Sunday, May 21, 2017


Richard Johnson's comment about progressives in Europe criticising Americans for being racist seems equivalent to Atlanta lecturing those of us in New Hampshire about snow removal. Look how little snow they have on the streets!  All clean, completely under control!

When they have snow, they don't handle it well. So also, European countries where everyone looks like second-cousins are now having difficulties with immigrants.

It's not very different when it's one American region criticising another.  Vermont (or, ahem, New Hampshire) looks at Mississippi with disdain.  Mississippians, black, white,and whatever, have a harder job. If I had to join a mixed expedition to colonise Mars, I might join the Mississippi contingent.

Update:  Correction in the comments


RichardJohnson said...

Richard Johnson's comment about progressives in Europe criticising Americans for being racist seems equivalent to Atlanta lecturing those of us in New Hampshire about snow removal.

Either you misinterpreted me, or my writing lacks clarity, or both. I was trying to envisage how an American "progressive" would react to what Norwegians told you about "people who are moving here now."

As my previous statement was misinterpreted, I have modified it:

I wonder how "progressive" Americans would respond to such statements from Norwegians, about "people who are moving here now," given that among other things the "progressives" in the US are informing us that 1)Scandinavia does it better than the US (thus more "progressive" than the US) and 2)"progressives" are not "islamophobic." Norwegians, being more "progressive" than Americans, would be less likely than Americans to be "islamphobic." So how could they make statements about "people who are moving here?" Not supposed to happen in "progressive" Norway.

That is, I wonder how an American "progressive" would respond to hearing a Norwegian, who is according to the accepted narrative, a citizen of a more progressive, more enlightened country than the US, make a statement that could have come out of the mouth of a "deplorable" in the US.

Regarding a European calling an American a racist, I have never heard such an accusation personally, though I have come across it in various forms online. For example,I once read a comment that in 1860 there was no slavery in Europe but it took a war to get rid of slavery in the US. A simple reply is that Europeans brought slavery to America.

Regarding the "enlightened" views of Norwegians, I recall Bruce Bawer writing that one time when a Norwegian found out he was from New York, the Norwegian then called him a New York Jew- or something like that.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

My apologies. I may have read what I expected rather than quite what you wrote.

They may have been responding to cues I am not away of, recognising that I was likely to be a "safe" American to share this with. In Tromso, certainly, they know my son, who is from Romania and bitterly anti-communist (though he's not always entirely conservative in either American or Norwegian terms. He has some paranoia in him as well). Plus, he may have spoken about me over the years. Or something i said early may have cued them in.

But the people in Oslo or Bergen would have had to sight-read the cues. Maybe I'm a dead giveaway. There may also be an element of jumping either way depending on the response. Norwegians do lecture others, though not as much as Swedes. They make the "people who are moving here now" comment. If the American sympathises, they ramp it up a little. If it's "the other kind" of American, they have plenty of those in Norway as well, and they might take it as an opportunity to instruct a progressive.

How the American would take it I don't know. I am aware that there are many in Scandinavia who are objecting to the elites agreeing to more immigrants, and there is a rise in very nationalist parties. I don't know how aware American liberals are of that. Some of both, likely. I can certainly imagine a young American being flummoxed by the appearance of troglodytes in a center of enlightenment. But we are flexible in our explanations. A young liberal might rapidly attribute the comment to the speaker's age, or rural roots, or whatever seemed handy at the moment. It would take a succession of such comments before and real contemplation occurred.

I remember Bawer's name and read some things by him 3-4 years ago and liked them. I will have to seek him out again.

Roy Lofquist said...


I've traveled and lived all over this country in my 70+ years. I agree wholeheartedly with you about preferring the folks from Mississippi.