I felt a wave of either sadness or despair yesterday evening over the state of the US. We have had 400 to 500 years of festering wounds. (I think of them as abscesses that need to be lanced to heal.) We can start with stealing the land from the Native Americans, and then there's the policies of intentional genocide such as giving them blankets infested with smallpox. Well, then there's the attitude that they weren't/aren't as good as white people, being a different color, culture and religion. The US is still ignoring their wants and wishes about their sacred lands, education, health care, jobs, and the like. I suppose there might still be people who think that the only good Indian is a dead Indian. Frankly, the Spanish and Portuguese weren't any better towards the indigenous peoples. Sigh
I remember someone posting when Maine changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. A woman responded that this was disgusting. I replied that the Indigenous Peoples were here thousands of years before we got here. I also noted that Columbus never stepped foot on the North American continent. She was silent after that.
The next wound is slavery and Jim Crow. I know there are people who would be happy for all African Americans to move to Africa or the like. I grew up in the 50s and 60s. I still catch myself having a racist thought every once in awhile. I am mortified when this happens. I think my sisters and I were started on a more compassionate path one night way back in the 50s. (I don't remember this, but was told about it by my sisters, although I was there.) One of my sisters pitched a fit because she wanted chocolate ice cream rather than vanilla which was the only flavor we had. Without telling us why, my dad put all of us in the car and drove us through one of the poorest neighborhoods in town. He didn't say a word apparently.
We also had someone come in and clean the house. My mom would drive her home sometimes rather than her having to take the bus or have someone come get her. I would go along before I was old enough to go to school. Our house cleaner was African American. I saw the difference between our neighborhood and hers. Just enough difference to be noticeable. I don't know that I noticed it consciously, but I did to some extent as I remember it now over 60 years later.
My parents were conservative, but I don't remember them making any racist remarks or treating anyone differently. Yet, racism was quite rampant back then. I had to some how take it in. Or I wouldn't have the stray racist thought from time to time.
Another wound is how we treat the Latinx. The Spanish were on this continent before the English and French. Yet, many people think that only English should be spoken here. Then there's how we treated the Chinese in the 1800s when they came to work on building the railroads. It was made illegal for them to come here at some point. Then there's the internment camps the Japanese were forced into during WWII. I don't remember off-hand the name of the ship with Jewish passengers that our government turned away. Many of the passengers ended up in the death camps after it returned to Europe.
America truly has many wounds. (I haven't talked about the treatment of women and LGBTQ+.) Interestingly, indigenous prophecies and Hindu prophecies talk about times of chaos leading to a new, golden age. Some believe that these prophecies are about our current time. I hope that the shift happens soon, that the festering wounds heal and we can come together.
(I talked to an African American friend and messaged with another on FB before writing this post. I have their blessing to talk about the other wounds. I acknowledge that I didn't write as much about the Latinx, Chinese and Japanese. Running out of steam frankly.)
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