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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Hysterics in the Heartland

Bob Kravitz is a sports writer for the Indianapolis Star. He decided to exercise his First Amendment right in his column today and made a complete ass of himself in the process (which is his right).

In an article titled “I won’t be an ugly American” Kravitz tries to portray well-documented civil rights abuses, government oppression and slaughter of millions in Communist China with some mostly inaccurate perceptions of failures here to live up to American ideals. Instead of simply saying that, as a sports writer at the Olympics, he intends to stick to sports and stay clear of politics he precedes to list for us some of what he sees as moral equivalents of some of the well-known abuses of the Chinese people perpetrated by a despotic totalitarian government and instances of what he sees as American hypocrisy and arrogance.

He asks rhetorically “Are there issues in China? Absolutely.” He mentions political prisoners and dissidents, the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence and the recent earthquakes in Sichuan Province. But, you know, we Americans don’t have much room to talk do we? The civil rights marches in the 60s, for example, are not much different than government tanks rolling against peaceful demonstators resulting in the death of untold numbers of students. And what about the riots during the 1968 Democratic National Convention? The killing of students at Kent State is perhaps a nearer equivalent, but all these examples were instances of our failure to live up to the American ideal, not examples of institutional government oppression. We, as a nation, have repented of our sins.

While acknowledging “terrible human losses” under Communist rule in China (estimates are upwards of 75 million, Mr. Kravitz, and the numbers keep rising!), we have the shame of slavery (the end of which came about only after fighting the bloodiest war of our country's history) and internment of Japanese citizens in WWII (an arguable decision by a Democrat president) and the “epic failure to help the Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans.” How many billions of dollars have been spent on relief for Katrina victims? Indiana just suffered some of the worst flooding in the history of our state, yet Hoosiers helped each other and got to work rebuilding and repairing the damage with little help from the feds. Snow storms in the Upper Plains last winter were devasting but the rugged sons of pioneers similarly took care of themselves and the rest of the country barely heard mention of the catastrophe. The “epic failure” that followed Hurricane Katrina was more about incompetence and corruption of local government, not to mention lack of personal responsibility, than indifference in Washington. Displaying even greater depths of ignorance and moral derrangement Kravitz continues his assault on sanity:

[T]here are different definitions of human rights in different parts of the world.
We look at the lack of press freedoms, the restrictions on child-bearing and the lack of an independent legal system as outrageous examples of an authoritarian government that doesn't cherish the individual.
They look at our lack of universal health care, our soaring unemployment and the lack of a cradle-to-grave government-sponsored safety net as human rights violations.

I think I see a pattern here. Mr. Kravitz has apparently been drinking the Kool-Aid. He didn’t blame the 9-11 attack on the CIA or repeat the canards “Bush Lied, People Died” and “No Blood for Oil” but he may as well have.


1 comments:

Bob Ellis said...

Yes, denying freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of posterity are not nearly as horrible as failing to take money from one person and give it to another.

How deplorable we are here in the United States.

 
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