Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Our reputation precedes us

What is it about this world, or maybe the Germans in particular, or Europe somewhat less particularly, that they have these caricatured notions of other cultures? Too much Hollywood? I don't know, I just don't know. I'll just let the facts speak for themselves.
The NYTimes reports:

A German Army instructor ordered a soldier to envision himself in the Bronx facing hostile African-Americans while firing his machine gun, a video that aired on Saturday on national television showed. “We are currently investigating the incident,” said Florian Naggies, a spokesman for the army and the Defense Ministry.

The clip shows an instructor and a soldier in camouflage uniforms in a forest. The instructor tells the soldier, “You are in the Bronx. A black van is stopping in front of you. Three African-Americans are getting out and they are insulting your mother in the worst ways. Act.” The soldier fires his machine gun several times and yells an obscenity several times in English. The instructor then tells the soldier to curse even louder.

You can see the video here (I'm not embedding it in my post because of the obscenities). And by the way, you can rest assured that Al Sharpton got in on this act, too, demanding that President Bush intervene. Hey Al, why don't you go over there yourself and personally shove some sauerbraten down their- oh yeah, right, I was talking about this intercultural respect thing. Well, you get the point.

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