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America: The Good Neighbor

Netlore Archive: Forwarded tribute to Americans after 9/11 is mostly authentic, drawn from a radio commentary by Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair in 1973.

Description: Email rumor
Circulating since: Sep. 2001 (this version)
Status: Mostly authentic


Example:
Email text contributed by Jane P., Sep. 11, 2001:

FW: A response on today's horrid event from a Canadian

This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.

America: The Good Neighbor.

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars! into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles.

You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -! not once, but several times - and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

Stand proud, America!

This is one of the best editorials that I have ever read regarding the United States. It is nice that one man realizes it. I only wish that the rest of the world would realize it. We are always blamed for everything, and never even get a thank you for the things we do.

I would hope that each of you would send this to as many people as you can and emphasize that they should send it to as many of their friends until this letter is sent to every person on the web. I am just a single American that has read this.


Analysis: Albeit written 28 years ago and subject to unauthorized revisions during the course of its travels in cyberspace, the bulk of the above text is authentic and correctly attributed. Journalist and radio personality Gordon Sinclair delivered the commentary on his Toronto show in 1973, when anti-American sentiment was at an all-time high. For obvious reasons, Americans ate it up.

The piece had already been circulating on the Internet, sometimes attributed to Sinclair and sometimes not (but always to "a Canadian"), for several years. Its suddenly renewed popularity in September 2001 can be attributed to the devastating terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Americans, smarting from the implicit hatred behind these acts, found solace in sincere words of appreciation from a geographical neighbor.


Sources and further reading:

Story of 'The Americans' by Gordon Sinclair
History of the piece from the Canadian Communications Foundation

'The Americans' by Gordon Sinclair
Original text and audio recording of Sinclair's broadcast


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