I read this article and cringed. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to come to New York and speak. Americans are pissed off that he’s coming. Right now, I’m actually embarassed to be an American–I don’t want to be lumped in with those fools.
Fortunately, Scott Adams cleverly expresses why I feel this way–anything I could have come up with would have probably been labeled anti-Semitic ranting. Whatever I would have written about the irony of the situation wouldn’t have been as effective as how Scott expressed it.
My kids, who are 7 and 4, stick their fingers in their ears and go “la la la” when they don’t want to listen to someone. America, can we grow up, please? President Amadinejad wants to come and tell us his side of the story, first-hand, instead of all that rubbish that the pop media spoonfeeds you through the idiot box. I have no proof, but my hunch is that Iranians aren’t the puppy-murdering evil people that they’ve been made out to be.
Our own President has waged a war against a small group of people who he can’t clearly identify and locate. He controls a known arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Americans are terrified to travel–not because of “the terrorists”–but because we stand a good chance of losing our rights and being detained at the airport because of what we look like, how we dress, what we have in our suitcases, or where we’re going. Our children bring guns to school and shoot each other. We don’t feel safe leaving our kids playing in our own backyard any more.
As ego-centric Americans, we act as self-appointed stewards of freedom (doesn’t that just make you laugh out loud?). Therefore, we have an obligation to recognize that President Ahmadinejad represents his people and by sharing his story–that of the people he is responsible for–we might have a chance to learn that they are not so very different from us. Perhaps we can even help each other, somehow. But, as long as we keep believing the rhetoric of our own government and media and act like immature children and refuse to listen to what we don’t like to hear, how will we learn? And if we don’t learn, how will we ever improve?
I beg you all to show the world why America truly is the greatest nation in the world–stop being fools and start being part of the larger world as one nation out of many. Let us listen to what President Ahmadinejad is trying to tell us about the conditions of his people–their fears, their angers, their hatred–and try to understand how what we are doing here, affects them, half-way around the world. It is time to see past the end of your cable television from your little trailer park and know that the reason why Americans can’t locate America on a world map isn’t just because “we don’t have maps.”