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Phil was a combat veteran of Vietnam.

"I don't understand it," Phil would say.  "We used to shoot those monkeys out of trees."

Phil wasn't talking about monkeys.  

I don't know what Phil was doing before he was "shooting monkeys out of trees."  I didn't know Phil before he went to Vietnam. Maybe he always saw monkeys like other people looking at the chimpanzee in the NY Post cartoon saw what wasn't there.  Even an enlightened fellow like Keith Olberman saw what wasn't there.

More about xenophobic people.  Nothing about monkeys below the fold.

"Basques are very poor sheep herders," my father told.  "They are too much like Jews."

Seemed rather odd to receive that information even at a tender age.  I already knew there was a quota on Basque immigrants of 100 per year.  The Basques were brought into the country to herd sheep.

It took the Basques a year or two or three at miserable pay of lonely isolation facing gawdawful privation in often terrible weather to own their own herd.

Then more Basques were needed.

Maybe that was what Dad was getting at.

"The Basques are not like us Irish.  The Irish watch over the sheep but do not drive them so hard," said Dad.

Dad told often of the great sheep dog he had that would sometimes be gone for a day or two during a terrible snowstorm as Dad was driving his sheep hundreds of miles to new pasture.  

The dog was going back to retrieve a feeble old ewe.  The ewe couldn't keep up.  Finally the dog brought a leg from the ewe the dog had apparently killed to show he had done his best.  

Maybe if Dad hadn't been driving the rest of the herd so hard, the old ewe could have kept up.  Never know I suppose.

Truth be told, all those inferior people, even maybe we Irish, have enriched and enlivened the country  with their sweat and genius, and often with their disability and untimely death.  Indians might have a different vision of things but they never did account for much in this land of immigrants.

The Old Jail Museum in Jim Thorpe, PA, demonstrates the horrible conditions under which prisoners lived in another millenia.  The prison was closed in 1995.

At least once the prison doors were flung open to the street so the happy viewers, who couldn't get inside, could see framed Irish miners hanged in bunches.  The English mine owner had one of his supervisors killed and blamed it on the Irish miners selected as possible troublemakers.  The thrifty businessman saved two ways.  He saved on the wages of an unwanted supervisor and left a warning to troublemakers.

The audience no doubt richly enjoyed a great show.

We do not have to have lived in Pennsylvania in another century to enjoy a great show today.  The  handiwork of Sheriff Joe Arpaio is on diplay to any who will see and is mainly directed at another hated minority.The  handiwork of Sheriff Joe Arpaio is on diplay to any who will see.

As Lou Dobbs would doubtless tell you, it is the American way.  Why would anyone want to mess with a good thing?

Best,  Terry

Originally posted to terryhallinan on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 02:39 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Right here in Logan County, KY.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Duke1676, the fan man, luckylizard

    (during the Bush years)the Circuit Court judge indefinitely jailed, without charges, a group of Mexicans who were before her mostly for misdimeanor traffic offenses. She intended to keep them jailed until federal immigration agents got around to dealing with them. The District Judge let them go and issued a reprimand to the Circuit Judge for denying the right of habeas corpus. I wonder where she could have gotten the idea that it was an okay thing to deny habeas corpus?

  •  I migth be a slow Hispanic but I fail to grasp (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Duke1676, dot farmer

    your point.

    In societies where man is not part of the nature but separate entity the monkeys are seen as noble smart and wise, in essence the Men or nature. In societies were humans are part of nature, Men compete with the monkeys and so feel a need to debase them by calling everyone they dislike for "a monkey". truth be told the we all know the truth about our Origin  but Evolution makes humans compete with Other apes that is just asking for  a trash-talk against monkeys.

    the moment the "Indians" ceased to being competitors they become Noble.
    I remember reading a book about an English naturalist in 1800 talking about his visit to Ireland and he was referring to the Irish a Orangutans, "red apes" it is odd unless you realise that the English were colonising the Island at the time.

    ----- trash talking is a sign that you are seen as a competitor, it is a way of demystifying you a way of demythologizing you in the mental word of the competitors. just accept it, understand it and walk on.

    •  A Cow Is Sacred In India, Food In The U.S. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dot farmer

      I had no intention of saying anything about monkeys or evolution.  Maybe something about cow manure.

      Unlimited bigotry is akin to Einstein's infinity of stupidity.

      trash talking is a sign that you are seen as a competitor

      Yes but it is more - and less - than that.

      Fear of the outsider is a dominant primitive emotion that is inherent in all of us.

      In no other country is xenophobia more of a threat than in the U.S. since the country itself is based on an idea rather than race mythology.

      From the Know Nothings to today's Republicans, the threats to the Republic have always been with us.

      The Know Nothing movement was a nativist American political movement of the 1840s and 1850s. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to U.S. values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856, it strove to curb immigration and naturalization, though its efforts were met with little success. There were few prominent leaders, and the largely middle-class and entirely Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery. Most ended up joining the Republican Party by the time of the 1860 presidential election.[1][2]

      The movement originated in New York in 1843 as the American Republican Party. It spread to other states as the Native American Party and became a national party in 1845. In 1855 it renamed itself the American Party. The origin of the "Know Nothing" term was in the semi-secret organization of the party. When a member was asked about its activities, he or she was supposed to reply, "I know nothing."

      See here.

      Seems the Republicans have truly returned to their roots pre-Lincoln.

      Best,  Terry

      •  I have watched Impalas mercilessly bullying a (0+ / 0-)

        wrong coloured Impala because it having it around would endangers the rest because it would attract predators (the color was a bit lighter then the rest), the naturalist was explaining that even the mother rejected the kid.

        there is a reason why there is a uniformity in the color of groups of animals that herd together.
        a white Zebra would attract predators and allowing them to be part of the herd would mean a risk to others.

        nature is brutal that way, there is a reason why there are view albinos (that survive)in nature.

        uniformity is a survival strategy in nature and in human society were there is struggle for resources, there is a reason why there is more tribalism in hunter-gatherer-herder societies then in land cultivators.

        also designating someone or something as the enemy reduces the over all existential angst, you dont have to fear everything just one thing and as long as that thing is out of sight then you can spend living your life. (external enemy is often used to reduce the internal hostility within a group)

        these thing are evolutionary and the problem with Organizing principles like evolution and Gravity is that there is no end-point,and no governor,stopping things from being in effect past their stage of usefulness.

        our instincts have not been modified we are just better able to associate cause with action and effect.
        so we are just smarter animals, the problem with that is that we are at a point in our existence when we are a danger to life itself (big brain produced thermonuclear bombs).
        the same is with the organizing principles called gravitation," bigger attracts big" the problem with this is that you get super-massive suns that collapse inward to create black-holes, these are then consuming all mater and producing radiation so the universe became suicidal when it produced black-holes just like life became suicidal because there was no end-point to intelligence or a governing principle that would have altered our instincts to better fit our intelligence.

        Humans farther for being a prove that there is a god, a  governor they are actually a prove that there is no governor in nature. that things are in a course to a predictable end.

        •  Color (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dot farmer

          there is a reason why there are view albinos (that survive)in nature.

          But albinos have a damaging mutation quite apart from any need for camouflage.  Their extreme sensitivity to the sun lessens their chance for survival.

          Some animals can even change their color at will and many species are quite diverse in color in the wild.

          there is a reason why there is a uniformity in the color of groups of animals that herd together.

          But it is not uniformly true and is absurd in human society.

          The fallacy of race based on skin pigmentation is a relatively modern idiocy.

          Best,  Terry

  •  I'll bet there are many of us (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dot farmer

    who could tell similar stories.  I am a second generation American.  My grandparents came here a hundred years ago from Lebanon.  There was a time that I thought they were less tolerant than they should have been, but after reading your post and hearing other stories over a lifetime, I think they were pretty good.  

    Several years ago, an old Hispanic man, who was the father of kids from my grade school, told me that he always had good feelings for my family.  "Your grandparents always made us feel welcome."  There was no cultural connection between these people.  They just related as immigrants who happened to settled in the same town.  Maybe that's why I can't understand how people can treat others so shamefully.

    -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:42:10 AM PDT

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