Are you shocked at academics who've just discovered descendants of slave owners and the enslaved are still waging war, or that corporate owned media has suddenly cast itself as Captain Renault -- shocked, shocked to find that police brutality is going on in here, the Land of the Free, when, in the Home of The Brave alone, man's inhumanity to humans of color has been going on in here, since our forefathers lied to, stole from and murdered the first Native American.
After our Civil War transformed us into superficial emancipation, warmongering turned its sights on subtler means of class-warfare. Though the Gettysburg Address was a conscious attempt to fill in historical gaps in our Declaration of Independence, women remained second class citizens without the right to vote and former slaves, propped up as pretense of equality, served at the pleasure of We Built That carpetbaggers -- as prelude to LaPierre's Demographically Symbolic.
Celebrating the Civil War's 150th and WWI's 100th or seventy-four years since Pearl Harbor; or fifty-two since JFK while forty-seven for King & Bobby; Kent State Four 45th, twenty since Oklahoma children, fourteen since 9/11 and two since Boston Marathon -- has commemorating violent death and destruction brought us to an appreciation for Article 1 Section 8 Clause 12 of the U. S. Constitution, or are we a canvass for campus Open Carry?
Wars, like hearts and minds, are not won by blood in our streets; nor by profit manipulated multiplication of prison populations, militarized law enforcement and Corporatism's need to empower the good life on the backs of the new slavery: harvesting food, sweat shops and minimum wage.
In a region replete with ancient animosities, a NATO ally in the war against ISIS has probably massacred (1822-1904) well over a quarter of a million people. Few nations, including our own, are blameless in a world where poverty and war claim the ignored lives of millions, even as they try to flee Africa aboard inadequate boats for the chance of both life and safety, in the west.
Yes, all lives matter; words matter; ideas matter; mutually created solutions matter. However, if we are to progress from repeating past human peculiar institutions, militarized police and failing to connect the dots between community intimidation, drug lords, obese poverty and government arms deals, we must retire rhetoric and employ listening to the truth of reconciliation.
I beg academic writers, commissions and study groups to pause long enough to listen to those we claim we are saving, before producing any more textbooks, findings and whitepapers of half-truths, because the whole truth is, we know much too little about the Middle East to invest so much war power to educate such a culturally complex region in slavery and torture western style.
Better to listen to our own bully targets tell their stories of teen induced suicide by other teens. Give the mic to beaten wives and girlfriends. Grant those who know firsthand the horror of rape a chance to speak without condemnation. Give Stage to those who have directly suffered from human trafficking, kidnapping, wrongful imprisonment, gun violence and lynching.
With unprecedented undivided attention, acknowledge all historically enslaved people: Native Americans, Chinese & Mexican immigrants, Immokalee Farm workers, Japanese-Americans remanded during WWII - in addition to Africans brought here against their will, to be bought & sold as property.
Offer a listening challenge to both the decedents of irreparable damage and those instilled with the expectancy of privilege and entitlement, still benefiting from the Jeffersonian model of institutional slavery: having it both ways.
Now, Anywhere USA: Open Minds share open mic.