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Sunday, Nov. 18, 2007

READERS IN COUNCIL

Overweening pride that baffles


By HELEN ARRAY
West Jakarta, Indonesia

Bravo to Roger Pulvers for his Oct. 21 Counterpoint article, "The power of telling tales versus making apologies." The last paragraphs were expressed beautifully. I always think it's prejudiced of Americans to think that their democracy and system are the best in the world and, whenever they go to another country and meet another race, to instantly demand, "Why don't you do it this way! We did it this way in America! It's the best way!"

Such arrogance shocks me to no end, especially every time I read the slander against countries on the Internet. Or the bad-mouthing of races other than Caucasians. The ignorance they show of the fact that the countries and races they slander were walking in history for many centuries before their country was even born is sometimes baffling. American pride sometimes shoots over the rooftop, leaving an empty shell that then asks in astonishment, "Why do they hate Americans? Why are Americans not unaccepted in most countries in the world?"

Americans must learn to accept differences in values, and not try to force their way on every breathing human being. Do Americans truly think that their traditions and values should replace 20 centuries of traditions and values? Tolerance seems to be a dead word in Americans' ears. After winding up on so many sites and reading so many slanderous and hurtful words from so-called countrymen who promote "human rights" or "democracy" in politics, I can say who the biggest hypocrite in the world is.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.


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