The Victimization of the Citizens of the US
C. Williams | Chatham, VA | 05/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stossel brings out many of the false beliefs people have regarding victimhood. Too often, our country seeks to blame others for our misfortune. Stossel brings this out and does so with great clarity without being condescending or judgemental.
If one is interested in becoming a victor instead of just another victim, I strongly urge you to get and watch this video."
An interesting look
golgotha.gov | Texas | 04/17/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE BLAME GAME: ARE WE A COUNTRY OF VICTIMS? (1994)
directed by George Paul
approx. 50 minutes
This is a good John Stossel ABC special. The subject is whether or not America has become too saturated with "victim mentality".
The show has three parts- first, mostly ridiculous cases of people who could probably do something on their own but take government checks or file frivolous lawsuits to get money. One man says he will not get a job because he knows that will be the end of government "support". A few of the people in this segment that receive government money even say that they believe the system should be closed down due to all the abuse! The portions on silly lawsuits have to be seen to be believed, such as the dude who sued because a bicycle doesn't have a warning label instructing him that its more dangerous to ride an night. Perhaps the most famous person in this segment is Stella Liebeck, the woman who won a lawsuit against McDonald's after she spilled hot coffee on her leg.
The second section deals with what it means to be considered "disabled". This is important for legal purposes due to the passage of the "CITIZENS WITH DISABILITIES ACT". There are strange cases where people either blame common problems (like alcoholism) or classify themselves with new conditions to justify their actions. One example is the dentist who claimed he had a disability that made him fondle female patients! When Stossel asks a lawyer if "we've gone too far", the young man say that we haven't gone far enough! A proponent of the CDA says that cases like these diminish the real reasons the legislation was enacted.
The final section deals specifically with black Americans. Stossel doesn't deny that racism still exists, but shows multiple perspectives from the black community on the subjects or welfare and government programs. Two groups of black immigrants (the first from an unspecified African country, the second from the Carribean) say that government programs make it easier for blacks to become dependent on the system. Al Sharpton gives that perspective that to question government programs for blacks is to trivialize the suffering of victims of the system.
Two books are shown onscreen before this segment- Thomas Sowell's
'CIVIL RIGHTS: RHETORIC OR REALITY?' and Shelby Steele's 'THE CONTENT OF OUR CHARACTER'.
There is a brief conclusion which somewhat clumsily uses a baby as a metaphor for human ambition. This was cheesy and unnecessary. It is true that the episode is light on statistics but this show wasn't on the effectiveness of the government programs or even the number of people involved, it is to show a shift in attitudes on what constitutes victimhood - a somewhat ephemeral concept that has fallen into the legal domain.
This show is very good for starting discussions on the effects of government programs."