Talking About the Queen Again

Organizers said accused Charleston shooter Dylann Roof wasn’t an “isolated actor,” but a “product of a consistent pattern of state-sponsored terrorism and radicalized dehumanization in America.” The event originally was aimed at burning the Confederate flag, but later changed to focus on the stars and stripes....

“There will be no peace until we tear down this system of oppression...

"We do not believe the ideals of America are anything to be revered. We are building something that will be much better than America. While the so-called patriots yell that we should just leave, we instead choose to dream. We dream of what real freedom looks like: freedom from paramilitaries occupying our communities, beating and killing our sons and daughters; freedom from our communities being destroyed by the speculative capital of gentrification; freedom from mass surveillance; and freedom from systemic racism.

“So, we will burn the American flag, a symbol of oppression and genocide, and in the same action, dismantle our stunted, cynical expectations of what is possible in the world."
They're right, after a fashion. It was the stars and stripes that flew over the slave ships, which the Confederate Battle Flag never did. They were mostly American ships sailing out of Northern harbors, under the American flag, all the way up until Lincoln. Just ask Allen West.

It's gonna be Independence Day. At some point, maybe we need some independence from old hates. It's a bad history all the way around -- the British are no better, as they were slavers before they finished building their industrial revolution, just as the North were the leading slave traders until they had built theirs. Either we have to burn it all down, and not just the flags but the whole thing: or we've got to find a way to forgive. And forgive not each other, for none of us made this. What we've got to do, somehow, is forgive our ancestors. You have to. No matter how bad your father and mother were, no matter how bad your grandparents were, if you can't forgive them you'll always end up hating a part of yourself. Hating your country and your heritage is the same way. If you can't forgive it and find the good in it, there will always be a part of yourself that you hate too. Forgive them, and you'll find that you've freed yourself.


Anonymous said...

The notion that picking at old wounds of past generations is an ugly remnant from the nations that our ancestors left. To resurrect it here is a disgrace.

The Moslems and the Jews, the Serbs and the Croats, the Protestants and the Catholics, the French and the Germans -- all of these were conflicts that we, as Americans, left behind. It made life better for all of us.


Grim said...

Some of it followed us, I guess. Some of it we imported. James Edward Oglethorpe, that very good man -- the one political hero I have from the period who isn't at all responsible for slavery, as he banned slaves from the colony of Georgia when he got the charter to set it up -- he tried to warn them even in 1733. There was just too much money. It was money like nobody had ever seen, not in all human history, especially after the cotton gin.

They made a mistake. They made it together, and they nearly all of them turned a blind eye to it in spite of a fearsome human cost until they'd made enough that they could afford to walk away. But we all benefit, we who live today, from the industrial revolution. If you're reading this, you benefited from what they did whether you like it or not.

It's a hell of a history, from the late 1400s on. But it's what we've got, and in a way we may not like we're all better off for it. Physically. Technologically. Maybe not morally, at least not completely: but we can work on that because we have the leisure. And it's that leisure that they bought us.