Looking Past History

If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there's no progress. If you pull it all the way out that's not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven't even pulled the knife out much less heal the wound. They won't even admit the knife is there.


One of the most pervasive aspects of American society is the constant need to burnish parts of history that is beneficial to the psychology of Americans as a whole. And to ignore anything that may cause psychic harm. Gore Vidal often referred to his native country as “The United States of Amnesia”. Ignoring and overlooking painful aspects of history does not solve the problem nor does it make the problem go away. It allows the problem to fester. School boards and gated communities have done solid work in managing to create a safe place for the Majority, but the minority is often ignored. It’s ironic that it is often people of color that have been charged with needing “safe places”. Have the people making this charge seen any John Wayne* movies or read a textbook from the lone star state? The perpetrators of this anguish and pain have made an art of safe places. They demand “safe places”. They even have statues. There is no way to heal this country as a whole unless there is a full and honest confrontation. There is no forgetting. There is no forgiving. There is, in all honesty, only a rigorous effort to understand.

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