Feedback: Culture no excuse for crime
July 3, 2008 · Updated 10:19 PM
As a college graduate with a fair knowledge of world history, I was surprised to learn, from an online letter by Mr. James Coats, that the world was proved to be round, spherical really, in the 1960s by the Green Berets! Ill have to pull out my old textbooks to figure out where I got the crazy idea that Aristotle, Eratosthenes and Magellan were somehow involved in this discovery. My Oak Harbor High School, Skagit Valley College and Georgia Tech history instructors have really let me down.
I shouldnt complain, without this lesson, the previous letter would have been entirely hateful rather than just 95 percent bigoted. It is good to see the author has expanded his usual anti-gay and anti-Islamic repertoire to include hatred for Democrats, liberals and the Hmong people. While I knew little of the Hmong before today, a five minute Internet search revealed them to be an artistic and hearty people who allied with the United States during the Vietnam War. Many Hmong moved to our country after that war due to the persecution they suffered at home. I seem to recall another group of people moving here in search of freedom, but perhaps my American history instructors were also misguided.
As much as I hate to do it, Ill grant the previous author the benefit of the doubt regarding his personal interaction with the Hmong. Ill note, however, that his interaction was 33 years ago and involved the Hmong in their native society rather than those who immigrated to the United States and have been peacefully living the American dream for decades. Id also add that there are many places much closer to home where in the 60s, 70s and today one can find culturally stupid behavior, senseless murders and even prostitution.
The Hmong shooting suspect, in Wisconsin, has lived in this country for 24 of his 36 years. While his native culture may have been a contributing factor to the shootings, Id hazard to guess that it was neither the sole factor nor even a major one. We live in a country where violence, mistreatment of women and reckless egotism are glorified constantly in the media and in reality. Perhaps this had something to do with the hunting incident?
Having said all this, I think it is time for me to go pick mushrooms in the mountains with my AK-47. Dont worry Mr. Coats, its okay. Im white, straight, Christian (or isnt Catholic good enough) and Ive been a citizen all my life.