Over at Sumeia Williams’ great blog Ethnically Incorrect Daughter [ link ], there is an item discussing the case of Heidi Bubb, and the documentary that was made about her return as on adoptee to Viet Nam, Daughter From Da Nang. In response to something I posted there ages ago came this response:
You are a fool of the first rank. Furthermore, you are truly a “barbarian within the gates,” and you should be expelled from this country, as the Romans would have pushed out an angry Parthian or Goth. If you despise your adopted nation so much, then please pack up and leave immediately. You are unloved by most and will not be missed in the least. Oh, and you have a most simplistic view of the history of empires, as befits an obvious simpleton. I’m most familiar with the Romans and Byzantines, so I’ll cite them. Despite your 18th-century viewpoint of the matter (which is largely stolen from Edward Gibbon and his successors) that decline is due to the “decadence of the population,” the fact is, even when there were periods of decline or torpor, this Romanic culture reinvigorated itself. When empires do collapse, it can be for many reasons. Read a bit in history before you make such facile observations.
You give a watered-down, Howard-Zinn type synopsis of U.S. history that simplifies and is basically a leftist jeremiad, with only some hooks in reality and mainly the product of pathological hatred. You lambast Batista, but I’m sure you love Fidel Castro and his fat brother, whose regime has perhaps killed 100,000 Cubans, does not allow free elections, has forced political opponents to flee and uses the U.S. as the convenient bugbear under the beds of the good Bolsheviks of the island. Amnesty International has a nice large dossier on the many civil rights abuses recorded in Castro-land. The U.S. embargo against the island was entirely justifiable while Fidel was the dutiful puppet of his masters in the Soviet Union and while Cuba meddled in so many foreign countries itself (as ask some Angolans about this, sometime).
Japan? Are you serious? Have you reached Alex Jones level as a fluff-headed conspiracy theorist? You ignore the fact that Japan killed around 10 million Asians from 1932 through 1945. The sheer brutality of their actions in China, Korea and the Philippines are amply documented, and it was a calvacade of horrors for years–medical experiments on civilians (amply documented), “comfort women” forced into sex slavery, mass bombing of civilian populations, etc, etc. I’ve spoken to some survivors of this occupation, and the horrors they told me about in rather sober language defy belief. You ignore the fact that the U.S. was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor and by a full-scale invasion of what was then a U.S. Commonwealth, the Philippines. I’d say U.S. military action in retaliation was fully justifiable.
I could go through point by point with everything else you blathered, but it would take a very long post, and I haven’t time at this moment. I will say that the dubious “honor” for largest number of American Indians decimated by far goes to the Spanish Empire, and disease vectors played as much of a role as any military actions or hostilities. This has happened again and again in many countries, not just the U.S. The aboriginal inhabitants of Taiwan were pushed into odd corners of the island by the Han Chinese. The “negritos” of the Philippines were invaded, conquered and marginalized by the Malay Filipinos. Australia was more or less replay of the Americas. Even most of the countries in Europe had different inhabitants at one time–England wasn’t Anglo-Saxon, France wasn’t Frankish, Bulgaria wasn’t full of Bulgarians. And so on. This is not to deny a great tragedy took place in the U.S., but that this type of tragedy is the tragedy of the human race as a whole.
Please just immigrate if you haven’t. Go back and live in Parthia, barbarus.
I’ve highlighted some of the choicer bits because they seem to me to bring to the fore what lies behind the command that we be “grateful”. The accusation of “hatred” comes up again and again; this seems to be more a projection against those who don’t conform. Yet again, this illustrates for me the sanctimonious projection of salvation from an exceptionalist nation that lies at the heart of adoption practice, which might be seen as just a “softer” kind of arrogant domination.
I’m most intrigued by the repeated references to “barbarian” and “expulsion” from “within the gates”. This makes direct reference to Vienna as a bulwark against Islamic encroachment, but also more pointedly to Charles Loring Brace, founder of the Children’s Aid Society of New York, creator of the Orphan Trains that emptied the urban centers of the eastern seaboard of their poor and indigent in order to provide labor for the westward expansionism of the United States, and who referred to the children he so “rescued” as “street Arabs” from the “dangerous classes”. And so we come full circle.
Given what Japanese-Americans suffered during World War II, given the majority of minority residents imprisoned in the U.S. prison system, and the current trends of immigrant deportation and Islamophobia, this takes on obvious sinister overtones. And whereas I often say that I prefer my racism “straight up” as I experienced it while living in France, as opposed to the kind of subliminal and somehow-excused racism on display here, I would be curious to ask other adoptees here what they think of this, which is basically the simplistic T-shirt slogan: “America: Love It or Leave It!” and the call that I “emigrate” (I think he means) as directed toward an adoptee who never chose to go there in the first place, and who was “immigrated” against his will?