Friday, September 24, 2004

TCS: Tech Central Station - Zell and the Converts

TCS: Tech Central Station - Zell and the Converts

This is a powerful argument that I agree with. I personally experienced this in my freshman socialogy class. Then I was a ROTC student, son and grandson of veterans, and generally proud of the nation that I lived in. Those facts have not changed, save that fact that I am now a vereran myself.

My class was lead by a woman and her Chinese national teacher's assistant. I took a second to say a few things about myself a moment before, and I should now say a few more things. I have no problem with foreigners or women in any way. Both groups make valuable additions to our society in whatever roles I'm aware of. Still, regardless of any way one chooses to classify people, some people have ideas that I disagree with. These two women are such people.

For one reason or another, the class began to focus on the negative aspects of American society. Fair topic for class discussion, to be sure, but it did sadden me a bit. The point that I got annoyed with, and I should point out that this was the spring semister of 1995 at Syracuse University, was when they started telling us how much better China was than the US.

Call me cooky on this one, but I have trouble accepting that. Tieniman Square was only 6 years earlier. I went on with other points and evidence. I was countered by roughly all but 3 other people in the class of roughly 30 with more evidence of evil from America's past; none of which was news to me. I'm aware that Hitler's eugenics was first thought of here. Noone is unaware of the plight of the Indian Tribes. Only a fool would ignore that slavery is in the Constitution.

My reply to that was that, starting with slavery, that it was also repealed in the Constitution. I continued with other evidence. Still, I had one major point. This discussion about the morality and honestly of the Government could not be held legally in China, and therefore any other argument was useless. We can fix our mistakes here, and at least talk about them without worring about a political prision.

That last comment received a chorus of comments. Still, again, we can talk about it here. We can write songs, (Bob Dylan's Hurricane I was alluding to). We have the ACLU. We have newspapers and TV. (The internet was not much of a force yet.) We have more options and freedoms here than they do there. Surprisingly to me, that point was argued too. It left me dumbfounded. How do you respond to that kind of ingorance?

I'm a Capitolist. I support our Democracy, not blindly, I have given it a lot of thought. This was especially true before I decided to put on a uniform, and put my life on the line for it. I freely admit that I could be wrong. This system may not be the best way, but like the saying goes, "it's a terrible system, but it's the best of the alternatives." I though before I spoke about these things. I didn't just repeat what was told me, like so many of my classmates sadly did.

Most sadly of all, was the way that people responded to me in that class. Let me start off by saying that at no point was my safety in question. My chance for getting dates from the pool of women in that class was certainly lessened. Although, quite nicely, my fellow voices of dissent (reason in my mind) were two women and one man; two freshmen boys and two female juniors. Nice semetry there. Anyway, they all seemed to dislike us. Their minds seemed to be closed to our arguments, and I believe (hope really) that I was making honest and fair (let alone logical) arguments. I know my mind was open to their opinions, as that is one of the reasons I took the class. They all just didn't see that logical intelligent people can disagree with them.

Oh well...

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