The Fallacy: “You are a thoughtless ingrate if you are American and yet condemn America; you are taking for granted the [obscene amounts of] wealth you have been blessed with, and should praise this country for providing for you.”
The Reason it is a Fallacy: The obscene amounts of wealth we have been “blessed” with is predicated upon [among other things] a) the genocide of the indigenous populations of the entire American continents, b) the enslavement and abuse of thousands of African peoples, a historical travesty comparable to a prolonged holocaust, and c) the corporate exploitation of poorer countries through war [oil?], wage slavery [China?], and the pressure to Americanize ["if you don't join our system, you will be left in the dust"].
Perhaps many, include myself, condemn America precisely because of this wealth. Perhaps it is undeserved. Perhaps we are the antithesis of thoughtless because we do not compliantly bask in this wealth; we do not selfishly call ourselves “blessed” and turn a blind eye to the suffering from which this wealth is derived. We do not take it for granted.
And the underlying message of The Fallacy is that being better off equates to being better. America is somehow better for being materially wealthy. And so, it should be exempt from all criticism… even though not everyone sees material wealth as a measure of how “blessed” one is [because not everyone values material wealth as their life fucking passion].
Let’s dismantle this logic a little further [isn't this fun?]: followers of this logic presume to take the moral high-ground that it is our duty, no, our moral obligation to blindly accept the treasures of America, lest we be ungrateful for it. And yet in doing so, they neglect the suffering of millions of people, past and present, American and non-American; and they base their argument off the deceit that rich = better. All this talking of blessing and thankfulness… Aren’t the proponents of this Fallacy just saints, even by their own standards? Materialism never saved anyone…
Basically: “If you are born into American comfort, you should shut up and swallow it.”
Yes, I will criticize America. Yes, I was born into it’s wealth. Yes, I can control that as much as those born into poverty can control that they were born into poverty, or those who are black can control that they were born black. But, in life, I can control how aware I am of injustice, and speak out against it. And I wouldn’t wish poverty on anyone [myself included], rather I wish the wealth would be spread fairly. There is enough food in those world to feed every living human, if humans would will this to happen. It’s a question of will we will this to happen, instead of resting on our alleged laurels.
So, no, the coin is not double-edged; experiencing American privilege does not mandate silent compliance with American corruption.