America: First Take the Beam Out of Your Own Eye

June 19, 2016

I am not interested in pointing the finger at the Orlando shooter’s religious affiliation, nor his sexual orientation, nor any relationship he may have had with various US-sponsored terrorist organizations. He was an American. Full stop. He was born and raised in America. He went to American schools. He lived in America.

If anyone or anything is responsible for twisting his mind, it is the dominant culture in which he lives. See: Dylann Roof. Like a good American, Omar Mateen made his living off the suffering of others. Mateen worked for a company called G4S Security, which, according to Counterpunch, is “a British-based corporation that contracts with the US and Israeli governments for work that often violates human rights on a massive scale.”

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Always quick to judge Russia as Islamophobic and anti-gay, and ever-eager to rush to the defense of these groups, the United States really never takes a hard look at how their countless floundering military projects overseas threaten Muslims and the LGBT community overseas

It is difficult, in light of the latest mass shooting in the United States, not to sound like one is gloating when one sees the ugliest side of America laid bare for all the world to see. I am not writing this out of some sick sense of schadenfreude. I am writing this out of frustration.

Frustration that the American media and political establishment spend so much time and energy wagging their finger at Russia when it’s clear that the state of their own social and political affairs is a tragic sham. Frustration that so many Americans think that Russia is an oppressive dictatorship and are “concerned” about civil and human rights there, whereas they could not give a flying fig about people who live in countries that do have serious issues.

A popular meme going around about Donald Trump is that he is a bad candidate because he’s been endorsed by Kim Jong Un of North Korea and Vladimir Putin. What the what now? I don’t know who I feel sorrier for: the people who think it’s funny, or the people who are dumb enough to believe that living in Russia is anything like living in North Korea.

It is not only ignorant and insulting to Russia, but it also denigrates the severity of the oppression  in the North Korean state. But when has North Korea been anything but a joke to most Americans? Do they actually care how North Koreans live? And do they actually think that modern-day Russia is akin to North Korea simply because Vladimir Putin once rode a horse sans shirt?

For starters, unlike North Koreans, Russians are free to leave the country at any time and for any reason. They have iTunes, Netflix, internet, Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/VK, and smartphones. American movies play in their movie theaters. Tourists have to acquire a visa, but they are certainly welcome. And yes, Russian citizens are free to speak their mind. The only thing Kim and Putin have in common is that the American media/political elites don’t like them very much, and these days, that’s looking more and more like a compliment.

But it’s just easier for Americans to have an insect residing in their posterior orifices about Russia. There are so many countries where the day-to-day situation is far worse than the life of the average Russian, but the focus is never on those areas, primarily because many of these nations have been the focus of American colonial regime change operations.

Hyper-focusing Russia’s flaws is only done so Americans can feel superior. Americans, in particular social liberals, wouldn’t feel so good about themselves if they were informed about the human misery their government has brought to Muslim and LGBT people worldwide.

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