Never Forget by floacist
There has never been another large historical event that has it’s decedents be told to ‘get over’ than the ancestors’ of the enslavement of millions of Africans transported across the Atlantic.
There has never been such any formal set of reparations for the 300+ centuries of enslavement of Africans, and needless to say, there obviously never will be one. (As more time passes, its getting easier to ‘explain’ why reparations simply ‘cannot be made’).
I ponder this question often. How exactly can that be done? How can you get over what is your identity in the US? Your heritage? Get over your lineage? Get over your ancestry? Get over your great grandparents legacy? Get over the fact that you cannot trace your family tree than a few generations?
Hey, any tips guys? You have yet to give out any.
I know many of you like to imagine that the transatlantic slave trade took place thousands of years ago. On some B.C. or some shit. I know its comforting if you compare it to the slaves of the Romans, Greeks or the Hebrews in Egypt [okay, I’m just entertaining the idea that the Biblical story of Exodus is real for a moment] because its ancient history. Too bad it isn’t. There were still former slaves around in the 1940s. (That’s during the time of World War II, by the way. I’m certain no one forgets that).
It seems as though anything that involves Black suffering should either be swept under the rug, or that we must ‘move on’ from it. We should never acknowledge it. Anniversaries should never be mentioned. Just move on and pretend it never happened.
Any time one attempts to bring up slavery in any kind of discussion we are immediately silenced or disregarded; our tragedies don’t matter, they are dismissed whether it be because it was too long ago [slavery was abolished 150 years ago, but the violence and discrimination along with Jim Crow did not end until the 1970s] or trivialized (deflecting direct responsibility by pointing out that the Africans were selling the slaves to the Europeans, as if that holds any relevance. If not that, but ‘Arabs had African slaves too!’ or ‘Blacks were not the only slaves. White people were slaves too!’ And if not, then of course than ‘well none of you guys are slaves!’)
There is no end to the excuses made. Every time I feel like I’ve heard it all, I learn a new one. There is absolutely no acceptance of wrongdoings. Its not my fault, leave me alone. Stop trying to make me feel “guilty”.
I’ve even read about some disapproving openings of slave museum because it might spark ‘anger’. Why is the history of African enslavement the only event that has ever been censored? I mean its not like this country wasn’t built upon slavery, the free labor of African Americans or anything. But the abundance of Holocaust (an event that did not even occur in the states) museums are okay.
America is such an immature young country. Nobody whines as much as the United States when it comes to facing their own past crimes. In Germany the Nazi flag and salute are banned. You will get arrested. The Confederate flag? Still flying in some places (by the way guys, in case you forgot, you lost).
The fact that the first public apology for slavery did not occur until the late 1990s says it all. This alone makes statements like ‘I’m tired of apologizing for slavery!’ and ‘I’m tired of being punished!’ from White Americans laughable bullshit. You’ve never had to apologize for anything. Not slavery, not Jim Crow, not Tulsa, not Rosewood (an event that was kept secret and not revealed to the public until the 1980s) ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
For all the centuries worth of colonizing, raping, murdering, genocide, self hatred and torture they have done/brought upon other people of the earth, what is this constant ‘punishment’ you keep bringing up? Being made fun of as being bland in comedy stand ups?
What were the repercussions…not being able to freely do those racist things anymore? Not being able to ridicule, harass and/or humiliate black people as openly anymore?
I’d say you guys got off pretty fucking easy.
The juxtaposition of these images makes me a little uncomfortable, because all three do have extreme emotions tied to them. And because they’re all unrelated events (where hate is one of the common denominators) that happened at very different times. Some would look at this and say that we cannot compare struggles (which we can’t) and that by comparing it we’re diminishing the severity that people felt.
HOWEVER, the op does have a point. In that NO major tragedy should be diminished or have its severity glossed over. And (going against my own advice), no tragedy has been so systemic and long lasting as the African slave trade, where 200 years since the end of the trade, the effects are still being felt. Even more reason to ‘NEVER FORGET’ what the slave trade did. Better yet, let’s BEGIN TO REMEMBER because history books and classes wanna act like that ish didn’t ever happen, that there is no causality to our current state of racial affairs, that there is no link whatsoever and that slavery wasn’t all that bad; nothing more than an economic system.
We need to be more responsible and truthful in educating about ALL these world tragedies—-not just paint a two-dimensional picture—-but really discuss all the factors and look at all the players and complicit people even if that means some of our more revered characters in history have to come down a peg or two in our (society’s) reverence of them.