This Faltering American Empire
He called us Nazis. He has developed characters, (I don’t believe they a real people) who are supposed to serve as the lens that the rest of the world (mainly Europe) sees us through.
We are not Nazis!
We are not Nazis! Are we? Umair very strongly makes the case, that this is exactly what we are. He points out we have far more concentration camps over here, than Nazi Germany ever had. This is true. In them we are doing absolutely brutal and unspeakable things to human beings. And so while my first instinct was to firmly reject this characterization, if I’m honest, I’ll have to admit this is a fair analogy.
Umair and his crew, call us Nazis because we know of unspeakable horrors (forced hysterectomies); and it looks to them as if we just do not care. We are monsters!
I can see why they would say this; and even think this. I do. So in defense of us (humane Americans) I responded that we care. We protest. We do all sorts of things. There’s been an entire summer of civil unrest over police brutality, black lives mattering, the inhumanity of the prison industrial complex, even saving the children and human trafficking. We care. We have been pushing back against all of it.
It’s really not all that easy to turn people into Nazis, especially if those people are Americans.
But…the push back only goes so far. It only does so much…and yeah, sooner or later, you come to the realization that America is in many ways no different than Nazi Germany. Maybe it’s even worse. (I mean real talk, we do have a lot of concentration camps.) There are plenty of Nazis here. A well kept American secret is American brought Nazis over here and let them hide via Operation Paperclip. I’m pretty sure Nazis were hidden all over the globe. The brutality of Nazism is is not a German problem or an American problem, but a human one. I asked Umair:
Is it fair to kick the shit out of Americans, for the worldwide problem of Nazi inhumanity? And our inability to magically change it?
Even if we all took to the streets, it wouldn’t accomplish very much. We have done all of that, all summer. And not a damn thing has changed. I’ve been tending to the garden closest to me, and you would not believe how incredibly comfortable so many of my neighbors are sporting a swastika or two.
Many of us don’t want Nazi Germany over here, but many of us do. I suspect it’s the same the world over. This is not just an American problem.
But we get it…you like to bash Americans. I won’t take issue, the horrible things you say are quite true about so many of us, but far from all of us. And sadly, those of us who are nazis are not exceptional in this regard. The horror is everywhere, in every country, the whole world over.
Some people liked this commentary. Others not so much. Someone, who I would characterize as an international, accused me of being shameful. How dare I compare America (the beautiful) to Nazi Germany? There was absolutely no comparison. Just look at the lengths Americans went to, to courageously oppose the death of just one man. America is a wonderland!
Aww how nice, for this international travel to giv America such a lovely shout out. As an American, descendent of slaves, I do understand the complexity of this experience.
Ours is an amazing, a spectacular journey in the Americas. It is so remarkable one can only be thankful for it, bizarre as that may sound.
This idea Alice Walker presents in her prologue to, Zora Neale Hurston’s last novel chronicling the experiences of the last living antebellum slave of the 20th century.
This descendent of slaves is grateful for her American experience. I am. But I have no shame about facing the truth about America. So I responded to the international shamer;
Do you know what’s shameful? Your apparent ignorance of the staggering numbers of death caused by this American empire. It’s certainly not just “one man.” That guy was a stand in for millions, if you count up all the horrorrific sick deaths that occurred in the institution of slavery alone…not to mention the indigenous people here who have been trampled by American colonialism.
The American Empire is Ending
America was an ever expanding empire. It looks like America has come to the end of the road on that, and as such is facing a reckoning. All Empires are historically built on the slaughter of lots and lots and lots of people. Some people point to this to say, hey, America is just like any other empire. That’s true. But we have to embrace all of the truth of that. We can’t just pretend that horrible things never happened, here. That’s crazy making.; and there are plenty of people trying to do this right now. This just allows the continuation of senseless slaughter of innocent people just because.
There has to be a better way to build empires. Isn’t there? And is it possible that we could find a way to do this.
As this empire falters, (and real talk, it is faltering, it’s going down, just like these globally warmed icebergs, it’s happening) maybe we find another way?
Maybe the next empire is built on a foundation other than mountains and mountains of human blood and bones?
These problems (with the bloody bases of empires) are not American, they are human. And, as a human collective 2020 has shown that we are sick of this. We are tired of all the violence, fear, control, inhumanity, we are sick of it. We want change!
In order to change it, we have to acknowledge it. We have to say, “enough of us doing the same sick shit, decade after decade, century after century, millenia after millenia, just enough!”
I do not want to compare America to Nazi Germany, but the truth is, it is an apt comparison. Also to compare Rome, Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, The British Empire, the Russian Empire to Nazi Germany is also appropriate.
Umair chastised us for turning a blind eye…for pretending that the mountain of blood and bones at the base of our empire does not exist. But it does. And these bloody mountains, are everywhere. Millions of people are always being slaughtered to serve the expansion of some empire, somewhere. Russia, China, Syria, Japan, North Korea, Australia, Serbia, Kosovo, Armenia, Rwanda.
All of the Empires are brutal and bloody! This must stop!
This disregard for human life is everywhere. To act like this isn’t the truth is to lie (to ourselves mainly) about the sick, sick nature of our world.
It is not fair for Umair to constantly, attack America and Americans. We are not unique in our complicity with the inhumanity all around us. But we (and when I say we I really mean humanity) have to start being honest about the horrors we have collectively created. If enough of us really say: “Enough!” (And not just enough for this group, or that group, but for EVERYONE!)
The world will change…it will have to.
Here’s to the next amazing empire. May it be built on a foundation of love and light!