- Broken treaties with Indian nations
- Dark days of legalized slavery
- Overthrow of Kamehameha's kingdom
- Atrocities during the War Between the States
- Reconstruction's carpetbaggers
- Relocation camps of WWII
- Micromanaged mess we call the Vietnam War
That's one reason I'm so glad to be an American. Not what America did wrong: that, as an American citizen, my country made very sure that I knew what America had done wrong.
A Few Armenians Drop Dead, and They Act Like it's Some Big DealAround the start of the 20th century, a whole lot of Armenians stopped breathing, rather abruptly in some cases, in and around eastern Turkey. Scholars who study genocides give the Ottoman Empire credit for committing the first big genocide of the 20th century. More followed, making the Ottoman Empire a sort of international trend-setter.
Then, the Ottoman Empire collapsed. Turkey was a mess for a while, until Mustafa Kemal led the country into the current era of comparative peace and stability.
This is important:
- Survivors of the Armenian genocide, who witnessed what the Ottoman Empire did, say that what happened was a genocide
- Scholars who study genocides agree with them
- The Ottoman Empire collapsed generations ago
- Turkey was a mess, until Mustafa Kemal helped create the current government of Turkey
- Which is not the Ottoman Empire
So, Turkey blocked YouTube.
Think of it this way: If you're an American, and a YouTube video insulted (in your opinion) Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, or Harvey Milk, wouldn't you feel an impulse to block YouTube?
Maybe not. America doesn't operate that way, as a rule.
In Turkey, and elsewhere, it's different.
What started this post was a news item about a lawsuit:
"A father is suing the Turkish Education Ministry for forcing his 11-year-old daughter to watch a “racist” and “disturbing” film countering claims that Ottoman Turks committed genocide against Armenians in 1915 with graphic allegations of Armenian atrocities against Turks." (TimesOnline)
That's right, folks: "Armenian atrocities against Turks."
Like the Old South, where dark-skinned people did terrible things to melanin-deficient immigrants.
I'm Not Anti-Turkey, But: Let's Get RealI think that the post-Ottoman Empire government of Turkey, which isn't the Ottoman Empire at all, is not the worst national government in the world. By far. In fact, given the culture and history of the area, they're doing quite well. Sure, a few Christians get killed here and there (some were involved with printing Bibles, you see), and the odd journalist gets knocked off.
But I'm willing to assume that those incidents are part of what happens when a country is dragged across several centuries, into the the post-eighteenth-century world.
The refusal of Turkey's current government - which is not the Ottoman Empire - to recognize what the Ottoman Empire did to Armenians: that's something else.
But, I'm used to living in America. When we do something stupid, we admit it.
Then, we make learning about what we did wrong part of the curriculum for our educational systems: So we won't do it again.
- "'Towelhead,' 'Retard,' and Talking Sense in a Global Society"
(February 24, 2009)
- "Guinea, Military Rule, and Terrorism: Beware Hasty Judgment"
(December 29, 2008)
- "The New York Times, Insularity, and Assumptions"
(October 21, 2008)
- "United States of America: 232 Years in the Freedom Business"
(July 3, 2008)
- "Leaky Prisons, Air-Tight Internet: Yemen, Turkey, and the Islamic Way?"
(May 5, 2008)
- "Japanese Court, Okinawa, Kenzaburo Oe:
There's a Lesson Here"
(April 5, 2008)
- "YouTube Banned by Pakistan"
(February 24, 2008)
- "WWII and Japanese Americans, the War on Terror and Muslims: Learning the Wrong Lesson"
(February 15, 2008)
- "With Friends Like These, Does Islam Need Enemies?"
(January 22, 2008)
- "Is the War on Terror a War on Islam? Not Quite"
(December 8, 2007)
- "Turkey, Iraq, and Kurdistan"
(October 16, 2007)
- "Fried, Rice Talk Turkey"
(October 13, 2007)
- "Dead Armenians, Peeved Turks, and Congress"
(October 11, 2007)
- "Father sues Turkish Education Ministry over Armenian 'genocide' DVD"
TimesOnline.com (February 28, 2009)