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What Makes a True American

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A photo of Rais Bhuiyan. (World Without Hate/Rais Bhuiyan)

Anand Giridharadas, New York Times columnist and author of The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas, discusses his new book, which tells the story of an immigrant man who comes to forgive the man who tried to kill him.

Guests:

Anand Giridharadas

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Comments [15]

Mark

Oh yeah, I forgot the Mormons. Although the Mormons are pretty much the only religious group that it's ok to publicly denounce they are an entirely American faith.

May. 13 2014 11:59 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Remarkable, Brian Lehrer admitted that this man's motive to forgive his attacker came from his faith. Hmm. Does he only acknowledge that when we are speaking of Islam?

May. 13 2014 11:48 AM

Seth

I said nothing about OWNERSHIP. Land as private property came only relatively late, after humans became farmers. For most human history we were nomadic hunter-gatherers looking for game. However, sovereignty is another matter. The Irish people are the sovereign nation in Ireland. The German nation is sovereign in Germany. The Polish nation is sovereign in Poland And so on. Land ownership may change hands but sovereignty is another matter. Even in the United States we have given limited sovereignty to many native "indian" tribes where you cannot live on that land without the permission of the tribal council. They have a limited degree of autonomy and sovereignty.

May. 13 2014 11:30 AM
sanych

"America is not a country. It is just a place to make money".

A popular saying in Chinese immigrant community.

May. 13 2014 11:16 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Forgiveness means first to choose not to will harm to the person who harmed us, that's usually a big step and enough.

May. 13 2014 11:15 AM
Seth

"science today agrees that our species originated on the African continent."
I have already heard new hypothesis' that go beyond that, so I'm not sure you can state that as a fact. Science may agree, but scientists do not.

But the point is that humans have always been moving around the world, so when to we say that one type of humans owns one place on it. "Native Americans" did not believe in land ownership, so you can't take something away from someone, if they never believed they owned it.

May. 13 2014 11:12 AM

The Haves and Have Nots. What else is new?

May. 13 2014 11:11 AM

To Seth again

"Indigenous" does not mean that humans were first spawned in that land. "Indigenous" means the first native peoples living in a land. But as I said, science today agrees that our species originated on the African continent. But the first peoples to inhabit any land are called "indigenous" to that land and not immigrants.

May. 13 2014 11:07 AM
Seth

"the indigenous peoples of this hemisphere..."
how can that be true, if you said yourself that they came over the Bering Straits??? It can't be both, so maybe you should get your point straight. And why does being "first" entitle someone? All are still interlopers.

May. 13 2014 10:51 AM

Mark who wrote:

>The "True Americans" are people with no allegiance to any other foreign entity. So basically African-Americans and Puritans.<

Well, the African-Americans lost all touch to their original African nations, so naturally they lost all knowledge of and contact with their "old countries." Some are just reestablishing consciousness of their roots now thanks to DNA analysis.

The search for roots and origins is as natural as an adopted child wanting to seek out his or her birth parents. It's a natural instinct, IMO.

May. 13 2014 10:37 AM

To SEth

>wouldn't that just make them the First Immigrants? <

No, because we all originally came out of Africa and "emigrated" to every other continent. But these "indians" are the indigenous peoples of this hemisphere. They were here first.

May. 13 2014 10:32 AM
Tim

"Everyone else is just here to make money and will jump ship"

Really? Seriously? Not even close to being a fact. Should we assume that you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed? jeez.

May. 13 2014 10:24 AM
Mark

The "True Americans" are people with no allegiance to any other foreign entity. So basically African-Americans and Puritans. Everyone else is just here to make money and will jump ship as soon as the going gets bad (which it is).

May. 13 2014 10:21 AM
Seth

"One whose family came across the Bering straits 17,000 years ago"

wouldn't that just make them the First Immigrants? No different than anyone else who came here from somewhere else. There are no True americans, and so the debate has no end.

May. 13 2014 10:09 AM

A true American? One whose family came across the Bering straits 17,000 years ago. Otherwise known as "First Americans."

May. 13 2014 09:56 AM

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