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October 18, 2004

Why Do They Stay?

That's the question that crosses my mind when I read such letters as that which Mr. Benjamin Morton of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, sent to the Providence Journal to offer his fellow citizens a refresher on a certain brand of history, popular among elite academics. I've italicized a couple of choice sentiments:

Imagine historians in a world where Hitler had won World War II excusing him for the slaughter of millions by extolling his vision of gaining new territory for a superior race. The genocide of Native Americans claimed far more people than the Holocaust, but this is easily written off by the morally certain culture that carried out the atrocities.

Contrary to Bowden's rosy picture, the United States has not ended war but, rather, made it more violent and prevalent. It did not end slavery until after much of the rest of the world did so. And it is still immersed in religious fundamentalism as groups bomb abortion clinics and try to bring back prayer in public schools.

Bowden's outright racism toward Native Americans and Muslims deserves the violent response now brewing across the Muslim world. This racism is not the answer to terrorism -- it is the cause. When I read words like his I fear for our world, just as much as when I hear a tape from Osama bin Laden.

Bowden's whitewashing of America's cruelty and his incitement to violence will bring both upon us.

Speaking of OBL, didn't one of his tapes say something about people's reaction to a strong horse and to a weak horse?

By the way, remember when it was all the rage for Morton's ilk to say such things as, "Of course terrorism is horrible, but..."? Well, it occurs to me that they never — or rarely, at best — qualify their anti-Americanism in that way, as in, "Of course America has done some good things in the world, but..."

Posted by Justin Katz at October 18, 2004 7:26 PM

"It did not end slavery until after much of the rest of the world did so."

This is flat-out false. Slavery has been practiced worldwide, in all sorts of different cultures. The place where the abolition movement started was in America and Britain, and it was led by Christians. And American evangelical groups, and the Catholic Church, are now the biggest supporters of combating international human trafficking, including sex slavery.

It always boggles the mind that people can tar the whole country as racist because of the existence of slavery. Don't they remember we fought a war over the issue?

Posted by: Mike S. at October 19, 2004 9:40 AM