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Is America engulfed in a Cultural Revolution? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-8-21 17:05:47 |Display all floors

In the mid-1960s, a wave of anger and violence plunged China into chaos for years, during which many of the country’s cultural and historical artifacts were removed or destroyed. Recent racial tension in the U.S. has left many Chinese wondering if a country once known as the world's "Melting Pot" is undergoing its own Cultural Revolution, and perplexed over how such an eerily similar event could unfold in America.

The chaos in America is deeply troubling. The “American cultural revolution,” as it has been termed in some Chinese media, has all the hallmarks of China’s turbulent experience during the Cultural Revolution, one of the characteristics of which was two opposing factions, as symbols of America’s past, controversial to many but important to others, come crashing down, one after another. While it is a stretch to call the current situation a “cultural revolution,” there is no doubt great turmoil.

The hope is that America will be able to break out of this dangerous spiral of chaos. With the ideological person behind the White Supremacist movement out of the White House, hopefully America can get back to normal and be a bit more rational. Whether U.S. President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon’s departure will be enough to keep the U.S. from falling deeper into chaos remains to be seen, but it does prove that the country is trying to correct itself, and this is a positive sign.

But the current situation is worrying. Following the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, a statue on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was draped with a black hood. In Durham County, where Chapel Hill Town is located, two statues were vandalized. Protesters in downtown Durham toppled a statue, and then spit on and kicked it; and a statue at the entrance of Duke University Chapel was defaced and later removed. In response to Duke’s decision, a U.S. nonprofit organization that focuses on civil and human rights issues said “other institutions must follow” suit.

People all across America are stepping up actions to remove statues and change names of military bases, parks, and streets. From a Chicago pastor’s call to remove a statue of George Washington and change the names of two parks in black neighborhoods; to U.S Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s call to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol “immediately”; and to discussion over whether it is time to “blow up” the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, there is a push to get rid of at least some of the country’s cultural and historical artifacts, firing up white Americans who perceive it as a direct attack on their own identity. For these whites, the destruction is “cultural cleansing,” and they are “chased like rats on the street,” according to a Chinese article, for defending symbols of Confederate heritage.

In response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Trump declared that “there is blame on both sides” for the violent clashes, and wondered if tearing down Confederate monuments could get out of control. “Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Trump said. “So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down.” George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the president noted, were also slave owners. “I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?” Trump asked. “You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” he added.

Not long ago, Americans were praised for their tolerance of the history of the American Civil War, as enshrining senior generals and soldiers of the slave states period was thought to showcase America’s inclusiveness and greatness. But that illusion has been shattered. The deadly violence in Charlottesville showed that the nation is deeply divided. We will just have to wait and see where the country is heading now.

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Post time 2017-8-21 18:19:13 |Display all floors
Ha.

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Post time 2017-8-22 08:34:55 |Display all floors
Not long ago, Americans were praised for their tolerance of the history of the American Civil War, as enshrining senior generals and soldiers of the slave states period was thought to showcase America’s inclusiveness and greatness.


It was one of the earliest forms of 'political correctness'.  Kind of like how in little league softball teams have 'no losers'....'everyone is a winner'.....

All this was an effort to whitewash history.  To make slavery seen as less evil and those who fought to keep it were 'all good men too'.  It sends mixed messages.

The problem is we really haven't dealt with our past.  This country was built on genocide and slavery.  There are a lot of people who just can't deal with that.   If you're white you have to deal with the fact that your ancestors did some really evil stuff.  There is a sensitivity to that.  No one wants to bear the guilt of their ancestors.  So instead of acknowledging the evils, it all gets glossed over to make it seem not so bad.

We should learn from Germany.  The official position on Nazis is that they are evil.  There is no talk about honorable men among them.  There are no statues erected honoring the bravery of Nazis.  

By making this a clear official position, it helped Germany move on from their past and gain world respect.  The germans of today are not the Nazis of the past.  In fact, its illegal to even try.   What this does is allow Germans to move on without carrying the guilt of the past.   Americans are still carrying our guilt.  We just keep it stuffed inside and sometimes causes resentment.

At the core of all of this is white fragility in dealing with the past.   Part of this is to legitimize the racism that  originally caused all the evil.   Its like saying 'They weren't bad people, they were justified.'  And if the actors in the past were not bad people...well then there is no guilt to carry around.

So really our response to the confederacy did more harm than good.   Its too confusing to say they were good and honorable men.  Its just like with Trump's comments on 'both sides' to the Charlottesville violence.  White americans are fed up with being told they are bad people and/or racists.  So what we are seeing is a rebellion.  That rebellion is being led by Trump who capitalized off white resentment to gain enough support to win the presidency.

For the rest of us, these developments are extremely worrying and downright scary at times.  I am one of those.




  
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Post time 2017-8-22 11:10:13 |Display all floors


I find the analogy somewhat bold and misleading. Remember that China's so-called "C.R." was started by a single man whereas what you are witnessing in the U.S>A. is grassroots resistance against the man at the nation's top.

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Post time 2017-8-22 16:33:39 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2017-8-22 11:10
I find the analogy somewhat bold and misleading. Remember that China's so-called "C.R." was starte ...

re: grassroots resistance against the man at the nation's top.

Should be a piece of cake to pull the 'nation's top' as you call him from the wobbly podium

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Post time 2017-8-22 21:55:08 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2017-8-22 11:10
I find the analogy somewhat bold and misleading. Remember that China's so-called "C.R." was starte ...

You think this is all about Trump?

Think of all the people who voted for him or still back him now.  

I'm more concerned about those people.  Trump is just one man, but his 'base'  - they are the most disturbing.

  
Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.

                          -  James Bryant Conant

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Post time 2017-8-23 01:06:10 |Display all floors
This post was edited by JFenix at 2017-8-23 01:06

What Trump is promising his base is to make America White again.  He has capitalized off the fear of displacement.  Whites are becoming a minority in the country so Trump's efforts are an attempt to reverse that.  

He fuels hatred of the immigrant - but he's really only talking about non-white immigrants.  This hatred is leading to discriminatory policies and even violence.

He fuels hatred of muslims or anyone else who is non-christian.  How many times has he said 'It's Merry Christmas'?  The whole anger over acknowledging that not all people celebrate christmas - that some religions have their own holidays at the same time, for some reason causes hatred.  Trump is fanning those flames.

Its all about white-american prominence.  They are the good people and the rightful owners of the US.  Minorities are trouble-makers and criminals.  Immigrants are stealing your jobs and bringing in drugs and raping our women.

Trump did not start these feelings.  They were always there   He has just legitimized them.  Making it seem okay to have these feelings and express them openly.  He is like Milosevic.
  
Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.

                          -  James Bryant Conant

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