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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Americans Seen

Foreigners have sometimes seen the public character of individual Americans as: blind to social duties,  careless, hasty, cheerful, energetic, courageous, and teachable.

They have seen the national characteristic of Americans as conquerers who bring disgrace and degeneration on themselves and disaster on the conquered. They have suspected that rather than consider themselves aggressors Americans have considered themselves to be God's servants.

Others have see Americans as carrying out shameful and contemptible conquest in service of the devil with little frankness and a great deal of self deception.

Still others have seen Americans as lying missionaries, conquerers, and marauders among weaker people.

Those who know our internal history see us as treating even those close to us as unwanted others, as conquered trash to be disposed of. The see that early on we treated southerners, Californios, and American Indians in that way. They learned that we called them dehumanizing names and closed our eyes to their humanity.

Some saw our business men as crudely violent revolutionaries.

Some saw us as pretenders to being a great people, but who in fact did not understand social duty or social loyalty, and who acted much too often with careless ignorance.

I have traveled a great deal and have nearly always and everywhere been treated with friendship and respect as an American. Still I have been asked why our government treated others with such brutality. I have been told that we are liked and respected as American individuals. I was told that they respected the people and only the people of America


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