Someone sent me a link to a thread on an exceptionalist blog, where a couple of good-hearted souls were fighting the good fight.
I say they won, if only because they have managed to free themselves from the sticky net of cultural solipcism, thus becoming Others-by-choice, foes of their own countrymen, even those who have perhaps themselves been dabbling with some gentle questioning of their country's policies.
They're progressives, you see. All they are asking is that people from other cultural groups be polite and properly humble, as befits their station, when criticizing US/Israeli crimes against humanity.
They are very civilized people, they don't agree with it one bit, in fact most of them believe very strongly that these crimes should be committed by gunmen from other countries, maybe even wearing blue hats. And some would even be in favor of more humane methods of extermination than those employed by the current administration, and that the contracts go to companies owned by Democrats.
We know they believe this very strongly because they frequently urge others to send money to politicians who have pledged to do these very things. So they do not appreciate it one bit when their fellow Americans side with foreigners against them. Especially dusky Muslim foreigners, who, if they feel obliged to be critical of America, should at least have the decency to do so in a way that shows they know their place.
Maybe something like, "It is possible that there are some people with ties to the region who may have wondered if perhaps America might consider slaughtering just a bit fewer people, and who have been leaning lately toward a less positive reaction regarding burning the flesh off children, but this should not be taken to mean that they are any the less admiring, any less in awe, of the true greatness of America, or ungrateful for all the good things America has done for the entire Majority World over the decades, and all the wonderful people who have made it possible through their loyal devotion to their corporations and the politicians who serve them."
That, you see, would be an acceptable sort of criticism from a non-American.
It's kind of like the difference in reaction to Barack Obama and Al Sharpton.
Al and Barack are good examples to use because for one, both are well known, and two, they just illustrate the point more clearly than a Sharpie marker on Brooks Brothers broadcloath.
Al and Barack are both politicians, they're both playas, but their personas are as different as well, black and white.
Barack is one of those Bryant Gumbel-style black folks, talks white, acts white, if it weren't for his skin, he'd be white.
Al, on the other hand, has retained his identity, which, to be fair, so has Barack, for all we know. We could say both have remained true to their culture, too. It is not likely that Barack, for instance, ever saw the inside of a projects apartment until someone on his staff suggested he visit one for a photo op and to boost his credibility. Al saw a lot of them in the course of his regular life before he ever started working for James Brown.
And yes, both would quite rightly be decried as utter fakes should they attempt to reflect a culture other than their own.
Barack acts "white" because that is how he was raised, that is who he is. And Al doesn't because that is how he was raised, that is who he is.
And Barack is acceptable to the US mainstream, while Al is not. Now we could ascribe this to Al's being about ten times smarter than Barack, but that has to do with the business of US politics and not Anti-Otherism per se, and is something that, like their culture, that neither one can help.
Barack is not angry, he is quietly and understatedly grateful for the advantages he has enjoyed, he is not uppity.
Al, in contrast, is frequently openly angry, for all his playahood, is quietly and understatedly scornful of the few advantages that he has been able, as a politician, to wrest from the beast, and he is uppity as hell.
The Democratic party could easily run Barack, at least as a vice presidential candidate, without upsetting even their southern contingent too much, when Sharpton ran in 2004, he was considered the campaign's comic relief.
Any honest career or guidance counselor will advise any student of color who wants to be successful in a high profile, public life-type field to try to seem as white as possible, so that white folks will "react better." Of course they will probably not put it in those terms, unless they themselves are openly uppity, and thus on the verge of losing their counselor job. They will use the term "mainstream" which is the code for white.
One frequently hears the mainstream excuse their Islamophobia by expressing the view that "Muslims have not apologized enough for 911."
It is therefore, even more outrageous to them that Muslims should complain that the US mainstream has chosen to be represented internationally by a bestial horde of torturers and sexual predators.
That's uppity. If a Muslim, or for that matter, a Hindu, or an African Animist, or a Latin American of indeterminate faith tradition, wishes to criticize US policies in his or her region, or in the Majority World as a whole, the mainstream will "react better" if this criticism is obliquely and indirectly hinted at, heavily loaded with disclaimers absolving all present from any sort of collective responsibility, and prefaced by and appended with lavish praise for the US in general - and its wonderful people, all present included, of course.
Ironically, it is this insularity which has been the ruination of an entity that did quite objectively have tremendous potential for good, though if truth be told, and I, being uppity, will not hesitate to tell it, by tremendous potential despite its mainstream.