One of my cousins posted about this Radiolab story on Facebook… thought I would comment on it quickly-
You tell em, Kalia. They handled this terribly, and I’m glad you made that clear. Most of the dialogue in this country about anything US diplomatic history-related is mishandled and misguided, even when its searching for ‘truth’. This is no news; the US has no peripheral view, and it is both oblivious of it and damn proud of it. It simply sees what’s in front of its face, and what’s in front of its face is short-sighted self-interest. If you cannot picture yourself or your family within a story like Eng’s, it’s not hard to unconsciously fall into this line of thinking.
So while I was very disturbed by their challenging of Eng and Kalia with insensitive questions (that, to be fair, they did make clear would be asked), what particularly surprised me and enraged me was their reflection afterwards, when Krulwich explicitly said: “It is not fair to ask us to not consider the other stories and the other frames of the story…. Her reaction was very balancing, but her desire was not for balance. Her desire was to monopolize the story.”
Hey Krulwich. Guess what. The West has monopolized modern history. That’s the truth. And while the apology you gave may be accepted by some, don’t try to pretend that you understand that, or that you didn’t mean what you said, because I am sure you did.
Jad was getting very close to the conclusion they should have ended with (and I really like what he said), but I don’t think he ever really reached that conclusion. You end the segment feeling like on the whole, they still think that even though they have to respect the suffering of others, Western scientific conclusions about the world are still to be taken as unquestionable fact. Which means the personal experiences of small, poor, dirty yellow people in the dysentery-infested jungles of Southeast Asia should always be taken with 100 grains of salt. Because clearly they don’t have the mental capacity to know whether or not giant clouds of shitting bees flew over their heads.
Anyway. What a shame.. progress always seems so elusive.