It’s always a good day to learn something you did not know before, but it’s a better day when you learn things that confound your complacency and introduce you to post-Santa compassion.
There is a soundbite for every event taught in American classrooms — 90% of history curricula are either grossly twisted, are outright sanctified falsehoods, or are events not complimentary to sensitive Whiteous feelings: the eighth deadly sin.
Genocide on American soil is slathered over with sugary white icing before it can meet publishing standards established in Texas. Before Columbus, Indigenous Americans were a tapestry of tribes. Should they be thankful for Western Evilization?
Blacks lived in the tapestry that was Africa before the Europeans arrived. Should they be thankful for being saved by the generous very nice plantation system that offered better? Better Lives Through Slavery?
Somehow most White genealogies trace back to families that were very very nice to their slaves. Who the hell ever learns about the Black Stock Market of Greenwood, OK that was burned to cinders in 1921? What of their American dream?
Fox News doesn’t have to be your only source for faux news, you can turn the channel, change the dial, read a “newspaper of record” and mislearn about current regime changes in the process. Perhaps you watch, perhaps you hear, perhaps you think you know about what happens in Venezuela. Here is something by Greg Palast that inspired me, something I promised to post: In Venezuela, White Supremacy is a Key Driver of the Coup.
Additional unnerving, disturbing, real-time coverage is available at Shelby Courtland dot com. Truth can be unsettling sometimes.
Most people do not even participate in their own lives, life happens in an autonomic way — if you prefer that the cranium function as autonomically as breathing, it will do so. Existing-While-Black, Existing-While-Palestinian, Existing-While-LGBQT+, Existing-While-Living InMyNeighborhood? Cognitive dissonance happens. I think myself a cognitive dissonancer because I am a lightning rod for the cognitively dissonanced. You must learn to expect such when you speak for the most exploited among us, and I even include all sentient animal beings among the most exploited. Factory farms really are death camps. It’s always a good day to eschew blood-laden “resources” — for all parties involved, both the muncher and the munched.
Avoiding television frees up the time to think independently, in my opinion. The tube/screen has always been a popular passive way to address boredom, a popular alternative to thinking, a stress-reducing mechanism. Propagandists, marketers and people like DJT know how to direct their messages to target audiences by any means possible, such as eye-scanning apps that detect minute movements in a supermarket, process the scanned data at the checkout, and follow you home. Technology is very good. Technology is very bad.
This morning I tried to find the right word for the large-scale destruction of animals by humans and for humans. Universal rights ignores the innocent elephant in the room: animal rights.
A couple centuries ago there were more passenger pigeons than there are chickens in the slaughter-house chain today. The last passenger pigeon (Martha by name) is preserved and on display at the Cincinnati Zoo, the final victim of zoocide. They were edible, guns were available. So were bison. Hey, mistakes are made. No, specious arguments are made.
When multi-trillion dollar production is at stake you direct attention to a splendid table (I cite the website because of its rather more conventional approach toward food). Comfortable and cozy, but too complicit for me as a vegan. Marginal movements like veganism irritate meat eaters. Just saying.
I haven’t heard about pink slime lately, the stuff that nano technology makes available. Let us capture each molecule and direct it to a consumer. Hey, don’t mention pink slime in polite company. We are nice people.
The enormity of sentient suffering is as great as the consumer demand for the ultimate insatiable decadence. There are no articles on animal trafficking via slaughter house in the NYT Magazine this week.
Climate change may just be the only thing that jolts homo sapiens to attention. We are a species intelligent enough to discover the existence of six extermination events in the history of the planet, but arrogant enough to shrug at the prospect of another.
How comparable are extinction events? Even the possibility of an errant asteroid does not direct attention to preventive measures. We’re too busy feeding military, prison and industrial-slaughter=complex obsessions.
By the way, vegan diets are healthy, inexpensive and planet-friendly. But as trolls are ever ready to counter: they are cruel to plants. Specious arguments never end.
Our fellow Americans and Earth citizens could benefit from historical perspective. The mantle of American Exceptionalism, a garb that resembles an emperor’s new clothes, becomes more transparent with each passing year.
Americans carry a lot of shame for things we’ve done to this planet that no other government in the world can match, such as the atomic bomb and agent orange (all of this inflicted on civilian populations, explaining it as “collateral damage”).
We have murdered peoples, starved them and spread deadly smallpox virus via “gift blankets”, a virus previously unknown in the Americas. These gift blankets exposed native populations to a disease that spread like wildfire. Did you learn this in history class?
From trains passing westward millions of bison were murdered. Stacked, the bison heads rested thousands high with a deliberate goal: starve the natives and their nations. Our collective memory ascribes the slaughter to sportsmen shooting from the comfort and safety of train cars. There is a little more to that story. Those “sportsmen” disembarked from the locomotives to murder as many bison as humanly possible and thereby remove the buffalo as sustenance to Native America. We learn soundbites. “The Indians used every single part of each buffalo.”
But connecting the dots leading to genocide is never taught. George Washington as a youth chopped down a cherry tree and owned up to it. Andrew Jackson is the president we have on the twenty-dollar bill. His nickname was “Stonewall.” We store soundbites in our memory and we pass them down to our grandchildren. No mail delivery on Presidents Day, banks close but schools are in session and there are sales at Target. Congress passed a law making Presidents Day a Monday holiday…
We murdered millions of First People to get what we wanted, promises broken as greed expanded.
We witness the same dynamic in the Israel/Palestine Conflict. The misinformed think in black and white terms: Philistina does not exist. I use the name Philistine because that is what they call themselves. Bill speaks to the distinction between Philistine and Palestine here.
It looks like a series of squiggly lines but evokes a familiar biblical tribe: the Philistines.
British and the United States bound by “a special relationship” snap the Israel into existence in 1948, a catastrophe for the people already living there. The world was still reeling over the disclosure of concentration camps built by a country with a genocidal dream: Third Reich Germany. We forced villagers living near the camps to march through and to bury the dead found in those camps. Israelis and Americans know little or less about the daily human rights abuses in Israel and the occupied territories. It doesn’t help that the New York Times is corporate and NPR is sponsored by corporations. An independent press is our lifeblood.
There is an American camp established to house “enemies of the state” without legal recourse, or representation: Guantanamo, an American naval base from the days when Cuba was ours to manipulate.
We invaded, without provocation, the independent country of Iraq in 2003. My husband and I participated in one of many rallies in the days preceding that war, also a catastrophe. We were already in Afghanistan under the guise of chasing the terrorist responsible for the horror of 9/11 in New York City. We lost 3000 that day: it was genuine horror. We responded by murdering innocent civilian “collaterals.” Those fighting back are fighting for their autonomy and the right to own their nation without the foreign interests who run their government. The British set borders in their Middle Eastern colonies to contain rival religious sects that could fight one another and leave the governance to the halls of empire. Divide and conquer.
So our uninitiated young people and our more simple and hardline conservatives, tricked and lied to with a propaganda team that manipulates a language of fear alloyed with ignorance, have been at this war for 16 years! In keeping with this embarrassing situation – we also are a, so far, sole superpower gone wild in Israel. We want to make up for what started as humiliation and provocation by the Third Reich and murder of millions of Jews in Europe.
And now the shoe is on the other foot. Out of a vindictiveness, and resources available to the Earth’s fourth largest military, centuries old olive groves are bulldozed to break the spirit and humanity of the Palestinian people. Using humiliation as a daily means of control, cornering them in the same kind of ghetto that the Jews endured in Poland. Install a man with the skills of Joseph Goebbels to orchestrate. Without a military and with weapons on a par with those of the former Ottoman Empire, they revolted using these meager “weapons” and couldn’t gain their freedom.
With fell precision, Israel used a false-flag campaign to tell all Arabs living in ancestral homes that an attack by other Arab nations was imminent and they would be better off leaving their homes until the danger was over. 1948: 700,000 Palestinians lived out a modern incarnation of the “Trail of Tears.” So, building upon a lie Israel moved in and took this land from people who were sharing THEIR land with the new state of Israel. In a word, the Palestinians (Philistines) had their land stolen, with catastrophic (Nakba) results. Israel has a 10 per cent population of Palestinians who did not leave in 1948. Their access to the polls limited similar to Jim Crow. On the very day of his reelection Netanyahu famously warned of those “swarming” voters. It’s as repulsive as our Jim Crow laws in the South. Peaceful demonstrations were the beginning in our nation – because the removal of legal slave ownership should have made black people safe and equal – but let’s not be foolish – it did no such thing until black people got sick and tired of it and revolted – and I would do the same.
The Black Panthers were born into a dream denied, to paraphrase Langston Hughes. They demanded equality and freedom, and were also murdered, but the message made it to the fore and legal recourse resulted in affirmative action and enforcement of the 14th Amendment. Now, we have nazi storm troopers of a police armed with military gifted them by the Defense Department who just shoot black people like they’re in target practice! I’m sickened and ashamed – and we are the nation supporting the same shameful behavior of the current governmental leaders in Israel.
I lean on God, knowing in my heart it is the Enemy we need to fight: the evil that flourishes on greed and hate.