Friday, February 8, 2013


I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this. Part of this was triggered by a story on the net about an attempt to rename Nathan Bedford Forrestt park in Memphis. And basically it's seen as a Civil Rights issue. Comment after comment on the thread had the theme that nobody alive now was a slave or owned slaves so African Americans should “just get over it.”

Aristotle taught that some nations were naturally meant to be slaves. Except for the Greeks of course. And that kind of depended on who was at war with whom and how PO'd they were about it. No. No Americans living now own slaves. And most of us don’t have ancestors that owned slaves. That we know of. And I’m not going to go into the why fors and where fors of why our ancestors thought slavery was the right way to do things.

But I’ll throw out some random thoughts. Society condemns the drug addict or the down and outer who steals our stuff so they can sell it and get money to by drugs or whatever.  The stuff that we believe we need to survive. Our money. Our cars. Our electronics. Our jewelry. They steal them because they “need” it at the time.

Outside out houses and our cities it a great, big wonderful, divinely created world full of creatures that depend on that world for their food, their homes, their futures. And in the words of the seventies song “we plunder, we drill, we dredge and we tunnel. Trees standing naked finger the sky. Building a land for machines and computers, in the name of progress the farms have to die,” And I might add the rivers, the meadows, the sea and the mountain tops.

We rip up the land. We spread our poisons, We literally take the tops off mountains and dump the waste at the bottom of the hill. Because we “need” the energy. We need the cheap crops, We need stuff to fill the bottomless pit in our souls. And no, we don’t own slaves. Too many of us do turn a blind eye to the sweat shop labor paid pennies an hour to build an Iphone that can cost hundreds. And we’ll line up for hours to buy the newest one to replace the one we bought last year. And it proves what? Damned if I know.

I do believe that there is a worm at the heart of our civilization and it goes back thousands of years. Somewhere, sometime, somebody decided that they had the right to take another human being; take them from their homes, their families, their place in Creation and force them to do their will. And claim divine sanction for it.

When the conquerors came to the New World they didn’t see people who mostly lived in harmony with their world they saw Christian converts and potential slaves. And yes, there was war, and conquest and bloodshed on this side of the pond. The poison goes back further than the migration to the New World from the west.

I’m not sure where this is leading me, except that I suspect that African Americans aren’t the only ones who need to “get over it.” 

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