It is a startling thing to wake up and realize that the history you’ve been told your whole life has been one-sided. It is startling to think that a lot of people still don’t recognize that our history is one-sided. It is startling to think of the amount of trust we put in Historians. In how much trust we put in a single man’s perception of the story. Sure, history is maybe a collection of men’s perspectives, but that’s exactly it. It’s been a collection of white men’s perspectives for hundreds of years for an academic purpose and not for truth-telling. How has this been okay for so long?
We are constantly creating stories. Through observation, we make a judgement. That person is homeless? We create the reason why in our heads. That person just cut me off in that car? We justify why they were in the wrong. That person can’t find a job? We assume we know why. This is a fairly natural human reaction in order for us to make sense of the world around us. We must create stories to understand why things are functioning the way they are. That is what memory provides us. Memory has given us stories in order for us to understand why we ended up where we have. But what if our memory doesn’t align with history? How would that feel to be told that your memory is wrong? Your feelings are not in line with what history has told you? That is how the majority of our population has felt, and it is through the creation of various modern-day monuments that only some populations are finally getting their proper history aligned with their memory, but we still have such a long way to go. First, we need some accountability, and then maybe we can begin the approach towards reconciliation.
“We have all participated in the narrative of racial differences.”
“We are all culpable, we must commit ourselves to truth and reconciliation.”
“We talk around race, instead of transforming race.”
“Terrorism and Slavery have no place for celebration in our history.”
Brian Stephenson went into how our history was written as if slavery ended on June 19, 1865, but this is not when slavery ended. The end of slavery just created new forms of enslavement. The end of slavery just led to the creation of sharecropping, which then led to lynching without persecution, which then fed into our modern day “justice” system of mass incarceration targeting minorities. This is our form of modern day slavery and abuse. Of course, many people will contest this idea because we don’t want to think of ourselves in that light. “No, these people deserve it,” they say. “These people sell drugs and kill people, so they should be there,” they think. But why are these people forced to do these things oftentimes? Because we are America, and that’s exactly who we are as America. We break up minority families to be placed in a society where they can be abused and tortured in physical and emotional ways by our legal societal structure, which then creates conditions where, oftentimes, men and women of minorities are prompted to more easily act in illegal ways, than legal. Our system is quick to incarcerate them where the torture and abuse, and work without compensation, can be implemented legally.
You just a black man in this world
You just a barcode, ayy
You just a black man in this world
Drivin’ expensive foreigns, ayy
You just a big dawg, yeah
I kenneled him in the backyard
No proper life to a dog
For a big dog
Childish Gambino couldn’t be more right.
This is America.