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Scott Francis Baker

September 25th, 2001

The Space Needle is a gimmicky tourist attraction that holds a hundred fanny-pack-wearin sight-seers at a time @ 09:53 pm

So as I drive around town I'm bombarded by all these "Proud to be an American" signs everywhere. There are flags everywhere, people are wearing pins supporting the US, hell everything is red white and blue these days. Never in the course of my 22 years on this earth have I seen the American people so passionate, and so united. It's really refreshing to see really, brings back my faith in humanity.

The American people are united against terrorism, and are fighting to protecting American ideals. Never before have people been so passionate about anything at all. People are lining up around the block to donate blood, the raised $150 million dollars on TV the other night, Michael Jordan is donating all of his salary next year to the relief fund. Wow! That's amazing!

Excuse me but... Where the hell have you people been!?! Of all the tradgedies that are going on in this world right now, this is the one you choose to come out of the woodwork on? Good lord! I hate to rain on everyone's parade but 6,000 people died. 6,000! That's not very many at all. How many children don't get ever get a chance to suceed because our schools are crap? It's more than 6,000. How many of our tax dollars are spent financing foreign governments regimes so we can get cheap oil? A lot more than 6,000. How many people are victims of hate crimes each year? Rape? More than 6,000. How many children die in Africa each day because they don't have enough food despite the surplus we have in this country. A LOT!

There is a lot of injustice going on in the world, and none of it is new. But we as the American people turn a blind eye. If Peter Jennings isn't breaking in with late breaking news coverage, or spouting off on the nightly news people don't care. What happened in New York was very tragic, but in the big scheme of things it was nothing. We as the American people need to get our proirties straight!
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Date:September 25th, 2001 10:57 pm (UTC)
I think the reason everyone is being united is because it happened in our country and effected a lot of people. I too agree with your comments that most people don't see the other tragic events happening everyday, and yes it is very unfortunate.
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Date:September 26th, 2001 08:18 am (UTC)
When was the last time 6000 people died in one incident in a western nation? That's almost twice as many deaths as the entire 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland, for perspective.

When was the last time the majority of Americans witnessed an event, live on TV, that might have killed someone they know (but they won't find out for hours or days)?

When was the last time an attack by anyone, on anyone, disrupted the world economy and geopolitical balance to this extent?

(My answers, off the top of my head: WW2, never (though the Challenger came close), and WW2.)

This is not nothing, even in the big scheme of things. And even if it were, enough Americans were directly affected by it - having a friend killed, or a friend of a friend, or having to change their own plans out of fear for their safety - to explain the extreme reactions you're seeing.

As for the seventeen gadzillion children dying in Africa every year: What's your point?

The tendency to be more concerned about one's extended network of friends and family - or nation - or cultural group - than about people half a world away with nothing in common, is a pretty basic human trait. It's hardly exclusive to Americans.

Even if we were equally concerned with Africa as with America, does this mean we should blow off, say, everything that doesn't kill at least five gadzillion people, until we get Africa sorted out? Jesus. We should probably do more to help out in that region, but they'll be pretty fucked for several more decades no matter what - it's a tough problem, and not one that'll be solved if we just throw enough money and food.

As for "getting priorities straight", what's that you were saying about hate crimes? We have under 20 hate-motivated murders a year in this country, and that's a bigger priority than an attack that kills 6000 people, and the potential for future attacks that could kill one or two orders of magnitude more? And as for education, you think that's being ignored by the people, when the majority of Americans cite it as the single highest priority for our government and both parties are trying to appear as pro-education as possible? Bah.

Maybe you think the manner in which the Bush administration is addressing the situation is inappropriate or counterproductive, but saying that everyone's reaction to the 9/11 incident is disproportionate compared to their concern for other issues or events is total bullshit.
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Date:September 26th, 2001 10:06 am (UTC)
I agree with Alan. Nothing can compare to the thousands of innocent lives that were lost on September 11th. We are witnessing a patriotism that I have never seen in my entire life! I've only heard of or read about "the American spirit" or "the way it used to be." I remember when saying the pledge of allegance was forbidden in schools as a little kid. I've never experienced that patriotism my parents talked about.

Now I am, for the first time I'm seeing democrats and republicans, liberals and conservatives drop their frivolous argments to stand together in support for the relief efforts and to stand against terrorism. I'm proud to see our country come together like this, and in no way do I wish to discourage that spirt by trying to blame ourselves for intangible responsibilities.

I don't condone our lack of emotion and support for other countries in 3rd world suffering, but you have to also realize how preoccupied we've been with playing politically correct, fighting over individuality and minority when we have been ignoring many of the things that really matter.

America seems to be rising out of that rut, I don't want to see us fall back in.
Date:September 27th, 2001 01:15 pm (UTC)
Michael Jordan won't make that much money though he only has 9 fingers.

On a second note. I have always gotten up every moring and put the flag up, its just something that I do. Ever since I was a cub scout I have done it.
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Date:September 27th, 2001 05:53 pm (UTC)
Nothing wrong with that. If you blindly follow Bush because you have a flag in your car, that's wrong.

Scott Francis Baker