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"Don't like the American flag? Then, go home!"

zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifelessin a dry wasteland Veteran
edited July 2014 in General Banter

I keep seeing similar posts to that sentiment on my facebook feed (let it never be said that I didn't come from the country... lol). I would see them just like that, usually a crappy font over a picture of an American flag. No context, no explanation. So, they always made me wonder... who the hell is offended by the American flag? When has this actually happened? Is this just some sort of right-wing paranoia?

So, onto the internets I went for research and found a few results...

A Wells Fargo bank received complaints about their flag being "offensive." The article is pretty scarce on information. Is it relevant that the bank is in New Mexico? Probably to Fox News... Is it relevant that the flag was held up with tacks which may be considered disrespectful? Nobody asked! Is it relevant that the bank branch has since moved the flag to a proper flagstaff and has yet to receive complaints? We didn't stick around long enough to find out!

There was also a case of a man in an apartment complex being asked to remove the American flag off of his balcony because his Muslim neighbors considered it a "threat." This incident I find very interesting because I don't support the action of the apartment complex and do believe he has a right to fly his flag, but what isn't discussed is the implication made by the complaint. Has America really become so gung-ho that even proclaiming your nationality in such an innocuous manner, has now become a threatening sign to others? I wish the article had included an interview with the Muslim family to find out why they felt that way. But regardless, I find the whole situation very sad, indeed.

And then there was the article by Fox News that was too stupid and unprofessional for me to even comment on (imagine my laugh when I realized it was written by Mike Huckabee!).

But by far, the most interesting incident to me (and I suspect, the one that inspired the most outrage) was the incident which involved 200 Mexican-American students sporting the Mexican flag pouring into the streets in response to offense at fellow students wearing the American flag. It all started when 5 boys took it upon themselves to send a message by wearing the American flag on Cinco de Mayo. That was it. I don't support either sides' actions, but I also don't wholly support the point that the article reaches. The author concludes that it is the diversity education we have been force-fed that has poisoned the minds of our youth. The idea that it is our differing heritage, rather than our American heritage, to be proud of.

And maybe, in a way, he might be right. I do remember learning to be proud of my heritage, even at a young age. I remember making Swedish flags and displaying them along with all of the other students' flags to make a big symbolic melting pot. But within that memory is another memory, the fact that I always resorted to my Swedish heritage and didn't mention my Russian heritage. Because even at that young age, I was aware that Russians were commie enemies that hated us and were certainly not a good group to be a part of. I'd heard family stories of the hows and whys that my great-grandparents fled the motherland. I also knew that my great-grandfather had even lied about his heritage at points in his life to avoid persecution, and to this day, I don't exactly feel pride over this point.

But regardless of all that... I am still white. I have the choice of hiding that heritage, should I wish to (I don't anymore, I've since grown up and realized how dumb it was). That is not a luxury afforded some heritages, like Mexicans, which is the example in this incident. American History class might teach that we gain strength through diversity, but American society certainly tends to value some diversities more than others.

Was it really History class that gave rise to so-called ethnic gangs? Or was it the fact that I had Mexican-American friends that told me they had actually been spit on by their fellow students? Or the fact that Mexican slurs tended to the slur of choice, peppering the halls on any given day? Was it the teacher's fault that they told them to be proud of their heritage, or the fact that everywhere they went, they were ostracized as different, regardless of the author's claim that they were just the same?

In my opinion, it's a very narrow perspective that claims that the fault lies with the education system. If they don't feel proud to be Americans, it's probably because they've been told many times that they aren't. That they're the wrong color. That they should "go home," despite this being their homeland.

"If you don’t respect our borders and if you hyphenate your nationality you cannot be considered a true red-white and blue American."

The hyphen isn't the cause, it's a symptom. Let's place blame where due. It's derisive drivel like the above quote that fuels the ostracization.

And this is what I've been thinking about in the wake of Independence Day. It's far too easy to point fingers, but it's much harder to actually ask, "Why?"

I didn't mean for this post to be so long, but the monkey-mind sure does like to ramble on. I also hope this isn't too out of place on a Buddhist forum (even in the General Banter). Sometimes I feel like it's just nice to get perspectives that come from people with similar views as me. It's just so frustrating when people boil everything down to a patriotic catchphrase and call it a day, and that is exactly what I was hoping to avoid.

«13

Comments

  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran

    Preface: I'm not American, so my comments may be off the mark.

    I think there's a problem with the "melting pot" model of society that the US has. Instead of recognizing everyone as a greater part of society because of their diverse backgrounds (a la the "cultural mosaic" model that we tout in Canada), it's almost a homogenization of cultures. People are encouraged to be "just American" when they can have all sorts of other aspects to their identities that deserve recognition. What does "American" mean anyway, given the fact that the US was (and is) built on immigrants?

    Canada's identity crisis - not having a distinct, unifying, rallying point - seems these days like it's an advantage compared to the almost hardline nationalist stance some Americans (and other nations) take. Canadians, due to our high immigration rate and reluctance to assimilate immigrants, might not be able to rally around a single, defining, Canadian thing (though we damned well try). But this heterogeneous quality is sort of what we're all about.

    I think by forcing this "American" identity on anyone who wants to be a citizen, there are people who want to have their other identities recognized but feel restricted by the culture of American assimilation and lash out.

    zombiegirl
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    There was an incident lately on the east coast (NJ I think) where a man was told by his HMO to take down his flag. In the policies that he signed when he chose to live there, flags are forbidden in order to ease any tensions (apparently...I did not fact check this, lol). So there is a lot of stuff going around about that happening and whether HMOs can prevent people from flying the flag. They prevent people from planting gardens and posting election signs.

    I was talking with my teenager about borders, and what would happen if we didn't have borders. He said "but what about terrorists??" would we even call them terrorists if we were all from the same single country? It was an interesting discussion. I think about that sometimes. Would we have as many problems if we didn't have borders keeping people in, and out, of various locals in order to maintain a certain way of life for a certain group of people and exclude others?

    zombiegirl
  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator
    edited July 2014

    @karasti I'm calling bullshit on the HMO story without a link to a (real) news site. :p A bit far-fetched.

    With the penetration of media and the Internet into every minute of every person's life, you can find enough evidence to build whatever narrative you want.

    I did a quick Google search to try and found the HMO one and stumbled on a story about a home owner's association in Florida that was fining a man for his small American flag and threatening to put a lien on his home over it. Is this the rabid anti-patriotism of Obama's America? Or is it just a cautionary tail to not live in a HOA neighborhood with assholes? Who knows!

    zombiegirlhow
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    With the penetration of media and the Internet into every minute of every person's life, you can find enough evidence to build whatever narrative you want.

    Indeed.
    These are the opinions to have [insert agenda], by having them we can be sure they have been arrived at independently . . .
    That is my opinion and I won't be fighting for or against it . . . but very strongly . . . :wave: .

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    edited July 2014

    Yes, I meant HOA not HMO, LOL. Like I said, I didn't look into the one that was going around FB last week, it seems it is the FL one you mentioned since it just happened a couple weeks ago. I do remember hearing about this one, I think the residents voted to allow flags. The HOA rules were residents could only fly flags a few days a year, not every day and they didn't see the rule when they signed the paperwork. They were going to fine him $25 a day.
    http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/23075961/wwii-vet-fights-to-fly-flag-outside-his-house

    I find it a bit ironic that a state that just gave residents the option of a confederate flag license plate is the same state where HOAs try to disallow flying the American flag. Hm. Georgia must have something bad in their water.

    zombiegirl
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    Well, maybe it is more civilized to 'beat' each other up with flags and tee shirts than with AK47s and land mines. Now back to read the OP again and form a more thoughtful response.

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited July 2014

    Reminds me of the news anchor who said, basically, "if you atheists don't like it, you can leave!". Some people don't understand how the minority is adversely affected (did I use that right @federica?) when the Christian belief system gets mixed up with government and schools. Because they are themselves Christian and don't feel put-upon whatsoever, it's like white people not understanding the plight of minorities.

    zombiegirl
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran
    edited July 2014

    I like your OP @Zombiegirl, especially for its length, as I always feel validated when other people write text walls too.

    And this is what I've been thinking about in the wake of Independence Day. It's far too easy to point fingers, but it's much harder to actually ask, "Why?"

    My first thought fwiw is 'tribalism'. There might be better descriptions of tribalism than wikipedia but the links could lead there. Tribalism seems to be utterly ingrained, practically a biological urge like mating. It's clearly something all manner of living things from protozoa to primates tend to do. Heck, I have a barnyard full of chickens, ducks and geese and damn if they don't seem to hang out in tribes. If not species tribes, then 'color' tribes (black chickens and a mostly black rooster have their own flock) and there's even a 'low bird on the totem pole' flock comprised of a white pekin duck and very low status muscovy duck -- not even the same species. There is CONSTANT fighting and shuffling for 'dominance' and for Head Pecker of the pecking order. Constant. They have every environment, space, food, shelter, mates they could possibly need, yet they still have to mix it up with each other. I've had to at times separate out the really low status ones or they'd be killed. The low status birds can't even BATHE in the pond or get within twenty yards of the feeder. Like anyone is going run out of food and starve! I'm spending my retirement income on these fools!

    On another thread Betaboy started he went on about the hopelessness of surmounting biological urges. In a way the Buddha's teachings are all about 'reprogramming' the biological urges and liberation from them. Perhaps tribalism need ought to be surmounted? Well, not necessarily. Some interesting stuff there, not so much about wiping out 'tribalism' like a bad thing but grabbing hold of it and steering it by its potential to gather humans around more enlightened goals.

    karastizombiegirl
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    edited July 2014

    I agree ^. I think a lot of Buddha's teachings are exactly about reprogramming all those biological "urges" and realizing we do not have to be slaves to things. I remember first starting ot learn about Buddhism in my early 20s and the simple idea that we can control our thoughts, not the other way around, was just astounding to me. I couldn't fathom why I had never considered it before and why I felt like a slave to the thoughts in my head, even the crazy ones or the ones that made me feel really bad and so on. That there is a way to relearn how to use thoughts and what to do with them was so foreign. And now it's so right that it's hard to not want to strangle people who don't get it ;)

    Making borders and fighting over them has been going on since humans came to be (and in other species before, obviously). It would be nice to see that need short-circuited. But first we have to get over the idea that every thought, every need, requires validation and that all our thoughts and needs are ok and deserve equal weight and consideration. Borders don't make us safer, quite the opposite I think, whether they are land borders or cultural. There is so much more to be gained by sharing information rather than owning it and protecting it. Think of how different things would be just here had the Europeans chosen to learn from, and share with, the Native Americans rather than the route they chose. Fear always rules. Fear of someone taking what we believe to be ours when nothing can be. Crazy.

    zombiegirlJeffrey
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran
    edited July 2014

    We have to get over the thought that the EXISTENCE of contrary thoughts, needs and beliefs are a threat to our own.

    Granted, fanatics of all religions appear to agree death is the solution to contrariness, and their beliefs are definitely a threat to me d'oh.

    I don't think this changes on the group level, but on the individual level. I might be totally wrong, though. But I'm thinking that an individual who 'sees through or beyond' is one less potential fanatic. It seems at our baseline, especially if our earlier years are spent oppressed and deprived, we are prone to aggressive defense and exclusion, having experienced not enough resources to go around. With such a stressful background, it only figures to perpetuate such aggression and exclusion.

    This is a fantasy of mine (it would defeat the purpose of samsara if there is one), that we humans, with our technology, would eventually free ourselves from reliance on scare resources, however that may look. We photosynthesize or absorb biomass through our skin, whatever. Then what would we have to fight over? Well, everything -- except then we as individuals would have more intellectual space with which to ponder such things as conditionality, hell, maybe even awakening?

    Jeffrey
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @zombiegirl said:
    Has America really become so gung-ho that even proclaiming your nationality in such an innocuous manner, has now become a threatening sign to others

    Sure.

    What does that flag really stand for these days?

    Ours is a country that goes to war over the slightest of provocation, or none. Our most popular sports are extremely violent. Cage fighting is growing in popularity. In post 911 America, flying the flag, in some conditions, is a thinly veiled excercise in a aggressive nationalism. Some poor, old Mexican man, pushing an ice cream cart past my house, was confronted by a neighbor with a US flag in a threatening manner, in broad daylight.

    While it saddens me to think it, I can hardly blame an immigrant for feeling a bit intimidated by the sight of an American flag.

    lobsterzombiegirlDavid
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Gentle Man Veteran

    The most early ideas about "melting pots" as to societies, for me, were taught me in my early years, some 55 years ago. What happened with the ideas as then taught was this: it was said to be that folks who truely came to America to get a better life, lived amongst each other as equals-- kinda like the mosaic Idea I suppose. But, the further idea was that to get along folks had to respect each other and one's country-- imperfect though that country is. That is one older American's perspective.

    Toraldriszombiegirlperson
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @Linc said:
    Is this the rabid anti-patriotism of Obama's America? Or is it just a cautionary tail to not live in a HOA neighborhood with assholes? Who knows!

    No, that's been going on for years. HOA covenants offer all sorts of restrictions including flag displays and this goes back past the Regan administration.

    The flag restriction is usually not anti-patriotic but to prevent people leaving tattered and ugly flags flying all year round. Most people only fly their flags on certain holidays and I know lots of people who find anything more than that excessive and pretentious. Almost noone views that excess as "patriotic".

    person
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    A lot of Americans I know who fly the US flag would be offended by someone flying a Mexican flag, or a Puerto Rico flag, and so on. If you are in the US, you better be approved American stock or no bueno. It's like that in my hometown, too. Your opinion carries no weight unless you can prove that you are a local with at least 3 generations of family in the area. If you moved here 25 years ago, your opinion doesn't count. Much seems to be the same with the overall US as well, sadly. US is only for certain people. Nevermind we stole it from others.

    zombiegirlperson
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Gentle Man Veteran
    edited July 2014

    @Linc said:
    karasti I'm calling bullshit on the HMO story without a link to a (real) news site. :p A bit far-fetched.

    With the penetration of media and the Internet into every minute of every person's life, you can find enough evidence to build whatever narrative you want.

    I did a quick Google search to try and found the HMO one and stumbled on a story about a home owner's association in Florida that was fining a man for his small American flag and threatening to put a lien on his home over it. Is this the rabid anti-patriotism of Obama's America? Or is it just a cautionary tail to not live in a HOA neighborhood with assholes? Who knows!

    Well, the local TV stations had pictures, a CBS affiliate I look at for evening news carried the story and I will summarize it here. The man had a neighbor in his duplex who was muslim. the man was a white American who believed in showing the flag for America daily. The flag was shown to his former white neighbor with no problem.

    The mount for the flag pointed it toward the door of the other part of the duplex (which is like a two-condo building with an adjoining wall spearating two condos). the Muslim said he felt threatened by an American flag pointing at his door. The man took the big flag down and put a little flag in a flower pot.

    The Muslim complained to the home owners association that he felt threatened because the little flag was slanted towards his door. He then proceeded to threaten a civil suit if the home owner's association did not cause the white man to desist from his action of showing a flag pointed towards his door. The home owner's association caved and made a rule that American flags could only be displayed with home owner's association permission. that is all I have heard lately about the story. But, it is real and Writing to Channel 5 ( WINK TV) in Fort Myers would lead to confirmation of their investigation into the situation. The station was kinda incredulous and dubious about the story, BTW, to start with, so they checked it out and presented updates several times, which is how I got my facts.

    Below is a link to a story with some of the facts the TV station broadcast:

    http://www.winknews.com/Local-Florida/2014-07-03/Tiny-flag-creates-big-stir-for-Florida-retiree

    zombiegirl
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @karasti said:
    A lot of Americans I know who fly the US flag would be offended by someone flying a Mexican flag, or a Puerto Rico flag, and so on.

    I wonder if they'd have similar objections to someone flying a Norwegian, Swedish or Finnish flag? Where @karasti and I come from, you're as likely to see one of those flying as an American flag. They'll also sport stickers on their cars of those same flags. In most cases these folks are 3rd generation Americans. The skandanavian side of my family came here in the late 1800s.

    Ethnic identification is a big deal in all parts of the country.

    person
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited July 2014

    @karasti said:
    ... Your opinion carries no weight unless you can prove that you are a local with at least 3 generations of family in the area. If you moved here 25 years ago, your opinion doesn't count. Much seems to be the same with the overall US as well, sadly. US is only for certain people. Nevermind we stole it from others.

    1. I saw a lot of that kind of attitude when I moved to Colorado. My response was pointed -- "Unless you can assure me that I will need to pay no taxes to the state and locality, you can...." You fill in the blank! :D

    2. As to "we" stole it from others -- "we"? I had nothing at all to do with it. Nor did my parents or grandparents or great grandparents. And, many American Indian ancestral tribes stole the land from their predecessors.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    @Victorious said:
    I'll go with Crocodile Dundee on this everytime....

    Well, you see, Aborigines don't own the land.They belong to it. It's like their mother. See those rocks? Been standing there for 600 million years. Still be there when you and I are gone. So arguing over who owns them is like two fleas arguing over who owns the dog they live on.

    There was a lot of good "stuff" in that film.

    Victorious
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran

    Extend that thought to every molecule within your body (and without) and you have the Dhamma. :thumbsup: .

    zenff
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited July 2014

    @Chaz said: What does that flag really stand for these days?

    >
    Ours is a country that goes to war over the slightest of provocation, or none. Our most popular sports are extremely violent. Cage fighting is growing in popularity. In post 911 America, flying the flag, in some conditions, is a thinly veiled excercise in a aggressive nationalism.

    Some poor, old Mexican man, pushing an ice cream cart past my house, was confronted by a neighbor with a US flag in a threatening manner, in broad daylight.
    While it saddens me to think it, I can hardly blame an immigrant for feeling a bit intimidated by the sight of an American flag.

    >

    Case in point: Article for your perusal.
    I make no comment, I leave its digestion to my American friends.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited July 2014

    Article for the perusal of my British friends, who sometimes forget that the sun never sat...:

    http://www.friesian.com/british.htm

    Scroll about halfway down the page for loooooooooong list of nations that GB invaded and owned.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    That is far too long to read. Can you summarise, or give a precis? Hopefully, it's on topic (ie, American patriotism bringing out unwarranted and undesirable racist traits). Thanks.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    The article I cited, as well as this one (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/27/-sp-racism-on-rise-in-britain) shows very clearly that racism brought on by or associated with patriotism is not unique to America.

    But even aside from reminding the pot not to call the kettle black, racism and nationalism (which are almost always closely aligned) are a rather common blight on mankind all over the world. Talk to an Indian or Chinese man in Malaysia about the Bumipatera concept and nation-building there. Or about the issue of race in Sinapore, where Chinese make up 74% of the population and dominate politics and government. Or in Thailand where it's not so much racism (although that exists there, too), but an issue of religious prejudice of Buddhist Thais suppressing Muslim Thais and Malays. Or the tribalism that is rampant in some parts of Africa.

    I accept that there is racism in my nation. It is something of which to be ashamed. But just don't point to the United States as a place where there are bad behaviors prompted by patriotism/nationalism.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @vinlyn said:
    2. As to "we" stole it from others -- "we"? I had nothing at all to do with it. Nor did my parents or grandparents or great grandparents. And, many American Indian ancestral tribes stole the land from their predecessors.

    >

    For evil to triumph, it is only necessary that good men do nothing.
    Too many times, too often, the peaceful silent majority throw up their hands and declare "it wasn't me, I had nothing to do with it!"

    Watch this video: I personally found it very thought-provoking. And let me tell you, the same kind of attitude exists in the UK. And I take responsibility for that.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited July 2014

    @federica said:
    For evil to triumph, it is only necessary that good men do nothing.

    Too many times, too often, the peaceful silent majority throw up their hands and declare "it wasn't me, I had nothing to do with it!"
    >
    >
    Watch this video: I personally found it very thought-provoking. And let me tell you, the same kind of attitude exists in the UK. And I take responsibility for that.
    >

    1. That was all I was asking for in my previous post -- that people of other countries accept that racism exists in their nation, too.

    2. I found this particular video interesting (and had actually seen it before). There is a valid point made about how a minority of any group -- she was criticizing the minority of Muslims who support violence, but also brought in how a minority of Germans who believed in an extreme form of nationalism (dare we actually say Nazism in a thread) drove the political agenda -- can drive, to one extent or another, the politics of a nation, which very nicely ties back in with the OP.

    3. But no, I will not take any responsibility for what people I didn't know, and weren't related to, did between the 1600s and mid-1800s...329 to over 100 years before I was born. Doesn't mean I think what was done to the American Indians was right or good or acceptable, but I wasn't there and I had nothing to do with it. I can only say it's a truly dark day in American history and make every attempt to help American Indians today. And similarly, I'm not going to hold you responsible for the number of countries Great Britain invaded and owned during the glory days of the British Empire.

    I can acknowledge that my father was racially prejudiced (although even that is not a simple story). I can acknowledge that the grandmother who raised me thought she was completely non-prejudiced, but in reality had deep-seated prejudices. But at the same time as a child and teenager, I was not responsible for my father's actions, or my grandmother's actions, or George Wallace's actions. What I could do is make sure that my actions as a teacher and school administrator and donator to charities and long-time member of the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center did whatever I could to make amends -- in some small way -- for a patently unfair period in American history (and present).

    But if you think that 300 million Americans are going to "give back" America to Indian "nations" -- well, it isn't going to happen, and it's foolish to even seriously discuss it. Just as Canada isn't going to give back its land to NA's, nor is Australia to the indigenous people there. What needs to happen, however, is have a discussion in this nation about how to better deal with the conditions in which American Indians live today. Bill Clinton tried to develop such discussions, and all he got from major Indian groups was disdain. Lesson learned by American politicians.

    Jeffrey
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited July 2014

    @vinlyn said: That was all I was asking for in my previous post -- that people of other countries accept that racism exists in their nation, too.

    That cannot be denied.
    But currently, such a point is off-topic. The subject is specifically to do with America, as per the thread title. That's why I wrote my response.... I suspected (and honestly, it really was far too long to read!) that that was your intention in posting it.

    While your point is valid, it would strain the subject too much to start being all-inclusive, and frankly, whatever the truth of the matter, every individual country's 'buck stops here'.
    Including other nations with the intention of "We're not the only ones, you're just as bad' does nothing to reduce how bad "you" (Generic) are...

    And bringing 'Who stole territories from existent natives' into the argument is just too much "who shot John" too...

    let's keep it pretty much contemporary, please, everyone.

    Thanks.

    Chaz
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    edited July 2014

    @vinlyn, yes, I now. We cannot blame today's generation for the sins of the people of the past. That wasn't my point, though. And yes, Native Americans certainly weren't all rainbows and sunshine and tree huggers, either, but it doesn't make what we did ok, to take their hospitality and then perform genocide. I didn't bring it up as a way to argue who was in the right, but only to point out that the US would probably be quite different had we blended with them rather than establish borders between us and them.

    @Chaz Indeed. Often in this area (which has a lot of Finnish heritage, including my family, I am 100% Finnish) you will see the Finnish flag flown above the US flag even. Pretty common. People don't find those with Scandinavian flags offensive, I assume because they are still white folk rather than the offending flags which represent people of color and/or of the "wrong" religion. Most of Finland is Lutheran which carried over here but prior to that, Finland was largely Pagan in nature. Which is funny because Paganism is a no-no around here, lol.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    @karasti said:
    vinlyn, yes, I now. We cannot blame today's generation for the sins of the people of the past. That wasn't my point, though. And yes, Native Americans certainly weren't all rainbows and sunshine and tree huggers, either, but it doesn't make what we did ok, to take their hospitality and then perform genocide. I didn't bring it up as a way to argue who was in the right, but only to point out that the US would probably be quite different had we blended with them rather than establish borders between us and them.

    Make no mistake on what I'm saying -- America's behavior toward NA's was one of the most disgraceful episodes of American history.

  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    edited July 2014

    @Karasti Northern Michigan has a fair amount of Swedish/Finnish as well. My grandmother's cousin (I have no idea what that makes her to me, lol) has a house all decked out in Swedish stuff... nobody says peep. There is also a whole Polish section in Detroit that nobody seems to care about... probably because everyone loves paczkis and perogies.

    Thinking about a "land without borders" is an interesting concept, but of course, it would never ever happen. There are many places where borders are pretty much just for show. When I lived by the Canadian border, I felt that way (maybe Canadians feel differently! lol). But now, living closer to the Mexican border, it is a little different. I was recently in El Paso, for example. I had no idea what to expect because I had done research on the city and found that the city on the Mexican side, Ciudad Juarez, is considered one of the most dangerous non-war zones in the world(based on gang violence, murders, abductions, etc). And yet... El Paso was great. We felt totally safe just walking around downtown, maybe half a mile from the border. There is a point where you can see the giant Mexican flag flying on the other side of the river... it was stunning. But... I had never actually been more happy about a well maintained border in my life. On the ride home, we had to go through a security check which pretty much involved a guy noticing we were white, but still having to ask the obligatory, "Are you US citizens?" (somewhat sheepishly, I may add) before sending us off with a wave. I have friends with Mexican-American parents who have experienced far different treatment than my white privilege allows.

    @Hamsaka I love your observations of your ducks! I, too, love watching animals and sometimes catching them engage in behavior that we can forget isn't exclusively human. I feel like this sort of study can do a lot to help us distinguish those biological urges.

    @AldrisTorvalds I think the best/worst example of what you're talking about just happened recently. A few months ago, Judge Roy Moore(AL) said that the first amendment only applies to God of the Bible. "Buddha didn't create us. Muhammad didn't create us. It's the God of the Holy Scriptures."
    "They didn't bring a Koran on the pilgrim ship, Mayflower," he said. "Let's get real. Let's learn our history. Let's stop playing games."

    I'm not sure whether I should eye-roll or start feeling scared...

    ToraldrisJeffrey
  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran

    @zombiegirl Yeah, crazy and scary. And that's a judge.

  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran

    Exactly... You would think he would know better... but then again, Alabama elected official...

    Toraldris
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @zombiegirl said: Hamsaka I love your observations of your ducks! I, too, love watching animals and sometimes catching them engage in behavior that we can forget isn't exclusively human. I feel like this sort of study can do a lot to help us distinguish those biological urges.

    Darn critters are geniuses and make no bones about being utterly themselves. If I weren't likely to be laughed off of the planet I'd suspect they were perfectly awake to their nature and place in this world. 'course their job is not near as complex as ours, and not ALL of my birds are awakened. The ones I've hand raised myself are probably the least 'themselves' of them all, having the most neuroses in the very least.

    zombiegirllobster
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @zombigirl said: I think the best/worst example of what you're talking about just happened recently. A few months ago, Judge Roy Moore(AL) said that the first amendment only applies to God of the Bible. "Buddha didn't create us. Muhammad didn't create us. It's the God of the Holy Scriptures."

    "They didn't bring a Koran on the pilgrim ship, Mayflower," he said. "Let's get real. Let's learn our history. Let's stop playing games."

    I'm not sure whether I should eye-roll or start feeling scared...

    Me either. More scared, I think.

  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran

    @Hamsaka said:
    Darn critters are geniuses and make no bones about being utterly themselves. If I weren't likely to be laughed off of the planet I'd suspect they were perfectly awake to their nature and place in this world. 'course their job is not near as complex as ours, and not ALL of my birds are awakened. The ones I've hand raised myself are probably the least 'themselves' of them all, having the most neuroses in the very least.

    I have two male cats which are constantly battling for dominance... in a playful manner. They have wrestling matches which I love to watch. One of my cats is huge (we suspect he might be partially Maine Coon) and it used to be he would always win... but as he gets older, my little runt (literally) has been winning once and a while. He seems to take it okay though. They still cuddle and clean each other, which warms my heart. But eating is a whole different thing... Even though I feed them separately, the little one will only take a few bites before walking away... waiting for the bigger one to eat his fill of the food before he will go back. So silly.

    Hamsaka
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    Just how much of our own behavior (being mammals and all) is built into the system is something we get to discover in our practice. I have certainly found myself not hogging food around bosses or visitors given status for their visit :D

    Maybe someday we too will be able to have our differences and then sit around and cuddle and clean each other for the rest of the day . . .

    zombiegirlVastmind
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    @zombiegirl I agree, I don't think it'll ever happen, it's interesting to ponder what the results would be. We live about 10 miles, as the crow flies, from the Canadian border. We share our BWCA with their Quetico National Park. I can get in a kayak and paddle right into Canada, or even hike. It's a 4 hour drive because no roads are allowed in the wilderness/park areas. There is literally no security whatsoever. You can cross freely between Canada and the US and for the most part, no one would ever know. Just lakes and woods in the middle of no where. You are supposed to check in with customs, with normal legal process in place, when you arrive in either country, but it's pretty much an honor system (unless you get stopped, of course) and it's a good 20 miles or more to the nearest customs. When I was in college studying criminology, they made the point that the BWCA was the biggest security hole in the US, and it is actually a way for people to smuggle drugs if they are willing to do the work to do so. Thankfully, most drug dealers aren't the type to carry a canoe and camping gear that distance just to traffic drugs, lol. But it's an interesting thing. I can drive to the Fort Francis crossing by car, or I can walk or kayak/canoe right in, and no one would ever know. We hike up to the border every winter on frozen lakes. It's kind of a crazy thing.
    That whole thing is what got me thinking about borders. Ours isn't so neat and fenced off, lol.

  • SkeeterkbSkeeterkb Explorer Explorer
    edited July 2014

    I experienced this thread as very disappointing. I am/was hoping that Buddhists would show themselves to be unique, yet when it comes to politics and sociology this thread reads as predictably and trite as an assembly of any other Christian religious groups, atheists and agnostics.. Independence of thought would be refreshing instead of the deeply rutted paths of bumper sticker wisdoms. The liberal vs conservative (communist/fascist) debate is nothing more than propaganda used to delude and divide the weak by the powerful. The powerful are united by their allegiance to power. The bulk of humanity are deluded and aimless, yet self satisfied if they can find some herd to stumble about with. Their cry is I AM DIFFERENT and to prove it I hang with a group where we are all alike each other by being different than them...

    sigh...

    Hamsaka
  • robotrobot Veteran Veteran

    There you go. Tricked by your preconceptions again. (Sigh). What you will find is that Buddhists are people too.

  • SkeeterkbSkeeterkb Explorer Explorer

    So hope is a preconception? I will then journey towards dropping hope from my consciousness.

  • robotrobot Veteran Veteran

    @Skeeterkb said:
    So hope is a preconception? I will then journey towards dropping hope from my consciousness.

    Good choice. Spare yourself the disappointment.

    Skeeterkb
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Gentle Man Veteran
    edited July 2014

    Well, hope can be based on preconceptions, yes. You will find that even a Buddhist Sangha is composed of folks who do disagree from time to time, and that a forum tends to be posts that are written to be short and to the point. So, to use common words in those posts is not intentionally triteness, rather using common words to be clear is encouraged here. So they appear run of the mill, and herdlike because common use.

    vinlyn
  • SkeeterkbSkeeterkb Explorer Explorer

    @robot said:
    Good choice. Spare yourself the disappointment.

    LOL touché

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    What if I am home but I still think the flag looks like crap?

    Flags are funny. We use them to show that people on one side of the border are so different than others. The flags may look different but they are all flags!

    @karasti said:
    I was talking with my teenager about borders, and what would happen if we didn't have borders. He said "but what about terrorists??" would we even call them terrorists if we were all from the same single country? It was an interesting discussion. I think about that sometimes. Would we have as many problems if we didn't have borders keeping people in, and out, of various locals in order to maintain a certain way of life for a certain group of people and exclude others?

    It feels odd that most people from the States and Canada are against the idea of the Earth as a single country. I mean, it would likely work the same way... Borders for preferential reasons only and everyone using the same currency.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    @ourself said:

    It feels odd that most people from the States and Canada are against the idea of the Earth as a single country.

    Yes, because it's illogical. What culture do you have in common with people from Somalia or what may become Kurdistan?

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited July 2014

    @vinlyn said:
    Yes, because it's illogical. What culture do you have in common with people from Somalia or what may become Kurdistan?

    Why do I need to have my direct culture line up with somebody else living in an area that lives by different preferences?

    How much do you have in common with most people from the deep south?

    It isn't illogical, it's the very same concept we have going on here.

    People on the other hand are typically pretty illogical.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    It'll never happen. Period. Pipe dream.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    It'll never happen. Period. Pipe dream.

    I don't believe in psychics.

    People said that about all kinds of things we now take for granted but like everything else, it has to be tried before it can fail.

    But like I said, people are quite illogical so it may take a while.

    betaboy
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    Fair enough. Come back and update me when it happens.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yup. We'll knock on your tombstone, that's possible, admittedly. :D .

    But let's be honest, stranger things have happened, in more or less time....

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