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Truth and Reconciliation in America

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posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 01:38 PM
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Disclaimer

How does one go about facing a task that is well out of one’s league? Until now, I have mostly avoided topics that I assumed to be out of my reach, where the scope is too grand for my limited perspective. But I’ve been watching and listening, reading a little, writing more than ever, and I can see we all have a tremendous problem (don’t you see it?) and ignoring it has only let it fester and grow uncontested. We have been focusing our attention on mostly superficial issues, treading water and the more we talk the less we seem to understand each other.
**All that to say, please forgive me for any and all inadequacies in my presentation of such a raw and weighty subject.

Facing Down the Horrors of Our Nation’s Past.

America, Land of the Free, is a nation/notion I desperately want to believe in. I do feel a slight sense of pride when thinking about our flag and my country, and can name and acknowledge a great deal of beneficial ideas and technology that were advanced here, and stand behind the foundation established by our Constitution. My paternal side came over to humble beginnings (my great grandfather immigrated from Slovenia, and was killed in a Christmas Eve coal mine collapse, my grandpa forced to sweep factory floors when he was 8 so his family of 6 could eat), and most of the men in my family have served our country in various “engagements” (wars- that is another topic entirely). My dad worked hard his whole life and achieved the “American Dream,” at least to his own satisfaction. On my mom’s side, we have some family who preceded the Revolution and others who fled Ireland in times of trouble to find refuge here. My in-laws emigrated from Japan and established themselves as Americans-- they take pride in this country as their own. I have travelled to numerous countries and haven’t found one in which I’d rather live; in short, I love it here.

But… there is a dark side to America. From its inception (I’m talking about The United States of America, not the land pre-colonist) until now, this country has accumulated a very long list of grievous atrocities, and we are at a point now where we can either face and atone for our history or spiral deeper into a fragmented and unstable society. There simply is no more room under the rug in which to brush our dirt. I would like to make one thing clear here: NONE of us are directly or indirectly responsible for the wrongdoing of others. The approach our country has taken to its atrocities has been one of diffusing an uneasy guilt and/or victimhood over its citizenry, while never officially acknowledging the horrors done in the government’s name or never bringing the real perpetrators (most of who are long dead) to justice.
Surely none of my readers need to be reminded of particular horrors done in the government’s name, but I do think that with the distance of time, it becomes easier to forget the terrible nature of certain crimes, and why we have swaths of our population still suffering real and psychological effects (PTSD) from grievous injustices done and never rectified.
The flag debate was an interesting one, and I think we are doing ourselves and everyone else harm when we don’t acknowledge that the US flag may have different or conflicting meanings to some.
One good example is of the Sand Creek Massacre, where an estimated 60-200 (so sad there is no official number) men and mostly women and children were killed and butchered/mutilated/brutalized by a branch of the US Army. The chief had gathered the children around him, and was holding a US flag and a White flag of surrender when they cut him down. How can an ardent defender of the American flag expect the cloth to mean the same thing to Native Americans as it does to him/her?
I think it is time for ALL of us Americans to be more understanding and real when it comes to the social issues we are facing. For many black Americans, American Indians, and others (Japanese Concentration Camp prisoners, Chinese rail workers, poor European immigrants wooed into grueling factory work, etc) America the Beautiful might never have existed.
On the flip side, many “white” Americans escaped horrific oppression/genocide themselves to settle in the United States and might have a completely different perspective about the country, as might some of the innumerable immigrants from Africa/South America/the Middle and Far East. We are a varied and colorful populace, mostly united by certain ideals, but we cannot blame others if they have a different and not-so-positive perspective based on real historical--and present--conditions.

Here is the good news-- I have faith that America the Beautiful CAN exist, and already does to enough of an extent that it is absolutely worth fighting for.

Truth and Reconciliation

What will it take to rectify the wrongs done?
The first part of truth and reconciliation is the most crucial-- our government needs to officially recognize the past wrongs done, admit to genocide and in very plain speech admit to the explicit and implicit atrocities in which the government has participated. History books should be rewritten to show the true nature and names of the perpetrators of massacres, pictures of people smiling around public lynchings should be shown in textbooks just as often as a statue of an old Confederate soldier is displayed so that we can know the full TRUTH. “White people” didn’t do it, but that one particular town in Indiana (for example) DID and we should know about it if we are to know about our own (human) nature--the GOOD as well as the BAD-- and come to terms with our nation's checkered past.

In addition to an official acknowledgement and apology (done in the spirit of truthfulness and of righting wrongs in order to strengthen and rectify our image!), I do think the government had some responsibility to ensure justice for all. This might mean extending some reservation lands and focusing on education in impoverished areas, providing PTSD counseling, meeting with community leaders about problems facing the community, changing the laws or the way certain laws are enforced so that certain demographic are not disproportionately targeted and punished for offenses.

Any other ideas here? By using resources wisely, our government absolutely CAN ensure a more positive and unified future for all Americans. And of course, we ALL benefit from having a healthy and happy citizenry.

I hope this issue reaches just a few others who are as passionate about finding solutions as I am. Please comment here with some ideas! I know we can make a change, and I truly believe that right now is the time to start advocating for ourselves and others before our country devolves into something we no longer recognize.




posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 01:48 PM
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This is foolish. You cannot judge history through a modern lens. Every action the Americans carried out from the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock to the claiming of indian lands as the country expanded to locking up Japanese Americans during WWII brought us to the point we are currently, the most powerful nation on Earth. Would I change any of it? Butterfly effect would seem to state such changes potentially do far more harm than good. Would I support "righting" those wrongs? No, life sucks for everyone, buy a helmet and move on... Mankind is a sum of our experiences, we learn from them and we progress, and that is the "righting" of past wrongs, not some nonsensical "punish the sons for the sins of the fathers which weren't even sins when they were committed" rose colored glass backlooking.



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 01:51 PM
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a reply to: burdman30ott6

It is foolish to assume we can just "move on" from genocide and leave it unacknowledged. It is downright cruel to continue the abuse by disproportionately punishing crime in poor black neighborhoods (for example) throwing tax money into prisons rather than education.



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 01:51 PM
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If you focus too much on the past, you will never move forward into the future. I really see no need for truth and reconciliation.

Men do evil things. There isn't a country in existence that hasn't done something regrettable. Even the native Americans who were here in the States before us brutalized each other. I mean where does truth and reconciliation stop? You can do this back to the beginning of time.

All we can do is maybe analyze the conditions that allowed for such atrocities to take place so they don't happen again but we can't wallow in it. Sh*t happens.



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 01:55 PM
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a reply to: burdman30ott6




Every action the Americans carried out from the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock


Americans ?

No, they where English.



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

I agree, which is why I took a really tempered approach in my OP (admitting to the atrocities officially, just as we have pressured Germany/Turkey to do) and then using our already abused tax money to the benefit of all rather than to continue the present mess.

If we care about historical statues in the South, surely we also care to have the real history of our country represented in the books, right?



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 01:58 PM
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originally posted by: burdman30ott6
This is foolish. You cannot judge history through a modern lens. Every action the Americans carried out from the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock to the claiming of indian lands as the country expanded to locking up Japanese Americans during WWII brought us to the point we are currently, the most powerful nation on Earth. Would I change any of it? Butterfly effect would seem to state such changes potentially do far more harm than good. Would I support "righting" those wrongs? No, life sucks for everyone, buy a helmet and move on... Mankind is a sum of our experiences, we learn from them and we progress, and that is the "righting" of past wrongs, not some nonsensical "punish the sons for the sins of the fathers which weren't even sins when they were committed" rose colored glass backlooking.


Kudos to you for destroying the nonsense being drummed into young impressionable minds in our colleges!


You said it in a manner that would most likely BAN you from EVER speaking on college campus!



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: seeker1963

So you see no problem in our current situation (social climate)? Or the only problem you see is "liberalism"?

I have just as much a right to speak my mind and have the issues I brought up addressed as you do. Any specific problem with the points I made in my OP?
edit on 16-4-2018 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: burdman30ott6

Which sin weren't considered 'sins' back then...

The genocide, slaves, rapes, fights to the death, claiming lands, eradication of some who were here?



There will never be a version of America where whites and blacks or other minorities can claim this country as equals with no prejudices. Never. It's impossible.



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:09 PM
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originally posted by: zosimov
a reply to: seeker1963

So you see no problem in our current situation (social climate)? Or the only problem you see is "liberalism"?

I have just as much a right to speak my mind and have the issues I brought up addressed as you do. Any specific problem with the points I made in my OP?


When did I mention Liberalism? You do realize the current Progressive/Marxist movement is isolating TRUE LIBERALS and driving them either to Independent or Conservative?

Did I ever say you didn't have right to bring up what you feel as "issues"?

You pretty much proved my point on how our colleges are brain washing people. Colleges used to encourage the exchange of ideas, but now they want a HUGE safe space where any ideas outside of theirs is considered hate speech and what other nonsensical word they can come up with to call speech they disagree with!

You accused me of things I never said. I wasn't even addressing you, but complimenting/agreeing with another member. You can say whatever the hell you want! I can too! The 1st is a beautiful thing and you will NEVER see me saying you don't have the right to speak your mind.






edit on 16-4-2018 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-4-2018 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:09 PM
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I know the past is nasty, but you didn't do it and I didn't do it, so lets all try our best to, "go forth and sin no more." You can't really fix yesterday, but you can screw up tomorrow. So lets try for no screw ups!



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:09 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Nice thought but when so many are for tearing down statues about the past then I see an issue.



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:16 PM
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a reply to: seeker1963

Please don't conflate my misuse of the word "liberalism" (when you meant progressive marxism- most use them interchangeably these days anyway)with calling somebody a racist or something.

You are creating a victimhood out of nothing.

I suppose what bothered me as it was my 2 hours of careful writing dismissed as some college drivel. I'm well out of academia by now. And my approach, if you read, was very careful for example I made a point to say that NONE of US are guilty for the atrocities of others.

Forgive me for misunderstanding your post though.
edit on 16-4-2018 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:17 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Hmm... well, hangups are entirely on the shoulders of those who refuse to get past them, frankly. As far as crime goes, is it disproportionately punished, or disproportionately committed? If the latter plays a role, perhaps not committing crimes would reach the same desired ends only with a flair of personal responsibility and drive, ya?



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:22 PM
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originally posted by: odzeandennz
a reply to: burdman30ott6

Which sin weren't considered 'sins' back then...


Slavery, claiming of spoils (i.e. land) following conflict, those with the ability to conquer actively conquering... these weren't sins of the past, they were standard operating procedure for the world with thousands of years of precedent behind them.




There will never be a version of America where whites and blacks or other minorities can claim this country as equals with no prejudices. Never. It's impossible.

If it is impossible, then why are we having this conversation to begin with? Chasing the impossible seems unrealistic and foolish. Equality really only takes one thing and it is something which has been sorely missing... the "unequals" need to believe they are not only equal, but able to achieve equality without unequal, artificial assists. Until we reach that point we're witnessing some grand hybridization of reality and theater.



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:22 PM
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a reply to: DBCowboy

So which is it? We care to remember and mark and honor our history, or the mistakes of our past are over and done with?

I don't think we can have both.

I am for KEEPING statues and (of course!) battlefields and historical places open, maintained, visible, but also for a more honest and revealing approach to history (ever heard of Black Wallstreet, where a whole black community was firebombed and razed by government? I hadn't until recently).



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:22 PM
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originally posted by: zosimov
a reply to: seeker1963

Please don't conflate my misuse of the word "liberalism" (when you meant progressive marxism- most use them interchangeably these days anyway)with calling somebody a racist or something.

You are creating a victimhood out of nothing.

I suppose what bothered me as it was my 2 hours of careful writing dismissed as some college drivel. I'm well out of academia by now. And my approach, if you read, was very careful for example I made a point to say that NONE of US are guilty for the atrocities of others.

Forgive me for misunderstanding your post though.


It's all good! I actually get miffed when I see Conservatives call anyone left of Conservative "Liberal"! I have a lot of libertarian beliefs that align with our founders and the Constitution, but I sure as hell am NOT a Progressive!



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:23 PM
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originally posted by: seeker1963
You said it in a manner that would most likely BAN you from EVER speaking on college campus!


My children are homeschooled, so they'll spread the good word themselves when they reach their college years.



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:25 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Why not simply acknowledge the past without filters of any ideology.



posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:26 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

In the other end, there are those who wish to remove the US in favor of a new government. They see the entire US institutions as inherently racist and wish to overthrow it. Examples include the original Black Panther Party

The anti TPTB leftists believed we shouldn't emulate the Founding Fathers and instead look to others. They saw them as racist and imperialist that did nothing good for people of color. They also saw the Founding Fathers as part of the TPTB.

Instead, they believe we should look to men like Salvador Allende and Thomas Sankara (Leader of Burkina Faso in the 1980s until he was overthrown by the French). Many of them look up Allende because he considers both the US and the Soviet Union as oppressive empires while Sankara was admired for calling out the TPTB and did many good things like giving equal rights for women.


edit on 4/16/2018 by starwarsisreal because: (no reason given)



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