America In The Eyes Of The World — A Guest Post By rawgod

Last month I started a project called Coexist, and I asked for guest posts from readers outside the United States to give us their view of the U.S. as it stands today, and also how our recent behaviour has affected their own country.  I received and published several excellent contributions from David, Gary, and Colette in the UK, and John in Canada.  At the time, rawgod expressed an interest in writing a post but needed a bit of time.

His words are sobering and remind us that we are indeed a global community, that we are under the microscope and what we do here in the U.S. has far-reaching consequences.  I suspect that most of us are completely unaware of the incidents rawgod tells of, and I think it is important for us to see.  Thank you, rawgod, for your words, as I know how much you struggled to keep it ‘short, sweet and to the point’.

Anonymous Letters, Surreptitious Visits, and Other Events

Edmonton is a metropolitan city of about 1.8 million citizens, capital of the province of Alberta in the nation of Canada. And quite possibly the most hating city in Canada. In 2018 there were two anonymous letters sent to Aboriginal Canadian families telling them their presence was not wanted by white persons in the areas in which they lived. The first letter was sent on condominium board letterhead to owning residents of one of the condos. It basically said that red-skinned Canadians were not wanted by white residents of the condo, and they should go back to whatever reserve they had come from. They were not worthy of living among civilized people. Violence was threatened. A few months later a similar letter, unsigned, was sent to another Aboriginal Canadian family. This time the family had been living in the same house for over 20 years. Violence was not directly threatened, but is was suggested as a possibility if the family did not go back to the reserve. The police are “still investigating” both letters, but no persons have yet been designated as persons of interest.

A few days before the 2nd anniversary of the shooting in a Montreal mosque in which 6 were killed and 19 wounded, four men were discovered infiltrating Edmonton mosques. All four were members of a white racist group called The Clan. The Clan is an offshoot of The Sons of Odin, a member of which committed the shooting in Montreal. Was it any coincidence these 4 persons were snooping around mosques? One man said he went inside to use the washroom. Yeah, sure. Police were notified, and surveillance was increased. Fortunately, nothing further has happened since, but what if these men’s visits had not been discovered?

Meanwhile, in Edmonton, there have been a number of instances on Edmonton Transit buses where people of non-white appearance were harassed by white passengers, told to go back home, threatened with violence, and basically mistreated while trying to go about their own business–this includes teenage school and university students, most of whom were born in Edmonton. White people seem to forget they were not the original inhabitants of this land. They seem to think it belongs to them by divine right, or some religious sin. How dare they forget they are the invaders here!

These are not all the hate crimes that have occurred in Edmonton, they are only samples. These feelings have no doubt been around for over a century, but mostly they were hidden. No one dared to declare themselves as the outright bigots they are … And then Donald J. Trump came along, and gave them permission to voice their opinions aloud, with force, and with open hatred.

And then this:  J.M.-hate-letter.jpgI’ll let you make up your own minds. By the way, it was written on United Conservative Party letterhead. No one has been fired.

This post shook me … it breaks my heart to know there are people with so much hate in their heart, with such a sense of arrogance and entitlement.  Did it start with Donald Trump?  No, it’s been there all along, but it was the rhetoric of Trump and others who unleashed the storm.

64 thoughts on “America In The Eyes Of The World — A Guest Post By rawgod

  1. Dear Jill and Friends,

    These racists/ haters are like cockroaches who should exist in the dark and hidden because they know if peoples see them, they’ll be stamped out.

    But a populist leader like the US President Trump who makes it safe for them to come out into the light where there numbers give them power.

    This is why i want a huge victory in 2020 US election cycle where DEMS win bigly. I want all those GOP who gave lip service to stamping out racists, being put out of business. I want a message sent that we will not allow racism to bloom like weeds that will not be cut down to size with the full knowledge that this thinking is not welcome. They’re the outcasts.

    Hugs, Gronda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you totally. I think that a message needs to be sent loud and clear that this is not who we are. Perhaps it’s time for the GOP to either change its ideology or lay down and die, cede the platform to a party with a conscience.
      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rawgod has a valid point regarding racism, even in Canada. Sadly, an evil seed had been planted in Alberta after WWII. Well known historical fact that thousands of Nazi war criminals fled to Canada avoiding prosecution.

    “Canada started too late; there were just too many perpetrators; too much evidence had been destroyed or lost. The effort was more an attempt to construct a justice legacy for the victims of the Holocaust,” said Mr. Matas.

    The seeds of Canada’s inaction were sown three years after the end of the war. The allied powers decided that prosecuting war criminals would end and the British Commonwealth Relations Office wrote to the dominions explaining the policy.

    The punishment of war criminals is more a matter of discouraging future generations, than of meting out retribution
    “In our view, the punishment of war criminals is more a matter of discouraging future generations, than of meting out retribution to every guilty individual,” wrote the department, as revealed by Franklin Bialystok in his book Delayed Impact: The Holocaust and the Canadian Jewish Community.

    The letter went on to say it was “now necessary to dispose of the past as soon as possible.”

    Problem is when evil is not exposed, it will fester and grow, infecting future generations like a cancer. It is freely expressed now because the environment is ripe. While not the cause, Trump is certainly not helping.

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Very wise words … the Drumpf effect is worldwide!! … ‘ rawgod’s words are sobering and remind us that we are indeed a global community, that we are under the microscope and what we do here in the U.S. has far-reaching consequences.
    Did it start with Drumpf? No, it’s been there all along, but it was the rhetoric of Trump and others who unleashed the storm..’ … words have power!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well someone in Alabama wants to reinstate the night rides of the KKK and go kill democrats in Wash DC.

    This all may change to more sanity as the old die off, but I don’t know. A lot of the younger generations are more self absorbed and have more feelings on entitlement. Plus they are so naive to the world outside the US and outside of Western societies.

    Remember Carl Sagan felt we don’t see more alien worlds with advanced civilizations because he felt that most would reach a certain point and then exhaust their natural resources or destroy themselves through wars before their existence was known and then it’s be gone.

    The earth would heal along with a lot of flora and fauna. Would that be so bad really?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Not just someone, but the editor of a newspaper is calling for the KKK night riders to re-group!!!! Stay tuned … this has me spitting and growling like a mad dog! We really don’t have time to wait until all the old geezers die off, for human race may well have extincted itself by that time! Interestingly, there was an article that I book-marked a few months ago to that effect, asking if human extinction would really be a bad thing. I’m thinking it’s inevitable. If I were 20-something, there is no way I would have children in this environment!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hey, we old fogies are just as likely to be with you as agin’ you. It is not a matter of age, but one of consciousness. And as you say, there are many young kids growing up today who minds have already been closed.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Dear Jill and Rawgod, I am a 60 year old, white Christian and these examples are bigotry and hatred plain and simple. My mantra is religion is at its finest when it is inclusive; when it is exclusive, it is at its absolute worst. Bigotry has to be carefully taught. Being open to people also must be carefully taught.

    The people writing this hate speech need to be asked a couple of questions:

    What does Jesus look like to you? Would it surprise you know he was Jewish and would likely be darker in complexion than the average WASP?

    Who did Jesus prefer to hang out with when he came to a community? Would it surprise you to know that it was typically people in need or of modest means?

    What does the Golden Rule mean to you? Did not Jesus also talk about looking out for your neighbor and when you take care of those in need, you honor him?

    This tribalism is unhealthy, divisive and demonizing. It must stop. If you follow someone who says these things, ask yourself do I really agree with such bigotry?

    Keith

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well said, Keith, and very good questions to ask. I find myself more and more disenchanted with the term “Christian” these days, and that is highly unfair to people like you, good people who believe in helping others and in accepting people at face value rather than judging them on such superficial criteria as skin colour, ethnicity, gender identification or religion. The few colour our opinions of the entire group, and that is not right. It is contributing to the divisiveness of not only our own nation, but others as we can see from Jerry’s post. But I don’t know the answer. We keep asking the questions, trying to be reasonable, and … nothing seems to stop the hate and bigotry.

      Like

    • Communisn at its finest, and socialism at its finest, are also wonderful, but they don’t exist in large groups, and I fear neither do the finest of religions. Small groups, maybe, but it is hard for them to remain undiluted by larger religious groups. And please pardon me for saying this, but prosthelytizers are about the worst of all religions. They are not generally content to let people be who they choose to be. Like the letter above, “leave or accept Jesus as your one true god.” “My way, or the highway.” Humans seldom create other people’s ideas of perfection, so they get condemned.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rawgod, your point about certain belief constructs breaking down in larger groups is excellent. As a system gets larger, it is governed by arcane rules rather than common sense and social mores. It also gets to the principle that good people overcome bad structure. This works in religion, government and business. The Mayans ran a confederation of self-governing communities that traded with each other.

        As for the proselytizing, I believe people must witness by deed. In a homeless services agency I worked with, we made volunteers sign a statement that they would not proselytize to the clients. It turned out it was unnecessary, as the homeless clients were often more pious than the volunteers.
        Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Doesn’t surprise me, Keith. But I like the witnessing by deed comment. My own philosophy is not to tell or command people how to act (not to govern), but to be a role model for how it is possible to live. Two totally different starting points, but the same final conclusions.
          Yet our politicians and televangelists and capitalists have no idea how to do that. If they are the role models we are supposed to idealize, the world would fall apart in no time.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Very well stated Keith, if only the President and his administration would take your wisdom to heart. Oh what a different reality we’d be living in. Thank goodness old fogies don’t live forever and the new generation may have greater consciousness to overcome the indoctrination of the old. There’s always hope.

      Like

  6. Thanks to Rawgod for sharing that ugly reality in Edmonton. Hatred is everywhere and it needs to be called out and condemned. Tragically, our First Nations bear the brunt of racial hatred. The idiot white racists would do well to read our history and be grateful that it was the people of the First Nations who taught the white settlers how to survive Canadian winters. Those racists truly are idiots.

    Liked by 2 people

    • All I am doing, John, is passing on to Jill’s readers what is happening in my little corner of the world. Unfortunately, it is the microcosm that defines the macrocosm. The world is choosing to become hell, as opposed to just being hell.
      As severe as this is going to sound, it reminds me of the jealously insane guy who decides that if he cannot have the girl (and her kids if she has any), then he kills her (and her family) so no one else can either. It is insane, but we do nothing to stop it.
      If the proud white christians cannot have the world, they are going to make sure no one else can either. It is insane, but we keep on letting it happen…

      Liked by 3 people

    • You are right, my friend … it is everywhere and it needs to be condemned, but is that enough? So far it seems to be spreading like wildfire in a world I fail to recognize most days. Our nation, like your own, seems to forget the contributions of those who were here long before any of our ancestors. I’m at a loss for either an explanation or a solution. As you say, racism is idiocy, pure and simple. Hugs, John!!! I surely do miss you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I didn’t “like” this because I don’t. But I do wonder (is it merely blind hope?) that all the hatred and anger that are showing forth after the many, many rocks Trump has turned over might be a good thing: in bringing them to light we can better understand them and then deal with them in a positive way? I just ask. As you know, I have been trying to understand all the rage. But where do we go from here? Again,I merely ask.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good question Hugh! Maybe we can find an answer in rg’s reply to Choosing. He indicates that those who spew hatreds are also too cowardly to sign their name to them.

      The people who would divide us are people who are ‘separated’ from any sort of life awareness. They see their world from a very narrow viewpoint. People are very guilty (all of us) of applying vast prejudices to our experiences, so that one person who may have violated our comfort zone, may become a whole race, religion, political party or socioeconomic privilege. We seem willing to expound dogmas with little foundation in reality. I blame our own limited intelligence.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Hugh, stop merely asking, and ask loudly and with intent.
      Don’t worry about not ‘liking’ any of my posts and comments, I generally do not want them to be liked. In fact, I prefer that they be feared, because I fear them.
      When el dumpo first came on the political scene, I thought that might be a good thing, even as you wrote above. The opponents of life were exposing themselves, which was a good thing, right! Only, the number of opponents is more like an army, a weaponized army, and they are willing to use those weapons. If it ever comes down to them or us, I fear it is going to be them who wins, because they are much more willing to resort to violence. For the most part, we are a peaceful people, believing that good will win in the end. A lot of my comments to Jill when I first came to Word Press expressed that. While I still feel that way, deep inside, that this is a last gasp effort to save conservatives, I no longer trust them to not destroy the world for everyone–not just here in North America, but all over the world.
      See my note to John below, if they can’t have life, no one can.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think that your idea of letting these vermin out in the open, exposing them so that we can understand and deal with them has merit. BUT … the thing that concerns me is that by letting them out in the open, they are changing us. Their hatred and vitriol are affecting our entire society, and not necessarily in a good way. So, I wonder if it isn’t rather like opening a sealed jar that contains a terrible, highly contagious virus and saying, “Let’s just see what we can do to understand and alter these little fellows” … and before the understanding can fully take place, the little viruses have destroyed the world. I’m not usually a pessimist … or at least I didn’t used to be … but I see these people as something akin to a virus. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I suspect you are right, Jill. I was trying to see the glass half full. A virus indeed. But I do believe it is minority of people who comprise this virus and that once this man has disappeared there will be time for healing and even, perhaps, some soul-searching. We can only hope.

        Liked by 1 person

        • There are times when I would rather NOT be right, and this is one of them. Sigh. I wish I could look around and see a reason to believe that we can sit down, talk about it, and come to a reasonable compromise. But, I’ve tried that with a couple of republican friends and … ain’t happening! A year ago, yes. Today? No. The glass half full analogy? I always saw the glass as mostly full until the Trumpian era. Now, I think that the glass is half full, that there is a pony under all that manure (I’m sure you’ll remember the joke that refers to 😉 ), but … if one drops just a few drops of a highly toxic chemical into that half full glass, it becomes lethal, half full or not. That is how I see the U.S. today. And the UK and France and Venezuela …

          Like

  8. This saddens me rg. I thought Canadians were better than that.

    Mick Canning has hit the nail on the head though. This is happening world wide and it is due to a great polarisation of humanity. Trump is symptomatic of this. It isn’t just about politics and religion. It is very much embedding itself in socioeconomic status, racial profile, and every aspect of life.
    I have seen it first hand in all sorts of people and it is a scary prospect that we seem to be not able to control its spread.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Trump is not even the worst of it. Even in the US, there appear to be a large number of others who hold racist, bigoted and violent views worse than his, and potentially have arsenals of semi-automatic guns in their basement. What could possibly go wrong?

      And the extreme right wing Hindus in India seem more and more inclined to resort to intimidation and violence both for any and every perceived slight, and to advance the cause of ‘India for Hindus’ – greater Bharat. Inevitably the explosive situation in Kashmir feeds directly into that.

      Here in the UK, Brexit is another potential flash point – I won’t repeat what I’ve just written above in reply to rawgod – that feels as if it will end very badly.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, I too am in the UK Mick (well, at least some of the time). I also have Canadian citizenship and as a travelled person, I see the ‘separation’ of ‘opposites’ very troubling. I think that situations like Syria, Myanmar, (with persecution of Rohinga people), and are a sort of prelude to a Worldwide repeat of civilisation collapse.
        If we have warring opposites, we will annihilate each other and most of the animals around us. We seem to have learned nothing about life and its dependence on connectedness.
        Well, some of us have, but we get shouted down in the storm of hatred that rg so elequently indicates, we will witness, helpless to stop it. Perhaps a few of us ‘connected’ people will survive, but what our world will look like in the ‘aftermath’ is not even really worth contemplating. 😔

        Liked by 2 people

    • I think, my friend, that people are people wherever they are. A mix of good and evil … most more good than evil, but greed plays a very large role in all societies, and left unchecked can lead to incidents such as the ones rawgod mentioned, as well as many seen in the US and UK. This is why societies or nations need government to impose a set of laws that apply to ALL. And this is where we are falling down these days. Canada has a kinder, more effective leadership than my country or yours, but they are not without troubles, as we see here. Sigh. What’s the answer? I have no idea.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Most Canadians are better than that, but the majority is proving to be far less than I expected it to be. Those whom I am choosing to call the invaders–the ones who think they own Canada–have been hiding in the deep woods, pretending they are part of the forest. And political leaders like Scheer, Ford, and Kenney are goading them on. We might as well name them the Trump-clones they are. The problem becomes the people who want them to be Trump clones, so that they can more than just want to own Canada, but believe they actually do. And, as you say, they are using whatever dividing lines they can find to pretend they aren’t human, but something much better than human.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi, Mick,
    I am out of touch with that world, but it is imposing itself on me whether I want it to or not. When an elected national leader can declare a state of emergency over an isuue of ego, all worlds have gone too far. There is little room for sanity left anywhere. Serious change is definitely needed, BEFORE all life is destroyed by human stupidity. I am really fearful it is already too late.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is worrying. When I add the Brexit ‘debate’ into that mix – I put the word in inverted commas as it is not really a debate, it’s a shouting match – I fear there will be serious repercussions before too long in the UK. Whatever happens about that, whether we leave with some sort of deal, leave without one, or somehow end up remaining, there appears to be a large core of angry and potentially violent people who will scream that they have been unjustly thwarted and want some sort of retaliation.

      As far as the situation in the US is concerned, I have virtually given up attempting to understand it. It is only because we are all affected by it in many ways that I pay it any attention.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understand Brexit even less, and the furor over it makes no sense to me.What was wrong with being part of the EU? To me it was a wonderful step forward towards a world government, which I see as a necessity for survival. But it didn’t take long to start having problems.
        Then el dumpo decides he needs to wall off chu ks of the world to protect the US, meanwhile he employs undocumented immigrants to work in his hotels and even his mansionesque home. (At least, this is what I read.)
        The human world is moving backward apace, and a large part of the people seem to want it that way. It is very perplexing to me. Species survival means all members of our species, and life survival means all living beings existing in symphonic concert.
        Can you imagine a symphony without violins, or horns? Neither can I!

        Liked by 3 people

        • Unfortunately, most people in the UK don’t understand Brexit, either. And that goes for both those who are meant to be negotiating our way into some sort of ordered Brexit and those who came up with all sorts of impossible nonsense to persuade the public to vote for it in the first place.
          There was nothing wrong with it other than the average amounts of incompetence and corruption you’d find in any sort of governmental set-up anywhere in the world. Its aims were co-operation in all fields for the benefit of all its members, but there are (or appear to be) huge numbers of people who are only happy at the thought of their own country being out on its own, even if that costs economic prosperity and risks security.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. There is undoubtedly a drift towards extremes at the moment, all over the world. Not just Europe and America, but also India, Australia…everywhere. The news in the UK yesterday was about 7 MPs leaving the Labour party because of deep disagreements over where it was perceived to be heading. Unsurprisingly, they were met with a mixture of support, triumphalism, and vitriol, depending upon the commentator’s political leanings. There is talk of a realignment of politics, of the old parties no longer being fit for purpose (although this is talk that happens now and again anyway), but I suspect that as a group that declares itself to be left of centre, they are doomed to disappear without trace. The changes I see happening are a polarisation of opinion throughout the whole population; those to the left moving further to the left, those on the right moving further to the right. The centre is being abandoned. And it is this that is giving rise to the strident, hate-filled rhetoric – those already so inclined see this move to the extremes as somehow legitimising their attitudes. I have my own ideas what is causing it, but I have no idea what the solutions are. Perhaps something particularly ghastly has to happen to shock everyone out of this mindset.

    Yuk!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your views mirror my own. I’ve written much about what I refer to as The Great Divide, whereby as you say, the left moves further left and the right moves further right, leaving a large chasm where once there were moderates. The roots, I believe, of what is called the ‘populist movement’, can be traced to two things: climate change and the Arab Spring … those two being connected anyway. And like you, I think it will require a cataclysmic event, whether natural or created by humans, to bring right and left together again, not just in my country or yours, but in much of the Western world. I refuse to speculate on what that might be, but sometimes late at night my mind goes there of its own accord.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, climate change and the Arab Spring play their part, but as I replied to Colettebytes here I think the origins of this lie in the fact that the west has not had any sort of major war for 75 years and there are very few alive now who really remember it. Therefore the awful consequences of going to war mean nothing to them and they have no fear of shouting ‘war!’

        Liked by 2 people

        • You are quite right! We fail, really, to learn the lessons of history because those lessons fade in importance with the passage of time. I remember, for example, my parents and grandparents talking of WWII and the Holocaust, and I grew up with memories nearly as vivid as if I had lived through it. But, though I talked to my children about it, they don’t have the same sense of horror that I had, and my grandchildren just rather roll their eyes when it is mentioned. With each passing generation it has less relevance, and so … we are destined to keep repeating the same mistakes. Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Yikes!!! Makes me feel sick.
    I am white (quite pale actually after a winter without much sun),
    sort of Christian (though not the church-going kind)
    and very EMBARRASSED!
    Reading this, I don’t really want to share any traits with those people!
    (Can’t change the colour of my skin, and my faith is probably so different from theirs that they would excommunicate me… but still!!)
    I am sad too, because Edmonton was the city my parents spent two wonderful years in in the 60ies (my dad as a post-graduate at the university) – one thing they always mentioned was the open-mindedness and gentleness of the Canadians… Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not to worry, Choosing, Most Edmontonians, most Canadians, are still nice, kind, accepting people. They rally around those who are singled out. They don’t go around telling others they are white, christian, and proud–they don’t think of themselves as under attack. But the vocal ones, the invaders, they are too present to ignore. They make everyone else look bad. Yet they can’t sign their own names. They are all cowards…

      Liked by 3 people

    • It IS sickening, and like you, I am ashamed to be pale-skinned. But, these people are the minority still … they just happen to be a loud and very obnoxious, toxic minority. It is important that we know about these incidents and that we stand up against them, but it is also important that we remember there are good, kind, gentle people in the world and it is those who are the majority. I have a number of Canadian friends that I have made through this blog (rawgod being one of them) and they are truly wonderful people. Unfortunately, I don’t think the world will ever be completely rid of evil, but we must keep fighting it. Hugs!

      Like

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