Questions to Americans

Valso

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As you probably know I'm from Eastern Europe, which means there are things about America I don't know and sometimes when I can't find the answer online or Urban Dictionary doesn't have a (clear) definition, I gotta ask an American about it. Unfortunately the Americans on reddit are mostly assholes and won't answer, no matter how nicely I ask. And since the Americans on this forum I've talked to were considerably better and nicer people, I figured I could ask here, so I'm hoping they'll be able to answer my questions - now and in the future.

Today I have 2 questions:

• Is that some kind of a joke with the US flag? Or does it mean that the guy behind the wheel is a confederate d1ck? I saw this on CBS' "S.W.A.T." TV series, in case you wonder. For the first time I heard the term "confederate" last year while watching the new "Roswell" TV series, so I did some reading and it turned out the rotten part of the American nation was situated mostly in the Southern states. It can't be a coincidence that on this bumper sticker the stars are on the Southern part of the flag.

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• Another thing on "S.W.A.T" I heard that got me confused - a suspect used the term "tan pants" as in clothing. But asking Urban Dictionary for definition showed me something quite different, nothing to do with clothes. It was about a person of questionable age. Google showed me trousers with skin color and considering the team leader doesn't look like a guy who'd wear skin color pants, the meaning of this term confuses me even more.
So - WTH is "tan pants" in this context?

P.S. I'm aware that some Americans think my country (Bulgaria) is a gas station in Arizona, so if you wanna know anything about my country, feel free to ask - I'll answer all of your questions. :)
 
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Kavinsky

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Another thing on "S.W.A.T" I heard that got me confused - a suspect used the term "tan pants" as in clothing. But asking Urban Dictionary for definition showed me something quite different, nothing to do with clothes. It was about a person of questionable age. Google showed me trousers with skin color and considering the team leader doesn't look like a guy who'd wear skin color pants, the meaning of this term confuses me even more.
So - WTH is "tan pants" in this context?

im pretty sure swat officers were describing what the suspect was wearing, IE black hoodie, tan pants.
for your first question:

Flying the American flag upside down is traditionally considered a signal of distress or a symbol of protest. It is a way for individuals or groups to express their dissatisfaction or concern about the state of the nation or specific issues.

The act of flying the flag upside down is protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression. It is a form of symbolic speech that allows people to communicate their dissent or urgency without the need for words.

While the specific reasons for flying the American flag upside down can vary, it often signifies a belief that the country is in a state of crisis, such as political turmoil, social unrest, or a perceived violation of rights or values. People may choose to display the flag upside down to draw attention to these concerns and prompt discussions or actions for change.

It's important to note that the meaning behind flying the flag upside down can differ depending on the context and the intentions of the individuals involved. It is a symbolic gesture that can evoke different interpretations from different people.
 
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Valso

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It was a suspect who was hired to set up a SWAT officer with false charges of assault and police brutality. It was the suspect who said the officer was wearing "tan pants".

As for the flag thing - thank you for the exhaustive answer. So my suspicion that the guy behind the wheel might be a racist is not quite out of whack, especially considering the text under the reversed flag.
 
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Kavinsky

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It was a suspect who was hired to set up a SWAT officer with false charges of assault and police brutality. It was the suspect who said the officer was wearing "tan pants".
so than the swat officer was probably swat or an under cover officer, meaning the suspect was just trying to describe the officer of what he was wearing so other officers could try to figure out who it was.
 
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Valso

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Oh, I understand now. It's kind of an expression for "casual clothes". I thought it was meant literally.
 
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nero7

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the flag upside down signifies the nation is in distress.
 
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It would be considered rude in the US to state that the southern half is "rotten" or "racist" just by virtue of where they grew up. I would not suggest saying something like that in South Carolina where I live.
 
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LordVoldy

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It would be considered rude in the US to state that the southern half is "rotten" or "racist" just by virtue of where they grew up. I would not suggest saying something like that in South Carolina where I live.
Funny how some stereotype the southern states as racist when there are many in California qualify as racist, but apparently it's okay to be racist to white people over here. For any outsider curious about our once great nation, I will say we have become very divided.

There are also Blue Lives Matter flags one may come across in the states.
 
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Valso

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It would be considered rude in the US to state that the southern half is "rotten" or "racist" just by virtue of where they grew up. I would not suggest saying something like that in South Carolina where I live.
1. There's nothing normal in hating people just because of the color of their skin.
2. The BIGGER PART of the racists are situated in the Southern part of the country and according to some statistics I've seen (from a survey done in 2002 but I doubt that much has changed in that time), Texas was/is the state with the greatest number of racists than anywhere else in the rest of the country. And wasn't that the civil war was all about? The North wanted equality and supported the anti-slavery bills, whereas the South, also known as Confederate States of America, wanted to keep the slavery status-quo? KKK originated from the Southern States which only adds to the Southern "mystery".
I have a theory of my own why CSA were such fans of slavery but that's for another topic and another time. And that theory of mine is actually far more "rude" than my statement you quoted. Before I even decide to post it on the forum, I must first talk to the king of hell bc it spans across a lot more than just CSA but also everything closer to the Equator.

For any outsider curious about our once great nation, I will say we have become very divided.

There are also Blue Lives Matter flags one may come across in the states.
Yeah, Trump divided you. Before the elections which got rid of Trump, some states were on the verge of civil war bc of this racist dick and I'm pretty sure that if he had stayed in the White House, now we'd be reading about the war in Ukraine and about the war in USA. The funny thing is that in 2016 I knew many of the things he did during his dictatorship, after watching a 30-minutes interview with him during his candidacy campaign. Guess how many Americans believed me back then that bad things were coming for America with the election of Chump. Being dumber than a pumpkin (same as our last prime minister Boyko Borisov - they both share an IQ number :ROFLMAO:), he said on that interview everything he would do if elected. Apparently his PRs later told him he can't say such things on TV bc the video "mysteriously" disappeared from FascistTube. Nowadays you can only find pieces of it with the incriminating stuff removed. But I keep searching for it, cuz who knows - someone might have had the wisdom back then to download it and reupload it at some point.

WTH is "Blue Lives Matter"? I know about "Black Lives Matter" and "Alien Lives Matter*", but this is the first time I hear about Blue Lives Matter.

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WTH is "Blue Lives Matter"? I know about "Black Lives Matter" and "Alien Lives Matter*", but this is the first time I hear about Blue Lives Matter.

It refers to cops (police) who typically wear blue uniforms in the U.S. Basically it's the right-wing response to "Black Lives Matter" (part of the BLM platform is defunding the police so they can't buy tanks and heavy weaponry).
 
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Valso

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Speaking of the police, here's a fresh example why I need this topic to ask Americans. As I've probably mentioned (or maybe I haven't) I'm currently watching "SWAT" - a TV show of 2017. The SWAT officers often repeat the phrase "requesting an RA unit". After a long and tedious search lasting about 45 minutes, I finally found the answer on a board from 20 years ago :ROFLMAO: that it actually means an ambulance and also that RA phrase is only typical for the Californian police. You can correctly guess that the most of the modern stuff you can find in the first 5 pages of the search results has nothing sensible when it comes to police terms. "SWAT" has another phrase ("Give me two") that I never found the answer in search engines and I had to ask on the show's Twitter page. Eventually someone answered they were curious about that too and it turned out that this was also a phrase typical for the CA police.
But you can't find things like these by Googling or Ducking and it's easier to just ask an American cuz it's more likely that they would know. It just occured to me that I could ask the new Opera's AI (Aria), it probably could find the answer a lot quicker, altough the AI requires correct phrasing, otherwise you'll get nothing.

Why would a Bulgarian be wasting time being concerned with people being racist in the u.s?
That's a very long and mostly political answer I don't feel like writing at the moment. I guess a short answer could go something along the line of "When America farts, my country shits its pants".
 
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nuzzyfipples

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We here in the US are kind of made an example of when it comes to race relations, but I honestly think it's just to give us a "black eye" as it were, because there were far worse places in the world with slaves (which every other society has had at some point), and also still exists today in several places.

Slavery in the US starts at around 1619. At that time, they were mostly British colonies, and thus the dreaded "American slave trade" was really the "British slave trade". Also of note was the vast majority of slaves shipped from Africa went to Brazil (a colony of Portugal), with the Caribbean Islands that were mostly British and French colonies being the second most used ports for slaves. Slavery ended in 1865 in the US, which to be fair was after England had abolished it, but there had only been "American" slaves for 89 years at that point. The previous 157 years were technically as "England".

While slavery was a main reason for the American Civil War (1860-1865), it was not the ONLY reason. Another main reason was the notion of states' rights, which was a very important thing to the founding fathers of this nation, as they wanted MOST laws to be determined at the state level, with the federal level mostly pertaining to matters of international matters, maintaining a national security force to protect against invasions, and to arbitrate and ensure trade between the states was open. Northern states were fearful of the southern states being more "powerful" then they were with the wealth they were gaining from the advent of the cotton gin, and thus wanted newly admitted states to be "free states", and the southern states wanting newly admitted states to decide for themselves if they'd be free or not. The south were NOT the only states with slavery, as many slaves were in the north and also were not freed until 1865, so claiming the south is where all the racist and evil people were is quite false.

Also of note was the Emancipation Proclamation, which actually had no legal binding because 1) the president had no legal authority to free slaves in states that allowed it, and 2) the document itself only "freed" the slaves in the states that had already seceded from the union and NOT the northern states, and 3) the states that seceded were no longer under the authority of the US President, as they had all legally left the US. It was essentially a gamble with a piece of propaganda that worked out.


I actually do not think we are that racially divided as the media would have you believe, and that is even with several organizations profiting very much from promulgating and promoting it. It is no better or worse here than in any other ethnically diverse nation. Because there are so many different peoples here, there will inevitably be some that don't like others, and those people get a lot of media coverage, but they definitely are the minority of any group they claim to represent. As always, the squeakiest wheel gets the grease, and that saying holds true now more than ever in the age of social media, where EVERYONE gets a soapbox to shout their opinions from.


Now to keep this on topic, I think all the options are bad since lewdcorner is a fantastic name, but I will use whatever site name you ultimately decide to use since it's the content of the site I care most about, not the name of it.
 
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Nastastic

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Now to keep this on topic, I think all the options are bad since lewdcorner is a fantastic name, but I will use whatever site name you ultimately decide to use since it's the content of the site I care most about, not the name of it.

This thread is "Questions to Americans." This sentence refers to the thread "Rebranding Lewdcorner". :ROFLMAO:
 
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Valso

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Now to keep this on topic, I think all the options are bad since lewdcorner is a fantastic name, but I will use whatever site name you ultimately decide to use since it's the content of the site I care most about, not the name of it.


I think you're mistaking topics with that sentence. :p I never asked anything about the site name, it was the admin in quite a different topic. My topic is about America. I can't visit it, so my only option is to ask. If you ask why I can't visit USA - 3 reasons: One, I can't afford the plane ticket. Two, with my "luck" I'll board another plane that is being hijacked on the way to America. Three, fear of heights, of being who knows how many miles above the ground and that the gravity can take over at any moment... If only we had the Asguardian beaming technology, that would be awesome.

I suppose you could be right about the media but what I know about the civil war I found it not in the common media but by searching specifically for "American history" and purposefully omitting sites like Wikipedia cuz some time ago I discovered it can't be trusted much when it comes to historical events. I don't remember where exactly I found the info, cuz I searched for it nearly a year ago, if not longer and I did the search bc that was the first time ever I heard the term "Confederate":

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None of the TV shows I've ever seen has had any racism on them, until I came across the above one and later "Supergirl". I became a fan of sci-fi in 1997. So since 1997 up until a year or two ago I never had any reason to search deeper into American history. I only recent started watching social TV shows - that's what I call anything that isn't sci-fi. But when I came across the above scene, I had to. And when I read about General Lee, it made it clear for me what the flag on top of the orange Charger was and why the Dukes had problems when they found themselves in a district of color.
One of the sources I used was "britania" or something similar in the domain name. I sort of remembered one of the sources bc back then it puzzled me that the Brits would keep any records of what has been happening in America.
 
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nuzzyfipples

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I think you're mistaking topics with that sentence. :p I never asked anything about the site name, it was the admin in quite a different topic. My topic is about America. I can't visit it, so my only option is to ask.

Yeah, that was my mistake. I mistakenly thought I was still in the site name change thread for some reason or other. Apologies.

If you ask why I can't visit USA - 3 reasons: One, I can't afford the plane ticket. Two, with my "luck" I'll board another plane that is being hijacked on the way to America. Three, fear of heights, of being who knows how many miles above the ground and that the gravity can take over at any moment... If only we had the Asguardian beaming technology, that would be awesome.

I also am fearful of heights, but I love flying. I think my fear is more of one as long as I am connected to the ground, so looking over the edge of a building or cliff is making my heartbeat rise just thinking about. Flying is not the same sensation at all.

I suppose you could be right about the media but what I know about the civil war I found it not in the common media but by searching specifically for "American history" and purposefully omitting sites like Wikipedia cuz some time ago I discovered it can't be trusted much when it comes to historical events. I don't remember where exactly I found the info, cuz I searched for it nearly a year ago, if not longer and I did the search bc that was the first time ever I heard the term "Confederate":

Yeah, Wikipedia can be completely right and also completely wrong at times, and while the site owners tend to lean on one side of the political spectrum more than the other, most topics are usually fine. Usually when it comes to political matters like causes of events is where you should be wary and use caution, although at times there is an absolute answer why.

The term confederate really is just another way of saying "united" or "allied". They basically wanted a carbon copy of the US, that just didn't forbid slaves and relied more on the states rather than federal level for laws.

None of the TV shows I've ever seen has had any racism on them, until I came across the above one and later "Supergirl". I became a fan of sci-fi in 1997. So since 1997 up until a year or two ago I never had any reason to search deeper into American history. I only recent started watching social TV shows - that's what I call anything that isn't sci-fi. But when I came across the above scene, I had to. And when I read about General Lee, it made it clear for me what the flag on top of the orange Charger was and why the Dukes had problems when they found themselves in a district of color.
One of the sources I used was "britania" or something similar in the domain name. I sort of remembered one of the sources bc back then it puzzled me that the Brits would keep any records of what has been happening in America.

I never watched "Supergirl" so I have no opinion or comment to make on that one. But I too grew up on sci-fi shows, although I am in the US, so I don't know what shows you were watching there in BG. I assume at that time, mostly Russian shows, which did make some good sci-fi movies.

"The Dukes of Hazzard" was an action comedy show, so they would do some racially charged things for comedic effect, which it should also be noted was in the 1970s, which had different social mores than today.

And finally you are most likely referring to the Encyclopedia Britannica, which was a definitive source years ago, but is now about as reliable as Wikipedia. It effectively was the Wikipedia of books, and was an expensive set to have. Then Microsoft Encarta was one of the first real software encyclopedias. Now there's Wikipedia.
 

Nastastic

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We here in the US are kind of made an example of when it comes to race relations, but I honestly think it's just to give us a "black eye" as it were, because there were far worse places in the world with slaves (which every other society has had at some point), and also still exists today in several places.

Slavery in the US starts at around 1619. At that time, they were mostly British colonies, and thus the dreaded "American slave trade" was really the "British slave trade". Also of note was the vast majority of slaves shipped from Africa went to Brazil (a colony of Portugal), with the Caribbean Islands that were mostly British and French colonies being the second most used ports for slaves. Slavery ended in 1865 in the US, which to be fair was after England had abolished it, but there had only been "American" slaves for 89 years at that point. The previous 157 years were technically as "England".

While slavery was a main reason for the American Civil War (1860-1865), it was not the ONLY reason. Another main reason was the notion of states' rights, which was a very important thing to the founding fathers of this nation, as they wanted MOST laws to be determined at the state level, with the federal level mostly pertaining to matters of international matters, maintaining a national security force to protect against invasions, and to arbitrate and ensure trade between the states was open. Northern states were fearful of the southern states being more "powerful" then they were with the wealth they were gaining from the advent of the cotton gin, and thus wanted newly admitted states to be "free states", and the southern states wanting newly admitted states to decide for themselves if they'd be free or not. The south were NOT the only states with slavery, as many slaves were in the north and also were not freed until 1865, so claiming the south is where all the racist and evil people were is quite false.

Also of note was the Emancipation Proclamation, which actually had no legal binding because 1) the president had no legal authority to free slaves in states that allowed it, and 2) the document itself only "freed" the slaves in the states that had already seceded from the union and NOT the northern states, and 3) the states that seceded were no longer under the authority of the US President, as they had all legally left the US. It was essentially a gamble with a piece of propaganda that worked out.


I actually do not think we are that racially divided as the media would have you believe, and that is even with several organizations profiting very much from promulgating and promoting it. It is no better or worse here than in any other ethnically diverse nation. Because there are so many different peoples here, there will inevitably be some that don't like others, and those people get a lot of media coverage, but they definitely are the minority of any group they claim to represent. As always, the squeakiest wheel gets the grease, and that saying holds true now more than ever in the age of social media, where EVERYONE gets a soapbox to shout their opinions from.


Now to keep this on topic, I think all the options are bad since lewdcorner is a fantastic name, but I will use whatever site name you ultimately decide to use since it's the content of the site I care most about, not the name of it.

Slavery was THE primary reason for the Civil War, or more precisely, it is THE reason the states that would form the Confederacy seceded in the first place. They confused Abraham Lincoln, a political moderate and abolitionist sympathizer, with the "Radical Republican" wing of his party which were actually abolitionists. Lincoln himself only cared about preserving the Union, saying that if he could preserve the Union without freeing a single slave, he would do it. Lincoln actually thought blacks were inferior to whites for most of his life. But the southern slave states seceded anyway. Yes, there were northern slave states, such as Maryland (the home of vengeful slavery-lover John Wilkes Booth) and of course their slaves were emancipated after the war was won, as they knew would happen.

"States' rights" in this case was basically a dog whistle for "right to permit slavery" and pretending otherwise is disingenuous. Part of the reason the southern states were so "powerful" was because of the Constitutional compromise which allowed them to count each enslaved person as 3/5 of a person for purposes of allocating seats in the House of Representatives. Slaves had no more political power or human rights than cattle or sheep, but their numbers were used to bolster the political power of their owners. A slave state with one million whites and one million enslaved blacks therefore had as much political power as a state with 1,600,000 whites, and nearly all that power was in effect wielded by the plantation owners.

Since the Civil War, Southern advocates of the "Lost Cause" myth have spread all over the United States, putting down roots and integrating into the local communities, which is why you can see Confederate flags flying in yards and painted on cars in every state of the Union. They mostly get on with the home-grown racists that likewise live everywhere, and form the core of the Bible-thumping, Trump-voting, Q-ANON believing, FOX "News"-watching, far-right cohort which has gotten so much attention lately. Trump gave them effective permission to express their racism and hatred more openly than has been the norm, but things have been trending in this direction since the Reagan administration. As Valso indicates, America is still a pretty influential place, and racial unrest, or the appearance of same, that happens here can ripple around the world.
 

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