Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Pollyanna States of America

There was a time when I really believed in grassroots movements. But as I got older, (and wiser), there's nothing grassroots about grassroots.

On the surface, this recent movement to remove all signs and symbols of the Confederate States of America appears to be an altruistic push to give black people a "friendlier" place to co-exist. But the truth is that you can remove all the statues you want, and you will still have racists.

But what it does do is make Americans forget about our past.

It actually does hurt me as a Japanese-American that my fellow citizens have largely forgotten about Japanese concentration camps here in the United States. Kids today are no longer taught about it in history classes.

But do Japanese-Americans feel more comfortable living in the United States, now that we removed all the evidence? No. Japanese-Americans are still being called, "Japs", "Gooks", and "Orientals". Americans still refer to Hondas and Yamahas as "rice burners" and "jap bikes". It's still not a comfortable place.

If anything, the fact that we've taken down all remnants of Japanese-hatred somehow has caused the opposite effect. Blacks and hispanics don't consider Japanese-Americans to be minorities anymore. Somehow, we are now maligned as being part of the "privileged".

Let's also remind ourselves that it was a Democratic President who gave the order to round up all Japanese Americans, seize their property and bank accounts, and imprison them in camps, for the simple belief that Japanese-Americans could not be trusted.

Yes, a Democrat, a liberal, a "champion of human rights", did this.

Do we really think that by removing all tangible evidence of the Confederacy we will create a friendlier America for Blacks?

Apparently, people are believing it.

I was responded to by someone who argued that the reason why such a movement is happening right now is simply because it is needed, and it is the right thing to do.


Keep in mind that liberals could have removed these symbols decades ago if they wanted to. But they chose not to. And why is that?

The Democratic Party chose not to do it under the Obama Administration because they needed Southern votes to get Hillary Clinton elected in 2016. They chose not to do it in previous administrations because the South was divided over their support for Democrats and Republicans. And well before that, the South had always been strong supporters of the Democratic Party. But things have changed so much recently in the Democratic Party that southerners have felt under-served and have since migrated to the Republican Party.

In addition, more blacks voted for Trump in 2016 than they did for Romney in 2012.

This is alarming to the Democratic Party.

The movement to remove symbols of the Confederacy is about the Democratic Party trying to reclaim the Black vote in 2018.

And yet, Americans actually believe it's some kind of grassroots movement that happened on its own, like some kind of magical, universal, love that grew out of the goodness of humanity.

And that's another thing.

It's not that these whites want to make blacks feel more comfortable with the country they live in, but because they want to make themselves feel better.

But again, it hurts me to think that Americans want to forget about history.

I don't want anyone to forget about what happened to Japanese-Americans in World War II. I don't want anyone to forget about what America did to native tribes across the the continent, and I don't want anyone to forget that Blacks were enslaved in this country. I don't want the truth to be forgotten.

Grassroots movements don't just happen by themselves. They are orchestrated by very powerful political parties, who have alliances with media outlets. And this is both on the left and the right.

And everything is this way.

I majored in music when I attended college. I learned that songs reach the Top 40 charts because of the influence of the record labels, not because people actually like the songs. Products that reach nationwide distribution get there because of the influence of big brands, not because consumers actually want them.

Do we actually believe the Patriot Act was about protecting Americans, or about giving the federal government more power to monitor us? Was Obamacare about extending health insurance to more Americans, or about giving insurance companies more subscribers? Was the outlawing of marijuana about protecting Americans from drug abuse, or about protecting Big Pharma from competition?

People, don't be so stupid!

We are still a nation of Pollyannas.

Of course racism is wrong. But signs and symbols are not racist. They are just signs and symbols. They are merely reminders of where we came from, and why we shouldn't go back.

If you want to remove racism, then do what Germany is doing now, and imprison people for simply having a belief.


  1. To me you are just Steve, or Highway. When we met I never thought about your racial background, you were just a high milage rider that wrote about your travels. WW2 never entered my mind.

    Met Sash and that is who she is, the girl with pink hair. But, I found out she had a label also. That is where the disconnect comes into play in this country. Everyone has to be labeled and if a known label does't match you they make up a new label.

    As long as there are labels and perceived notions about what that label stands for there will be varying levels of us and them. All of the protests lately are with groups that want their label to be the most important and the one who makes the most noise gets the most attention. I prefer to only use one label....human.

    It would be a better world if we would all just be human and flush all the labels!

  2. The internment camps are a big part of what makes us Japanese-Americans. I still and surprised to run into people who had never heard of them before. All aspects of your post is right on.

  3. I somewhat agree with the above poster.

    Motorcycles are an equalizer. Everyone is the same (or similar) when riding. People who would not normally interact with a person different than themselves are all of a sudden engaged in conversations about horsepower and ride planning and waterproof gear.

    A person can remove themselves from others--from interacting with society--by identifying one way or the other. In America, there's nothing wrong with identifying as an American; but even that moniker is being attacked as wrong by those who seek to harm this great country.

    I say we stick to more of that.

  4. And welcome were missed, brother.


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)