Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Where's My Reparations Check?

News Gleaner - Steven Grasse travels the world in his job as an advertising executive, and has seen first hand the attitudes of people around the world toward Americans. It isn't always pretty.

"I get tired of hearing that everything is (America's) fault," said Grasse, 42. "People say that George Bush caused Hurricane Katrina. That same twisted logic can be used for anything."

Using that brand of logic, Grasse started looking around for the root causes of problems around the world. All of them seemed to lead him to one source - the British Empire.

"Look at global warming. It was caused by industrialization. Who started the Industrial Revolution? England," Grasse said. "And no other country in the world has been so imperialistic."

So with tongue planted firmly in cheek, Grasse founded the International Coalition for British Reparations. Proclaiming "People of the world, it's time to get paid", the Coalition is demanding that the British government reimburse the people of the world to the tune of £31 trillion, which would be distributed to everyone who is not a British citizen.

There isn't a country or problem with the world that can't be traced back to The British, or "Evil" empire, according to Grasse. The problems in India and Pakistan? Look no further than England. The horrible regimes in South Africa were Britain invaded those areas, "civilized' them and raped the land of its resources. The argument could be made that the global depression of the early 20th century happened when Winston Churchill took England off the gold standard. Even in America, one of the few countries that prospered after Britain departed was left to deal with the remnants of colonialism.

"They left a lot of bad institutions," Grasse said. "The British introduced slavery to America. They abolished slavery in 1807, and think that since they did it first, it never happened. They slave trade went through England. They taught us how to mistreat Native Americans. They sided with the Confederacy in the Civil War."

An avid reader and history buff, Grasse has turned his avocation into a second career. His first book, entitled "Evil Empire - 101 ways that England ruined the world" will be released on April 23, which coincidentally is also the Queen's birthday. Advance orders have already put the book into its second printing.

It should be interesting when Grasse travels to the U.K., as part of his book tour. Body guards have already been hired, and he is slated to debate history with a number of local academics. Yet after all of this negative feedback, he holds no ill will toward the Brits.

"I don't hate British people," he said. "America's not perfect, but the British shouldn't be pointing fingers. They talk about us like we're Nazis. That's the pot calling the kettle black."

Grasse also contends that one could look further back into history, and potentially blame all of the world's problems on imperial Rome.

"We're poking fun at the culture of blame," he said. "How far can you go back, before it becomes ridiculous?"