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Excellent post, Ray. Carefully crafted.

Great work.

Thanks for the great article :D.

My suggestion? I would like to see them do a thorough debunking of the "9/11=CIA=Bush=Mossad" bulls4it with the obvious facts:

This whole controversy is based upon a notion (something I've never seen proven) that some 5,000 Jews were absent from the WTC the day of the disaster, therefore it was all a conspiracy.

The elephant in the room is that there were 50,000 people who were not there, not a mere 5,000.

Why?

Attend: The WTC had something on the order of 75,000 permanent employees who worked in the Twin Towers, and several thousand business visitors, tourists, etc in the Towers at any given time. That was the reason the early death estimates from the news media were so seriously blown out of proportion.

The first plane, AA Flight 11, struck the North Tower at 8:45 AM EST. After that, no one else was admitted into the WTC area.

Once the evacuations were completed, it was estimated that some 25,000 people were safely evacuated from the Twin Towers.

25,000?

With about 3,000 dead?

Uh... 25,000+3,000 do not add up to the 75,000 who should have been there. 50,000 people are unaccounted for.

Why?

Because the once the attack started at 8:45, no one else was allowed into the area.

The remaining 50,000 people were not due at work until 9:00 AM or later.

This is the obvious thing that is so very obvious that makes a lie of this preposterous conspiracy theory.

Yet this preposterous theory still runs rampant in Europe and the Middle East.

Isn't it about time someone paid attention to a little bit of sanity about this?

RayD,

You are proposing some very dangerous things.

While I agree if SPON really wanted to be balanced and fair, they would in fact follow your example.

Assuming for a minute they did, I am of the firm belief they would do little to change public opinion. The differences are just too many and too great to be bridged. Sad as this is.

Ya well...I'm agreeing with Joe. I appreciate the things pointed out on this blog, but as a way of understanding part of what's going on in Germany. You don't change most people's minds by confronting them and arguing at them.

Germany's had it pretty good for a long time. Partly from postwar hard work, and partly from American largesse. That's going to change in the coming decades. You can make all the intellectual arguments you want that it's not, but when it does change, then and only will large numbers of people change their outlook.

But having blogs like this is good. When people are ready to listen, the internet will be here to fill in the blanks. Unless the UN gets their grubby hands on it.

Ray makes an excellent start with his suggestions for the German print media, but even if followed they would hardly make a dent in the anti-Americanism here in Germany. Anti-Americanism has become an integral and pervasive part of German life. Some of the major venues include:

1. The major print media. Ray points out many of the problems there so I won't go on about it. I note however that he only implicitly mentions the selection bias in German reporting on the U.S., though I believe he wrote a detailed article on the subject a few months ago.

2. The minor print media. The local German newspapers are prime sources of some of the most hysterical anti-American reporting in Germany. In contrast to the major publications, practically no one outside of Germany reads the local German newspapers so they do not need to fear any criticism. This results in articles and commentaries that would make Spiegel and its ilk look positively pro-American. Believe it or not, I have actually seen anti-American obituaries. And I can indeed prove it.

3. German television news. Generally, the points Ray makes about the major print media apply here as well. In this case, however, one must add the ridiculously biased stories from Germam reporters in the U.S. along with the spittingly poisonous tone and sneers used by German reporters on German television when discussing the U.S.

4. Documentary films involving America. This varies a little more as a documentary film that portrays America positively occasionally slips into the mix. For the most part however, the documetaries one sees on German television are little more than anti-American propaganda films. Especially disturbing are the documentary films about WWII. More and more, the subject of these films has been drifting away from the German actions in WWII. Many of the films I have seen over the last ten years portray the Germans more as victims than aggresors. And primarily victims of America at that. Russian actions at the end of the war are sometimes mentioned but usually glossed over.

5. Television talk shows. I rarely watch these but do occasionally run across a dicussion involving the U.S. while channel surfing. I have to say that the discussions involving the U.S. are generally quite civil as all participants and the audience always seem to universally agree that America is a bad place. Just a few nights ago I saw some second rate German actor (that could of course be just about any German actor) moaning about the death penalty in the U.S. They talked about the state executing human beings but forgot to mention that the human beings in question are convicted murderers.

6. German radio. All of the above applies, but also includes callers who are allowed to vent their hysterical anger at the U.S. without challenge.

7. The academic lecture circuit. As is the case in the U.S., German universities have a lecture circuit in which "specialists" in certain areas are invited to give lectures and lead dicussions. The lectures involving U.S. domestic and foreign policy are invariably biased and negative. But that doesn't cover it. I have seen lectures about subjects that had nothing to do with the U.S., in which the lecturer felt compelled to make irrelevant and gratuitous negative remarks about America. I have also seen a lecturer who completely dispensed with the topic he was ostensibly going to discuss and instead spend 90 minutes psychoanalyzing Bush and the Republicans (and not in a good way).

8. The selection of reading material in German bookstores and libraries. Go to any German bookstore or public library and you will find books by Michale Moore and his ilk, books praising Bill and Hillary Clinton, books spouting conspiracy theories about 9/11, books critical of the Nixon and Reagan administrations and books critical of U.S. foreign and domestic policies. In addition, the public libraries I have seen usually have a substantial collection of books that just gush about the wonderful kennedy family. You will not find any alternative opinions. The marketplace may drive the selection in the bookstores but one would expect more from the libraries.

I could go on in detail but I am tired of typing. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has noted additional sources of anti-American bias within Germany.

@beimami:
"I would be interested to hear if anyone else has noted additional sources of anti-American bias within Germany"

Sometimes the bias borders on the humorous. Beate Uhse's sales of dildoes plunge due to Bush. Read the quote from Vorstandssprecher Otto Christian Lindemann here

Hmmm. Something strange with the link I provided. Try:
here

@ Mamas
> My suggestion? I would like to see them do a thorough debunking of the "9/11=CIA=Bush=Mossad" bulls4it with the obvious facts

Unlikely, at least in the near future. Their last title story where they debunked this bullshit is just about two years old.

http://service.spiegel.de/digas/servlet/epaper?Q=SP&JG=2003&AG=37&SE=58

@QuagmiredInTheBRD

Good link. There apparently isn't anything in this world that Bush isn't to blame for. If Beate Uhse can't make it in the U.S., Bush is to blame. I even recall seeing an item about a year ago that in essence blamed the seceond world war on Bush. Well, the article actually asserted that his grandfather may have had business dealings at one time or another with the Socialist German government of that period, but I got the drift.

So sorry that you are quagmired here. I have been quagmired for twenty years, but I have served my sentence and will be parolled very, very soon.

It is also true for university life. The professors sometimes are quite skewed at their Anti-Americanism. When some time ago I was at the economics classes at certain German university, a professor had made statement (the subject of the lesson was the effects of government policy on economy), that the best example of increasing the government spending, in order to boost economy, is how "Bush stared a war"…

--. If you are willing to publish something on the United States in German, you should be just as willing to publish it in English, and vice versa. Don't try to engage in selective translation or two-faced pandering. Make sure your translations are accurate and complete.--

How Arafateque of them.

--

You guys could be really subversive and listen to American talk radio via the net. Or podcasts during lunch.

Rush starts at 11 AM CST and you can go to wlsam.com and click on "listen live."

@beimami: You hit all of the points I would have brought up and then some. Agree that the problem is more ingrained and institutionalized than one that can be solved even by following Ray's advice.
I especially liked your "spittingly poisonous tone and sneers used by German reporters on German television" remark, especially since I wager more Germans get their news fix from the telly rather than newspapers or news weeklies. Every time I hear Slomka even start to make any statement about the US, I just turn it off. Like you said, poisonous, sneering, morally superior... I don't need to watch that anymore.
And she's not even the worst one.

I wonder how our smug German media friends are taking the election results from the Great White North.

I noticed that SPON has not reported the results at all. Stern has a small piece on it.

England reelects Blaire, despite "massive pressure" from the British left. Holland, Denmark and Italy have gone conservative. Poland just elected a conservative government. And even Germany has chosen to have a conservative chancellor after smoke room wheeling and dealing that would make a Chicago alderman blush.

Maybe the worm is starting to turn. It goes to the comment that one of our readers made, that when Germany speaks about Europe, it only means France, the Benlux countries and Scandanavia. England, Italy, Poland and Spain are still only provisional members of Europe.

Is Germany becoming isolated from the rest of the world?

@beimami

Well written post.

Over the years I noticed the "crock-umentries" about America are usually focused on the lowest common denominator of our society. It makes for a cheap laugh or light entertainment, but the constant bombardment reinforces the negative steryotype of the "fat, dumb, racist Americans."
I stopped watching TV about a year after 9-11 to keep the blood pressure down. Also noticed how Israel is demonized on almost everything without any mention of sources.

Point 8: I travel alot on business and spend alot of time in airports & train stations across Europe. I noticed the piles of Michael Moore, Clinton, Al Franken, etc.. books from about every leftist hack with an ax to grind, but you will not find one copy of a conservative author in the shop. No dissenting publications to be found at all. Some local books were not available in English, but the covers sometimes told me what I needed to know (American flag draped with swastikas). Heathrow was the worst so far-- counted about 100 anti-Bush or anti-American books while waiting for a flight in one of their shops. I've yet to meet any European who has heard of Ann Coulter or even William Buckley.

@Ray D

Like you blog and thanks for providing this forum.

When an uneducatd street thug with possible RAF terrorist ties can become forigen minister without any media interest or investigation, I think it display what an ulimate propaganda organ the german media has become. I would say the same about parts of the US media in its relationship with the democratic party. Agenda driven, not factually reporting driven. However blogs, like this one, are threatening the monopoly the gate keepers of information [traditional media services] have and they are worried. Just ask Dan Rather.

Keep up the good work.

@Sandy P.: "Rush starts at 11 AM CST and you can go to wlsam.com and click on "listen live.""

..Or use the good old-fashioned radio in Germany: AFN-AM radio beginning at 18:00 CET. Radio frequencies can be found here

Ray, I know nothing about you personally. If you aren't already doing so, you should be working for a print publication and making money doing this.

By the way, for anyone still interested in the Ms. Brochhagen saga, she e-mailed me back and apologized. It took 5 days, but she did finally write back.

@beimami:
"Believe it or not, I have actually seen anti-American obituaries. "

That I have to see.

QuagmiredInTheBRD's Beate Uhse article link is great, as it covers several different standard howlers of the antiamerican reporting arsenal.
'Große Zeitschriften hätten keine Anzeigen mehr von Beate Uhse entgegennehmen wollen, so dass die Kundenkartei nicht wuchs. "Was unter Clinton ging, geht unter Bush noch lange nicht", sagt...'
(Major magazines no longer accepted Uhse ads, causing lack of growth of the customer base (client list, really). "What was possible under Clinton, isn't possible under Bush by a long shot", says [the board spokesman])

1. So Bush controls the media with an iron grip as to what ads they can display. Personally, I can't think of anything Uhse sell that you could in fact advertise in a major magazine.
2. They are giving up after 5 years. How exactly can they contrast their ad acceptance and sales problems now to those of the Clinton era?


I've just opened my first 'Labatt Blue' since 2003 to celebrate my Canadian neighbor's regime change yesterday:-)

It will be a while, however, before I'll purchase a 'Becks' or any commercial German beer sold here because of the injustice done to Robert Stethem by the curious release of his murderer. It's a pity because I love German beer, but my patriotism outweighs the desires of my palate.

About the "fat, dumbass, American" stereotype conveyed by the Euro-media: They focus on the underprivilidged segment of our population, and it is to my understanding that 'Jerry Springer' is more popular on that side of the Pond than here? That the media does this - left-wingers mostly - clearly demonstrates typical buegerlich leftist hypocrisy with their platitudes of looking out for the "little guy" and downtrodden folks. The Caucasoid underclass in America is the favorite target of the PC commissar cabal here and abroad. They all need to read Jim Goad's "A Redneck Manifesto" to get a grip on themselves and their own prejudices.

Besides, would some have us all believe that German/French/Italian plumbers, carpenters, steelworkers and food service workers sip schnapps and discuss Kant's categorial imperative on their dinner breaks while listening to Mozart??

Forgive me.
Or not.
I have written to my own exhaustion about the societial function that anti-semitism and anti-americanism serve. The very first premise is that they serve a function and are not an irrational dynamic. No one here so far has commented on the lede paragraph:
it is not coincidentally that anti-American attitudes connect lighting fast with anti-Semitic attitudes.

Until the pathology of guilt, shame and impotence is confronted in no uncertain terms, Germany and Europe are lost.

And, to add to the accretion of anecdotal horrors: I have never been to Germany, but I have casually encountered Germans here in the U.S., commonly in a shopping environment.

A few days ago, Pentagon City Mall (literlally across the street from the Pentagon, and one of the more affuluent malls in the U.S.). Jan. 21 was my husband's birthday and I was in a card store looking for a card. Found it. Went to the cash register. A woman about my age (mid-50) and a younger woman who may have been her daughter were in line in front of me.
The cashier was a black woman about 20 years old.
The two women I discerned were German when they searched through their handbags muttering "kein geld?"
They found the money and I checked out afterwards. On my way out of the store they were looking at something and I heard the word 'nigger'. I stopped dead and just stared at them. The older woman smiled and said in English "We're trying to remember what you call them (pointing to the cashier). Is it 'nigger' (short 'i') or niger (long 'i') - our English is not that good".

I cannot tell you how disgusted I was. So. I told them "I think your prounciation needs help. Kommen Sie."

We walked back to the cash register. I told the cashier "These ladies would like to know if you are called 'nigger' or 'niger'.

Suffice to say 2 German visitors to the United States were escorted off the property.

It was one of the best moments for me ever.
Consequences.

I should also like to add that when they were told to sit down and wait for security to arrive, they obeyed orders.

No, I'm not pissed. Much.

@Pamela:
"On my way out of the store they were looking at something and I heard the word 'nigger'."

In all fairness to the German visitors, the word you probably heard was Neger which is not necessarily pejorative. The primary definition of Neger is "negro".

What I find most astonishing is that Germans and other continental Europeans think that Americans care what Europeans think. In fact, aside from the occasional late-night TV joke about French cowardice, there is practically no mention of Europe here in California. Moreover, the de rigueur summer trip to Europe also seems to have vanished. Then again, California is only a small part of the U.S. with about 30 m people.

@Buckeye Abroad
>> "Also noticed how Israel is demonized on almost everything without any mention of sources."

I long ago stopped talking to German Lefties about Isreal. They can carry on a heated conversation about Bush or the Iraq war, but only when they speak of Isreal do their lips begin to quiver and their nostrils flare.

@PacRim Jim
Actually, many Germans (especially the elites) know very well that Americans don't give a hoot about what they think or do. And that goes a long way toward explaining their antipathy toward the U.S. -- and especially toward Bush. Clinton was different, he appealed to their bloated sense of self-importance by telling them how civilized and intelligent they are.

@othercoast
Give me your email address and I'll send you a classic.
ami@beimami.com

@Pamela
Just to make QuagmiredInTheBRD's point crystal clear...
"No, I'm not pissed. Much."
Go be pissed at yourself a little bit, then. Those women now have a travel-in-the-USA anecdote to tell about how some @#$%& turned their vocabulary question into a public embarrassment. As pointed out, they said "Neger", German for "negro" (neither a slur - though Neger is a bit less outdated than negro). And they couldn't remember the english word, remembered hearing "nigger" a long time ago, and with that in mind, were trying to anglicise it Neger. You looked like a helpful person to ask.
What made you think that they could possibly be smilingly asking for help with pronouncing a racial slur? Why would them getting a word wrong not seem to be the more likely explanation, given that they were FOREIGNERS, ASKING ASBOUT WHAT WORD YOU USE?
(On the other hand, if they had asked about 618-Euro-jobs (i.e. minimum wage), I would have believed that an offensive statement was coming up.)
I wonder if they managed to communicate with "security" - I'm amazed they stuck around for that.
Cue the hungarian phrasebook sketch.

>>"In all fairness to the German visitors, the word you probably heard was Neger which is not necessarily pejorative. The primary definition of Neger is 'negro'."

I haven't lived in Germany regularly since the 70's, so am not up to date on all the latest nuances of the language. However, I do know that, before I was banned from the SPON forums for life for daring to criticize the editors a few years back, I was demonized and lectured by the politically correct crowd there for daring to use the word "Neger." Here in the US the professionally virtuous change the proper word or phrase every 20 years or so to make sure they don't run out of things to be morally superior about.

BTW, anyone who weeps and moans that David is a terrible tyrant for occasionally enforcing his comment policy should visit the SPON forums. Another good suggestion for SPON might be to lose their stable of anal, condescending, god mini-me Sysops. Then again, they are very good at "promoting good trans-Atlantic relations" by banning American commenters who might actually give the resident moonbats a clue that not everyone in the world thinks exactly like the editors. I know from personal experience.

@Sandy, Quagmired - Besides the "listen live", is there a podcast program you can recommend to me?

About the real Beate Uhse mentioned above.

She just recently passed away. I believe she was in her early nineties.

She was Germany’s answer to Emilia Erhart during the 1930s. She owned several world flying records. She became a favorite woman of Adolf Hitler and was welcomed into Hitler’s inner circle, much like the director Lenie Riefenstahl. Eventually, she became Hitler’s private pilot.

During the war, she married a Luftwaffe officer and advocated for women to serve in combat with the Luftwaffe. Towards the end of the war, she crashed her airplane and was severely burned. She also lost her husband in combat towards the end of the war.

After the war, like Lenie Riefenstahl, she had to start over. She was not that far up the Nazi food chain that she was prosecuted for any crimes. However, her burns left her with a “Nickie Laude” face. Much like Nickie Laude, the former Austrian Formula One champion, whose face was badly burned while racing, Uhse decided to get in the Pimp business. Laude founded Laude Air, which is in Vienna. Laude Air flies Euro-perverts to Bangkok for little boy/ little girl rendezvous. Uhse got into hard core porn. She made millions importing and exporting Swedish porn films and Taiwanese dildos.

@George M - "Is Germany becoming isolated from the rest of the world?"

What you are seeing is that the elite of the European Union is still a bit haunted by the Caesar complex of Charlemagne, whose reich happened to be identical with the German-French-Benelux group of countries you singled out.

When Jean-Claude Juncker of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg received the Karlspreis, he put it this way:

"Es ist im institutionellen Leben Europas wie in der Tierkunde auch: Ein Floh kann einen Löwen zum Wahnsinn treiben. Es ist aber kein Beispiel überliefert, dass ein Löwe einen Floh zum Wahnsinn getrieben hat."
("The institutional life of Europe is like zoology: A flea can drive a lion into madness. But there is no precedence of a lion having driven a flea into madness.")

It is amazing to see which species of all these would-be aristocrats chose to describe themselves.

Oops, fix of the broken link: ...he put it this way...

Helian: I agree with you about the "professionally virtuous", for example "black" vs. "African-American". However, the word "nigger" has a long history in the US, to the extent that the definition of the word itself is racist. I try not to have my opinions formed by people I have no regard for.

...to be clear, I didn't mean you, that didn't come out quite right. I meant no regard for the "professionally virtuous".

Sorry to take so long to respond. I actually have a job some days.

I think what I observed would have been made clearer if instead of using the word 'smiled', I used 'sneered'. Because that's what it was. I have lived in this area for 18 years and am quite accustomed to assisting foreign tourists. This was not an encounter about an English lesson. That woman's intent could not have been plainer. White Americans are racist and and they were snickering about it.

This is not the first time I've had to deal with this attitude. I've written here about a young man from the Netherlands who just about went into shock when he saw me and our black neighbor give each other a hug. He remarked "Well, I guess race relations have improved" or something to that effect.

I wanted to ask if he expected me to lynch the entire family.

That woman in the mall intended an insult and the insult was taken. The cashier (who turned out to be from Ethopia) was also under no illusion by the time she got done talking - more listening - to this paragon of European moral superiority. She did not take kindly to being asked if her wages were lower than those of white employees.

I hope those women do take that story back to wherever they came from. I hope people who hear it just might start thinking that it's not terribly bright to visit a country and start randomly disparaging its people to their faces.

And I could give a rat's ass about the impact on the opinions of Americans held by people with the social scruples of slugs.

>>"Helian: I agree with you about the "professionally virtuous", for example "black" vs. "African-American". However, the word "nigger" has a long history in the US, to the extent that the definition of the word itself is racist. I try not to have my opinions formed by people I have no regard for."

True, although the word seems to be making a comeback among blacks themselves, and its use in novels such as "Huckleberry Finn" does not invariably mean that the author was an evil racist, in spite of the occasional efforts of the book burners among us to have it removed from school library shelves. For that matter, in spite of my snarky remark, I can resign myself to using seven syllables instead of one for the same thing in this case considering the historical context.

Well ya, I think it started mostly with Richard Pryor. Except that subsequent usage doesn't seem to show quite his level of insight. I haven't figured out exactly what people are thinking, or emoting, or whatever. It seems similar to "queer" and "redneck" to a lesser extent. But I don't understand it.

@George M - Are you implying Beate Uhse had a political agenda? Any more than Wernher von Braun? I think all she wants is selling adult toys, or has she sponsored a frivolous lawsuit in Alabama? Do you think she should print on every item "toys can be bought but love can only be given", or design the products accordingly to imply that message?

@othercoast
>>I wonder if they managed to communicate with "security"

There is no need to place the word 'security' in quotes. Who do you think summoned security? Me?
No. It was the store manager who was so disgusted she resorted to it.

Once security arrived - in the person of a young, white female - the manager told these two women as accurately as I can recall

"We don't speak to people like that here. We don't treat people like that here. Do not come in here and insult our customers and our employees. You are not welcome in our store. This young woman (the security guard) will be called again if you try to come back. If you would like to return your purchases for a refund, that's fine. But you are not welcome here. Ever."

I realize the way I initially wrote this was not terribly helpful. Mea culpa. But the whole event was so repugnant I don't even know how to write about it. I tried to give it some time; emotional distance' but obviously did a really lousy job of it.

Richard Pryor/Chevy Chase - SNL

Classic.

Dead honkey.

--

I don't have an Ipod so I can't help, the only thing I can suggest is to visit the sites and click on a host's website.

I can recommend Hugh Hewitt, the Northern Alliance - Michael Medved is very, very thought-provoking, he's on now 2-5 PM CST on AM 560 Chicago.

I know Rush podcasts but I think it costs $.

If more evidence is needed that I'm still too close to this to write about it coherently;

I forgot to tell about the store manager. A woman about my age - mid 50s -

Korean.

>>"If more evidence is needed that I'm still too close to this to write about it coherently; I forgot to tell about the store manager. A woman about my age - mid 50s -"

According to Plato, you should always wait until you are ice cold calm before punching someone in the face, Pamela.

@FranzisM

"Are you implying Beate Uhse had a political agenda?"

No, not at all. I suspect that most Americans and possibly, most Germans under 25, have no idea who Beate Uhse was. Just like Werner Von Braun, she lived a colorful life. The purpose of my posting was to inform people. I do not judge her or people who use her products.

However, Laude Air is another matter. Germans and other Europeans are quick to judge Americans for "torturing" terrorist and other alleged human rights abuses. I don't understand the European mentality that it is OK to take an organized tour from Vienna to the Orient in order to sexually exploit little boys and girls.

@Helian
>>According to Plato, you should always wait until you are ice cold calm before punching someone in the face, Pamela.

Thank you for an admonition that is more gentle than I deserve.

If you guys want to get more edumacated, there's a blog called "Eye on the UN" IIRC.

There's also NGO Watch, IIRC.

Maybe David and Ray might want to check them out and add to blogroll.


@Pamela:
OK, you were there, I was not. I guess you can see that I would interpret what you wrote the way I did - I certainly accept that those (based on what you saw/heard but did not describe) the situation was as you considered it.
(I put security in quotes because I meant that they could hear that security was being called, and/or were being told to wait for security - in their palce, I would have taken that as a hint to depart.)
I take it that these women said more to that effect? (I assume they did more than sneer once) What did they say to the clerk, manager, or security?

Speaking of speaking - don't get the average German enraged, many "know" from Langenscheidt's german-english dictionary that"f@%&ing" means "verdammt" (like "damned" or "damn it", but not considered quite as rude). So when they mean the latter, they say the former. Ever so charming.

@othercoast
>> I guess you can see that I would interpret what you wrote the way I did -

Indeed I do. I fucked up big time in conveying what happened. I don't fault you for taking me to task on the basis of what I wrote.

>>What did they say to the clerk, manager, or security?

This is the time I wish I were a better writer. Please bear with me.

I am exiting the store thinking of nothing else but my husband's birthday. I know I have checked out after two women who are apparently German based on my 30 year old knowledge of German (kein geld)

I hear a word - 'nigger' - and I stop. The older woman (about my age or older) - and here is where I would alter my original post -'sneers'. She put her finger in my face and she laughed. The younger woman who was with her - I am speculating a daughter because of physical resemblance - was silent. This is where the 'nigger' vs 'niger happens.

"What do you call THEM?" pointing to the cashier. And she laughed. And she wagged her finger.
The store manager was 2 feet away from the cashier wrapping something or other for another customer. She caught something was up. But I didn't know that then. I also did not know that she was the store manager.

When I took these women over to the cashier, I must say they had the grace to be embarrassed. The question about wages was launched pretty much as a best defense is a good offense. They were not prepared for the blowback. The cashier said "I came to America for a reason" and promptly deserted her post.

The store manager. unbeknownst to me, had already called security. What she did do in my presence was to ask these ladies " Please don't move. Come here" (indicating a tight space behind the counter).

The written word does not convey the absolutism embodied in a Korean woman's voice. She was taking no shit.

In the interest of full disclosure: From 1991 thru 1996 I worked for a company that had offices in the mall and for a few years my office was there. I learned and came to know just about everyone who worked there. But time scrubs. I know no one there now. However, the security procedures I learned then are apparently still in place. I know how mall security works and I know how security works with store managers/owners.

In this particular event, I said/did very little. Suprise, suprise. There was no need. One Ethiopian woman, one Korean woman, me, and a child for a security guard.

All of whom refused to tolerate bullshit.

I apologize profusely for my inane introduction of what happened. Everyone here deserves better and I failed big time at that.

I have more thoughts about that dynamic but it's my bedtime. In lieu of another fuck up, I think I'll just go to bed.

Pamela,

Just view this as value and culture difference.

joe: Value and culture difference? Nah! I think it's just that us backward cowboys lack the nuance to comprehend their true intent. I hesistate to opine, as I am one myself, and lack the requisite insight...but I think it has something to do with pointing out how racist Americans are, because of course, we use offensive terms for inferior cultures, while pretending to be equal. It is only the Europeans who understand that these cultures are truly inferior, but decline to use such degrading language themselves, because of course, they're too civilized. You will note, they were just joking about how Americans use such words, not themselves.

Pamela: you have nothing to apologize for, the story made my day. I think you hit a good point about not tolerating BS. Could apply to relations between nations too.

@George M - Maybe somebody should hint to the always controversial Daniel Cohn-Bendit that he might find the opportunity to make good for a few things if he chose to put his campaigning skills at the right place?

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