I could go on, and probably there’s a metric out there where the USA is #1. But I doubt reeling off metrics showing the USA isn’t the best is going to convince many.
But here’s another reason. Assuming your country is the best leads to complacency, which eventually leads it it not being the best country in the world. So even if your country is the best country in the world, pretend it isn’t and always strive to make it better.
Almost every time that something about Britain is mentioned online, there will be someone claiming that we all have rotten teeth. Seemingly unaware that British dentistry has changed over the last century; perhaps stuck with stereotypes learned from WWII soldiers stationed in Britain.
If you check, you will find that according to international surveys, British teeth quality (in terms of cavities) is actually quite good. The last link ranks the UK fourth compared with the USA’s ninth – it often seems that those saying the equivalent of “Ah! What about your teeth” seem to be Americans.
And we’re definitely not getting wooden teeth (just for once it’s a semi-relevant photo).
A fair few videos are popping up at the moment responding to a description of the Bamber Bridge incident. This post is mostly adding a few points from the British perspective.
US military authorities insisted that local British authorities impose a colour bar
The British pubs co-operated and stuck up signs saying “Black troops only” – which is obviously not what the US authorities wanted.
Well of course they did – under what kind of authority do the ‘US military authorities’ have to impose a colour bar? They are after all nothing more than guests in the country, so of course British pub owners would interpret it “perversely”.
It is nice to think that this is an indication that the British of the time weren’t racist. Wrong of course – Bamber Bridge is just a couple of hours away from Hartlepool where according to legend a ship-wrecked monkey was hanged for being a French spy. The British regarded themselves as better than anyone else (so just like everybody else then), but the presence of non-whites was very low especially in a small town without a port.
And besides, the British were told to be nice to visiting US troops and nobody mentioned that it wasn’t supposed to apply to non-white US troops. And of course there is sympathy for the underdog.
What Happened Afterwards?
At least the videos I’ve seen neglect to mention what happened after the incident. Except to say that many of the black troops were court-martialed.
But what also happened was that the general in charge (Ira Eaker) placed most of the blame on the white officers and MPs, merged the unit with other trucking units, and purged the new unit of racist and inexperienced officers. Which is supposed to have improved things considerably for black troops.
It is easy to assume that the British attitude during the incident means that the British aren’t racist. The fact is that black people were relatively rare in Britain during WWII and were most likely concentrated in the great port cities rather than a small village in rural Lancashire.
Immigration of black British from the colonies was strongly encouraged after the war, and with their arrival racism reared its ugly head. I would argue that the racism in Britain against black people was never quite as bad as in the USA, but I’m white, so what the hell do I know?
One of the most amusing (if you have a sick sense of humour) things about the debate between fans of the current US system (devotees of privatised health care) and those proposing a more rational and efficient system, is the whole “I don’t want to pay towards the care of another”.
Once you get past the level of selfishness approaching a sociopath, and think deeply about how insurance – any insurance – works, you realise something. People with private health care insurance are already paying for the health care of others because that is how insurance works.
The insurance company sets monthly premiums at a level they calculate will leave them with profit after all the healthcare costs and overheads are taken care of. Most of the people paying those insurance premiums are unlikely to ever use up those premiums on their own health care; those premiums are going towards the healthcare costs of those who do exceed the total value of all the premiums they’ve paid. And of course to fill the pockets of the insurance companies.
So the next time someone objects to “socialist” healthcare by saying that they don’t want to pay for the healthcare of others’, just point out that they already are.
Now I will freely admit that I’m no fan of Trump … nor the right-wing in general; neither the “moderates” (although one could question just how moderate the “moderates” are) nor the extremists. But with the latest shindig at CPAC, the Republicans have made themselves laughing stocks.
To deviate into the cesspool of christianity, the Trumpists are doing exactly what pissed off Moses so much – worshipping an idol :-
You shall not make for yourselves idols
Source: Leviticus 26:1
But if you insist of worshipping an idol at least have some aesthetic sense about it. A shiny gold statue? Tacky. Shorts made out of the flag? Not just tacky, but a breach of the US Flag Code. It’s laughable that a foreigner with dislike for rampant nationalism knows more about respect for the US flag than those ultra-nationalists.
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