I never knew how bloodthirsty and hungry for war America has been throughout history before the Zinn chapter and the Walt article and it is very concerning to me that I am just learning about it now. I also am developing a better understanding of how one of the most embedded ideals in the US is a white savior mentality and how the presence of paternalism is overwhelming. These parallels are constantly coming up in the Zinn book that it is hard to ignore. In this chapter, I was most taken back by the horrors that the US caused in the Philippines strictly because of economic self-interest. It is almost unfathomable to me that Americans and people in power continued to violate the human rights of other countries’ citizens and still had the audacity to claim that we were the civilized ones. In what world is a bloodthirsty and war-driven country civilized? I’m having trouble wrapping my brain about how these nationalistic and hypocritical ideologies even rose when all of the evidence shows otherwise. The U.S’s actions in the Philippines were despicable and the lack of care of human rights simply because they looked different and could serve an economic purpose is extremely concerning. In addition to the racism that underlies the US impact on the Philippines, it is so clear that America was just concerned about their own economic interests in these foreign countries, and disguised that by pretending they were saving these populations out of the good of their own hearts. This has shown me just how economically driven and focused the US was and still is today, and how money and political power obviously reign over human rights and respect for other peoples.
It is time for America to wake up and approach our history through another lense that isn’t so focused on how amazing and genius of a country we are. It isn’t a bad thing to address our history head-on and will lead to progress in the future that is unprecedented and that is currently being stinted by this dangerous neglect of our history. We are going to have to face our history at one point and putting it off will just result in history repeating itself yet again. The injustices that will come will become progressively worse if America can’t learn from past mistakes. We are currently in a progress trap that we desperately need to claw our way out of and it isn’t too late to save the country. In order to understand and control the present, we must understand and deal with the past, and maybe then America can have the opportunity to become the great country that it already thinks it is.