The United States of America and it’s People Must Stand Together and Take Responsibility for the Dark Chapters of It’s Past
This is a very difficult article to write. Some people may not fully understand what is at stake here. Many may get angry when they read it. But I feel it is time this is said and it is way past time for many different areas of United States history to be opened up and accounted for and by doing so should bring to the nation a renewed sense of value about what it truly means to be free.
”May whoever is without guilt cast the first stone.” Jesus Christ
Above all, this powerful statement should cause any person, regardless of religious conviction, political heritage or ethnic genetics to go and take a good long look in the mirror and take account of themselves and admit that all of us, everyone of us, is guilty of judging others based on some sort of arbitrary evaluation that we deem gives us the authority to indulge in being judge, master and conqueror of all we can see.
Allow me to use one of the most painful examples in world history and something that I have struggled with myself and certainly is a cause for great pain in a country that I love.
I moved to Germany in 1988 and one thing that has been a constant all through my experience here has been the repeated observances of the crimes committed by the country during World War II. German citizens are repeatedly forced to observe, remember and pay homage to the collective guilt of a regime that brought international shame and indignation to it.
I personally must admit I get tired of them, and I know that Germans also don’t like being reminded of this horrific time either, but they do it because it is of utmost importance to revisit those atrocities so that they can never happen again.
The real problem is that the disease of mass insanity is shared by all nations and all peoples. So, in essence these observations in Germany could also be a warning to all people everywhere that the ugly face of racism, bigotry, terrorism and religious persecution can be worn by anyone, anywhere and at anytime.
The disease is an epidemic of judgment and blame of people who pray, look, vote, work and live differently than ourselves. In particular is the cycle of this disease when there are repeat offenses volleyed back and for between certain groups of individuals. It just gets worse and worse, unless it goes checked.
The only remedy for such a social disease is a constant purification of the spirit. The only way to purify the spirit is to take out the impurity, and burn it in the fires of repentance.
Soon, everyone who lived during the years 1931 – 1945 will be dead and gone. But, as we all know there is still a group who hold this period and it’s ideals high and would have Germany, as well as in other countries, go back to those ways. Therefore, today, even the innocent, those born after the fact are required to remember and value the guilt of the past and to make sure nobody forgets what was once so devastatingly put into action.
So when I look at the United States of America, my country, a country whose values I feel were founded on the highest of ideals, it is difficult to consider the sins of our past. After all, we save the world right? We can do no wrong? We are flawless. We have no sins to confess so we don’t need to observe such things that the German population must do on a regular basis.
My answer to that is a resounding ”WRONG”!
In my estimation one of the most patriotic things that all people of the United States of America, and that includes those who are not even legally there or are full citizens, is to take responsibility and observe the darkest chapters of our history so that it will never happen again and stops now. The endeavor is to right wrongs and try to develop a kindred spirit of atonement knowing that the ”Great Experiment” is still happening and each person has a stake and a responsibility to own it.
It is easy to blame the past for the problems of the present, but unless we address those problems here and now, then the disease of the past is recreated by us over and over and over again.
Am I a racist?
Well, am I white? Am I African? Am I African-American? Am I Asian? Am I Jewish? Am I Latino? Am I a Heinz 57?”
Yes, if you see yourself as one of these then you are a racist. Because when you identify with the color of your skin, you identify other’s by theirs. It is as simple as that.
But, it is more complex than that too. It includes national heritage, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, political affiliations and things I can’t even think of here.
The disease of judgmental insanity lives in all of us, it is the human condition. But, if any people on earth are to conquer this disease the United States should lead the way and every proud American needs to stand up and confess that, yes…
We are guilty even if we have done nothing to perpetrate it.
Because we do nothing to prevent it.
What are some of the dark chapters the government and the people of the United States need to take responsibility for and to remember and commemorate?
Obviously a huge problem for the Founding Fathers was slavery and the racial hatred stemming from that. Yes, all white people, whether they think they are guilty or not, should observe the dark chapter of slavery and racial hatred that accompanies it and own up to the fact that yes, we didn’t prevent it, so we are in fact guilty. Let us never ever go there again. We must own it, confess it, take responsibility for it and observe it on a regular basis, to cleanse ourselves of this filthy scar. The United States of America should have at least a day of remembrance for this dark chapter in its history.
Another dark chapter that it would do the United States to observe is the ethnic cleansing and theft of the lands from the Native Americans who were the original tenants of the vast treasure of North America. It needs to be commemorated and remembered as well. No, we today have nothing to do with the past, but we need to take responsibility for it by bringing into our constant conscience so that it may never happen again.
But, more than any of this, the shared responsibility of human insanity is something we as the melting pot people should do, because we as a United States, are best when we hold true that ”From many, one.” ”E pluribus Unum.”
We are not like some of my German friends who really are a genetic German because the only people in their entire family tree over thousands of years is German. Americans are as a genetic group a mix of many nationalities, ethnicities, religions and cultures, so it isn’t only our duty to respect those who are not like us but to embrace the differences as being a part of who we are as a people.
There is nothing more anti-American than being a bigot, regardless of the reason, race, religion, nationality, sexuality or culturally.
When we look at the recent shooting in South Carolina there is a new swell of discussion on the topic of racism, white supremacy, gun control and whether the symbols of the Confederacy should be allowed to be displayed. These are all ”Dark Chapter” topics, and it is high time the United States of America remember and take responsibility for it.
The reality is that these issues are symptoms of a disease that the United States needs to address and that is a shared responsibility for wrongs committed and to celebrate a new birth of freedom from the dark chapters of our past so that can once and for all end.
In order to form a more perfect union we must take united responsibility for the sins of our past, acknowledge them and never ever forget.
All white people need to take responsibility for racism. No, not all white people are racists, I certainly don’t consider myself one, but that isn’t the point. The fact is, white people have done some atrocious things to the African-Americans over the course of history and until we all take full responsibility for it and stop trying to shrug it off as being one of the innocent, we will never get anywhere. It saddens me to think that had I been born in a different time and place I could have well been someone to do horrible things to people. Yes, it can happen to me. Because it can happen to me I must face the fact that I am white and therefore I share some of the blame for it.
It is a miracle that someone like Martin Luther King came and told an entire society of people not to do the expected, not to do the normal, not to take part in the insanity. I am uncertain what the United States would look like today if Martin Luther King hadn’t led his people away from committing many dark chapters of history for themselves and for the rest of the country as well. How many lives did he save? How many like minded courageous practitioners of peace did he mentor? Much of his inspiration was from Gandhi, who led a passive movement in India as well.
You see the cure for the disease is as epidemic and even more powerful than the curse of it. But, it must be carried on. It begins with remembrance and responsibility.
The forces of evil are on the march constantly and they don’t ever sleep. Our call to expose and disempower those forces must also be constant and ever present. It may not be a pleasant message to hear, but one we must hear and embrace, because saying we aren’t responsible is to open the door to be implicated by association when terrible things happen.
Gun control: You can’t control people, but you can control things.
I agree fully that guns don’t kill, people do. There is no arguing the point, it is true. But, is it possible to control people? Hardly. So all that is left is to do what we can do to control guns. It doesn’t mean taking guns away from people, but it does mean that we must control guns and have very stringent requirements for their ownership, not so much based on the person, but on the gun itself. It isn’t a people policy it is a weapons policy.
But, when I combine this topic with the above topic, it means that even the people who own guns and who haven’t killed anyone with a gun need to take responsibility for the actions of those who like them have guns and have used them against innocents. Yes, you are guilty by association, so instead of complaining about gun control it is actually in your best interest to enforce it. Do you really want to be associated with people who kill innocents with guns? Like it or not, you are associated with them, so if I owned a gun, I would want to make sure that guns were managed responsibly or it would not be wrong to have them outlawed.
The Confederate Flag: To me, the Confederate Flag stands for one thing…ignorant red necks.
That is all it means to me. It is like displaying a huge sign saying, ”Hey look at me, I am white, big, fat, dumb and stupid and damn proud of it.” But, that is just my association with it. It doesn’t mean it is true.
The point is, it is a symbol, and symbols can mean anything. To some it may mean, ”I am a rebel” or ”Heart of Dixie.” But, to many the symbol of the Confederate Flag means championing slavery, racial bigotry, hatred and terrorism.
But, really all it ever was is a flag flown by the Confederate States of America during it’s effort to secede from the United States of America. There was a war held because of it and the United States of America won that war. So, if I understand the way war works, it means that the flag of the victorious party gets to fly and the flag of the loser doesn’t.
Seems simple enough to me. Here is the problem.
The United States is actually a group of individual states united together under one central government, which is useful because it gives equal power to all states and is beneficial to the weaker states as well to the stronger states. So, there is an element of autonomy that each state enjoys, which of course was one of the major topics of the civil war where the south claimed that the Federal Government didn’t have the right to make certain laws which were of particular interest in the south, a major topic being the far reaching and hot topic issue of slavery, which by any measure is against the laws of man.
So, even today there are areas where different states can have different laws according to what is deemed important to that state. What happens is, that the Federal Government can pass a law or an amendment to the constitution which overrides laws of any state. One of the areas that the Federal Government has no control is over the State Flag. It is up to the states to decide which flag to fly.
However, it could happen that at some point in the future the Federal Government will take control of the state flags issue and decree what may or may not be used in it, for example the flag of the Confederacy. Being that the United States won the war, the argument could be made that flying the Confederate Flag for any reason is not merely a right of the Freedom of Speech, but a sign of treason, punishable by law. To keep the peace and to not take more power than it needs, the Federal Government lets this issue slide. And that is probably a good thing.
The problem is that it is just a flag, a piece of material. Does it really matter what the flag is? In Europe they simply have three stripes of whatever color combination. The flags are only as a symbol of a country, not to really mean anything in particular. Yes, people have allegiance to their flags, and have pride for them, but they don’t usually carry with them such hot topics as does the Confederate Flag or the American Flag for that matter.
The question is, does the Confederate Flag meet the same level of the Nazi Swastika? It could well be argued that it does and therefore could and should be outlawed. Many fly both and mean the exact same thing. So, the Confederate Flag is a lot bloodier than just your average symbol of a revolution, it is a symbol of hate as well.
Again, many who fly the Confederate Flag don’t see it that way, but my question is, doesn’t it bother them that others do? Do they want to associate themselves with that? Does a state really want to have a Confederate Flag with all of the Darkness it can represent flying above it’s capitol as if to say, yes we are still racist bigots? It is so unimportant but made important by people who believe in such unimportant things as a flag.
The United States and it’s dark chapters must make the Stars and Stripes pure by embracing the dark chapters and take responsibility for it. We the people must together, all of us, do what we can to remember the insanity of our collective past and march ahead together knowing that we all are guilty and have no right to cast the first stone.
It is time to erect monuments, symbols and have days dedicated to the remembrance of the Dark Chapters in the history of the United States in order to ensure that such insanity stops now and never returns.