I suppose it’s not a big surprise that people who feel the most hatred or are the most violent are not the brightest people. But sometimes I wonder if there is a correlation between ignorance and anger. In America, people get angry at the wrong things all the time, because they not only don’t understand, but don’t even seem to want to understand – they just don’t care. And you’d think that when it comes to actual murder, you would want to be sure that you know who you’re dealing with. Unfortunately, as we’ll see, angry Americans tend not to double-check.
Last December, a 31-year-old woman in New York pushed a man in front of an oncoming train. She said “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers.” As it turns out, the man, Sunando Sen, grew up in a Hindu family. Regardless, the Twin Towers attack was not planned by Hindus. Unfortunately, many if not most Americans can’t tell the difference between some of the major religions outside the country. In fact Obama cancelled a trip to India in 2010 because it was expected that Americans wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Sikhs and Muslims.
Then the Boston marathon bombing happened, and Americans were justifiably furious, shocked and frustrated. They took out their anger on Twitter. An article from Global Post describes the confusion:
Americans please take note, Czech Republic is a once-troubled yet entirely peaceful ally tucked into the heart of Central Europe.
Chechnya is a restive Russian region that survived its most recent spate of bloody violence just a decade ago. It remains a simmering section of the Caucasuses, itself a swirling mix of ethnicities, cultures and language.
Please don’t confuse them, you’re really annoying the Czechs.
In short, lots of Americans were sending anger through messages on twitter against their allies from the Czech Republic. This is probably on par with mistaking Austria and Australia, or Slovenia and Slovakia, which apparently Americans also do, along with cities like Oakland (Germany) and Auckland (New Zealand). But the difference is that they sent lots of death threats and awful messages, without even realizing that what they were doing is categorically wrong and needlessly offensive.
I suppose more accurate than saying “angry Americans tend not to double check” would be the fact that angry people tend not to double-check… but angry Americans tend not to check in the first place.
It’s tiring having to write about so many things wrong with America – which has for some reason (for the first time on this site) been the topic of the majority of my recent articles – but the most recent one really disconcerted me. It happened very recently, after one of the most unbelievable verdicts I’ve ever seen in the ever-racist history of America.
That would be the case of George Zimmerman, who followed a black 17-year-old boy who was walking home – armed with an iced tea and candy – who soon found himself in a physical altercation which ended in the instigator killing the boy, who claimed that he acted in self-defense. The verdict was that he was not guilty, because apparently the jury of almost exclusively white women from Florida believed that Zimmerman – who got out of his car to follow the boy who had not committed any crime or did anything wrong, despite the fact that the police dispatcher he called to talk to explicitly said not to follow him – were not convinced that Zimmerman was criminally responsible for the boy’s death.
By now you probably know the name Trayvon Martin – the boy in the story – whose name will be included on the list of racial injustices committed in the “Land of the Free.” And as you can tell, I am frustrated by this case too. But that’s all the more reason why the reaction to this case is so ludicrous.
Let’s forget for now about the senseless violence of one person who hit a random waiter in the head with a hammer-like object - those people are just crazy. The ones who rioted at the “Men’s Wearhouse” store aren’t crazy, though. They’re just stupid.
Indeed, a violent riot happened in that store, in the city of Oakland (not the German city), because the angry people took it out on the the man responsible for the creation of Men’s Wearhouse. …Why? Because his name is “George Zimmer.” Not “George Zimmerman.”
This is only a very brief list, but these anecdotes are some of the biggest and most recent acts of idiocy that we can see from the United States.