Understanding the real America is important but for reasons few grasp. Those paid to explain and report on America, many nominally Americans themselves, live insular lives in New York or Los Angeles, etching out a living in lunatic fringe “hipster” society while pandering to the world, feeding audiences fluff and fakery.
Americans aren’t understood by other nations. This statement is important largely because, geopolitically, if people in a dozen nations are facing disease, poverty or even a violent death, America in some way, may well be responsible.
Saudi, Israeli or mobster cash pays American politicians and the American military has, for generations now, been the bully boys of the corporate mobs, doing their dirty work. Marine General Smedley Butler deals with this, for those who wish to follow this bent, Butler’s works, easily available, provide some of the needed backdrop.
The rest is unavailable, history long lied into obscurity and fiction. Believe none of it. Television occasionally gets it right, shows like Deadwood or Damnation or films like Goodfellas or Gangs of New York. Otherwise, ignore it all.
Today social networks describe Americans even to other Americans. The truth is darker. Social networks have been a breeding ground for domestic terrorists, stalkers, extremists and a national disease of professional ignorance. A Trump presidency and the various narratives that have come in its wake, the attacks on media, the Russia investigation, all are part of it. Why would the Russian’s want America? Can a media totally controlled by corporations that has lied for two centuries suddenly become “fake?”
Sometimes it’s the little truths behind the little lies that can set the tone. Let me explain. American’s were taught for generations to hate Jews, not because of their financial success, but rather because of their assumed Marxist beliefs. We could explain, try to make sense of this, provide some figures taken from the fake news but why bother. The entire concept is a construct of disinformation.
Debunking the big stories, the ones obviously hand-fed to deceive the public is a job more and more are taking on. No, Russia didn’t rig an American election, they can’t do it, the risk is unreasonable and the potential gains, as recent events have shown, are non-existent. Did others do it, like the CIA or Israeli’s?
Then again, are men groping women? Why are the women doing 99% of the complaining those women who adhere themselves to ugly but powerful men? Is the story as told totally false? Might it be true that the press cares nothing whatsoever about women other than those who target men the press also targets?
Worse still, are women with legitimate concerns being mixed in with human trash as part of a political agenda? This is most likely where a real story exists, but too often real stories debunk the press itself and are, thus, not “stories” at all. But let’s go elsewhere as promised.
I grew up in Detroit. My family has lived there for 235 years. We used to cheat the Indians or indigenous peoples out of their furs, Scottish traders working with the French. Little has changed, we simply steal different stuff from different people now, but we still live in and around Detroit, those very few of us that survive.
In America and around the world Detroit is hated, the “murder capitol of the world” we are told, decay and poverty. Last Saturday we visited downtown Detroit, along with tens of thousands of others, a town filled with restaurants, clubs, public parks, pristine new buildings and streets lined with high priced late model cars.
The real Detroit is a better visit than New York, London or Chicago, certainly better than Paris during the holidays at least. Parking is cheaper, food is better, more activities. We got our big “Detroit shock” this summer, visiting Belle Isle, which is Detroit’s answer to New York’s Central Park. Both were designed by the same folks, same time. Detroit’s is nicer, more used, safer, much safer than New York’s.
Yet, you can still find miles of Detroit in decay, abandoned war plants from World War II, neighborhoods that are more open fields than homes. There is poverty and homelessness. However, given the choice, on a holiday Saturday, Detroit is much better than Chicago.
The real Detroit is filled with new buildings, construction everywhere, things to do, a big party town with a central city containing casinos and the biggest athletic center in the world.
Then again, Detroit also has Jews, nearly a million of them, nearly as many Middle Eastern types as well, though many are Christians, and over 500,000 Hispanics. All live together in total harmony in vibrant commercial neighborhoods. They have, for generations, been partners in business in Detroit at least, where elsewhere in the world, such things are seen as impossible.
Why lie about Detroit, why indeed? Why promote disharmony, why trash the good things America does, which includes opening its arms to immigrants? You see, Detroit’s massive immigrant communities are politically conservative and highly self-regulating. All are heavily activist with strong commercial leaders.
These are immigrants that work, pay taxes and don’t end up in prison.
At heart, however, Detroit is an African-American community. That story is mixed, with strong community leaders accomplishing tremendous things and a history of others that is not so good. There is poverty and homelessness. There are gangs, there are shootings, there are areas that aren’t safe at all.
There are also those changing all of that and doing so with tremendous success.
You see, when immigrant money comes into America, Chinese cash or from Qatar or Korea, not all of it goes to California. Detroit gets its share because what is recognized is value. Value is people too busy working or partying to hate each other. Is it really that simple?
You will never see a documentary of a Detroit where you can safely walk miles, shopping, visiting restaurants and clubs, a downtown where “white money” flows in from the suburbs and racial lines that poisoned generations are nearly gone.
You could also visit the communities inside Detroit, Dearborn and Hamtramck, now nearly totally Islamic, crime free, children playing outdoors, vibrant community centers or the “Mexicantown” on Vernor, with its commercial districts and newly built homes in areas that were ghost towns only a decade ago.
The story isn’t about Detroit, the story is about lying. Why invent discord where none exists? Look around the internet, particularly at “YouTube.” You will see a frightening ghost town of Detroit and you will be faced with making a decision. The decision you make as an “out of towner” or not an American at all will be based on not so accidental lies. Locals flock into Detroit because it is a place to party, to visit theatres, to attend events, a place to enjoy.
The issue isn’t just that some might be a bit wrong but that they are so wrong, so utterly wrong and why they are wrong? America has problems, divisions, hatred for sure, but where does it come from? Are American’s being taught to hate by the same people who depict Detroit as a ghost town when, in truth, it is a city filled with new construction, new jobs, pristine highways, new bridges and friendly faces.
The lies about Detroit are the lies told about the world as well. Hell, Damascus, Syria is a decent town as well, great restaurants, good hotels, fine people and only light shelling anymore. Beirut is the same, better food, a showplace, Lebanon is a wonderful nation.
Visit Erbil or Tehran or Cairo, maybe Haifa too. Why is it so important to some that we fear and distrust each other?
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”