by the American government in Haiti. (Btw do you think the Marines who were sent to Haiti a few decades before civil rights saw “us” as people ?, do you know what that meant as far as treatment of the people under American occupation?)
The Confusion Doesnt Stop There
It’s no surprise racism still exists here. Well it’s no surprise for me. There are people still saying that slavery was good for blacks , gave them food and a roof over their head. I see America in a very different way from many other Americans
“If you’re black, you got to look at America a little bit different. You got to look at America like the uncle who paid for you to go to college, but who molested you.”
I’ve have often wondered how many of the black soldiers felt to go to war for your country and then return home to be treated by shit by it. I wonder a lot about patriotic duty vs social and legal treatments.
Wrapping It Up
It’s amazing how one person’s fictional movie situation is a nightmare living by millions, and that almost no one in a theatre full of people all from somewhere else think of that. I am a proud American, but there is a lot that I am conflicted about, there are many episodes of our history that trouble me. There are things that still trouble me. But that’s life I suppose.
Coincidentally I read this article today In the Guardian