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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/2/22

The Price of a Post Modern Ticket

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An Essay Review of Dr. Eddie S. Glaude's book: Begin Again.

The Price of the Post-Modern Ticket

Here is a sophisticated collection of thoughts. A deeply moving critical analysis of a fundamental American dilemma: avoiding the truth about ourselves and our country.

In the aftermath of the Trump debacle, the book changes from history, biography and literary criticism to a bit of "tough love" talk about American society and the American way of life. It is talk seldom heard above America's constant declaration of its innocence, but one sorely needed if we are ever to turn the corner and have an honest reckoning with the truth about our history.

Here, Princeton Professor Eddie S. Glaude, helps us distinguish historical facts from fiction, and truth from lies, by filtering them through, and having them validated by, James Baldwin's active and subtle mind.

They agree with Chris Hedges and Dr Cornel West that American is now in its own "after times," paralleling the prophesy of Revelations 2:5, which gives us instructions on how to begin doing our "first works" over again.

Despite near panic protestations otherwise, the historical evidence is voluminous and clear: the "American Project" has moved away from crawling slowly up its asymptote of becoming a more perfect Union, to moving rather abruptly downward along a trajectory vectored towards imminent failure as a functioning democracy.

The author says here that our last hope for a mid-course correction is to look back in order to understand the choices we have made, and how the consequences of those choices have gotten us into our own "end times."

Unremembering and failing to examine the damage caused by these consequences, has become the leitmotif and signature of the American way of life, and of its convoluted, but transparently false, history.

It seems that we lie to keep our heads above the moral waterline. Morally, like George Floyd, American society too cannot breathe. We are gagging and choking ourselves to death on our own lies and hypersensitive claims of innocence.

The author says we cannot begin again as along as we continue spinning historical lies about who we are and about what we stand for, when those very lies betray the truth of the carnage our way of life has sowed.

In short, we cannot begin again when our history is constipated with foundational lies that contradict the truth as well as the real meaning of what is important to our society.

The unspeakable "white identity project" floating along parallel to our history, has been left vulnerable to any authoritarian demagogue that happens to sneak under the tent of our fragile democracy.

We now know that once there, they can have their way with America as Donald John Trump did. They can do their solitary dirty work with devastating consequences to our society and walk away unmolested and without being held morally or criminally accountable. The American social order has become the design-space for maintaining any lie that preserves white superiority in a steady state.

Left unchecked now for three centuries, white supremacy has literally "choked the life out of untold numbers of human beings," and in the process has also completely "disfigured the souls" of people who consider themselves white.

The souls of these brothers and sisters have been so twisted and "hollowed out" that they have closed off the possibility of ever again being able to see themselves through the eyes of others. "Being considered white" remains the highest value in the land. It means being right, powerful, rich and beautiful. No other values seem to matter in the American social ecology.

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Retired Foreign Service Officer and past Manager of Political and Military Affairs at the US Department of State. For a brief time an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Denver and the University of Washington at (more...)
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