December 13, 2015


In an article in a recent NYT on Trump (and others) and the WWII Japanese internment camps (a.k.a. concentration camps — when will we have the guts to call them that?), Robert Matsui, one of the congressional sponsors of 1988's formal apology and reparations act, is quoted as saying back then that the acknowledgment of wrongdoing “demonstrates the true character of America in a way that the whole world can recognize”.

It’d be nice to think so, but the original actions — the concentration camps, the displacement, the reflexive racism, etc. — all also demonstrate the true character of America in a way that the whole world can recognise. And the fact that they’re back in everyday political discourse as a possible “solution” to “The Muslim Problem” also says a lot about the true character of America.

But surely the truth is that there really isn’t one “true character of America”. It’s a ludicrous idea, a national myth. In fact, perhaps the true character of America really just revolves around a rather passionate and credulous belief in unifying national myths…. But that's hardly unique to America, is it?!

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At 12/21/2015 9:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, every country likes to ascribe a set of uniquely positive attributes to itself. Though, as an Australian, I can see through that bullshit.

At 12/22/2015 1:07 pm, Blogger Jimmy Little said...

Dear god yes, Australian exceptionlism (and that glorious gift of seeing through everyone else's bullshit) is quite unique, isn't it?


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