Wesley Pruden at The Washington Times somehow believes that to be truly American, one must be a complete cultural fool, and a xenophobe to boot.
He attacks Obama’s bow to the Japanese emperor as an ’embarrassment’ and a sign of grovelling.
He then takes his criticism an unfortunate step further and blames Obama’s ‘error’ on the president’s multicultural past, implying that Mr. Obama isn’t truly American — due to the fact that he has lived in different places and been exposed to different cultural perspectives.
This is to forget what being American is truly about.
Washington Times: But Mr. Obama, unlike his predecessors, likely knows no better, and many of those around him, true children of the grungy ’60s, are contemptuous of custom. Cutting America down to size is what attracts them to “hope” for “change.” It’s no fault of the president that he has no natural instinct or blood impulse for what the America of “the 57 states” is about. He was sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World [emphasis added] and reared by grandparents in Hawaii, a paradise far from the American mainstream.
He no doubt wants to “do the right thing” by his lights, but the lights that illumine the Obama path are not necessarily the lights that illuminate the way for most of the rest of us.
First of all, Mr. Pruden’s description of Obama’s heritage is xenophobic, or even far worse.
Secondly, just because Mr. Pruden himself can’t imagine what it must be like to possess global knowledge doesn’t mean that possessing this knowledge is somehow un-American.
Thirdly, the bow wasn’t grovelling in any shape or form. One has to understand that actions, or lack thereof, only have meaning based on their context. For Obama not to bow would have been the equivalent of a Japanese prime minister flicking off the Pope face to face. Americans would be outraged while Japanese would wonder “well it’s just a finger, it has no meaning”.
To think that the Japanese suddenly feel like America is their vassal based on this bow is to be completely ignorant of economic, military, and even cultural realities right now. Actually, this bow is a sign of substantial goodwill from the U.S. which has likely raised the stature of Americans in the eyes of the Japanese. To be ignorant is not to be American.
If anyone’s standing has fallen here, it is that of Mr. Pruden and the Washington Times, and not President Obama.
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