The little patch of medium I inhabit is once more ruffled and offended by that which I see as inflammatory and of little applicable relevance or even consequence, though its existence and necessity to be understood is unquestionable.
While reading yet another article on racism within America, a land I see as one using the vehicle of vile racial segmentation as a means to answer the woes of a poorly constructed society based on survivalist greed, I am plagued by angst toward the manner in which the past or recent history (however you determine your concept of history) is employed for the avoidance and manipulation of the present.
That sentence was a mouthful, sure, but it was not an overload of thought, a tsunami of divergent ideas.
A worthy country of disparate people, the United States may be united on the paper of its constitution, but it is not bound by heart, and there are numerous voices urging the ripping of the tender fabric that binds or clothes the country. Every voice deserves to have its say, but upon occasion, I wonder if a considered muffling might be more appropriate for the preservation of the country’s fabric?
To inflate arguments of racial inequalities, the past is paraded as an emotional powder keg to demand current change and retribution to pains suffered centuries before. I am of course referring to the Transatlantic Slave Trade debacle used as a means of justifying arguments for current discrimination arguments and platforms.
Discrimination, of whatever type, is deplorable and inappropriate. Arguments against it should not predicate its disgusting existence in history.
The title of Ram Dass’ spiritual book entitled Be Here Now should be used as a guide to eliminating the vitriol and angst surrounding the racial issues dividing the US.
I truly believe that was ‘There Then’ and this is ‘Here Now.’ Humankind can and will continue to evolve. It is not perfect, perfection is like a vacuum it exists only in its closest purity in space, but the pursuit of perfection is striving forward, not looking back in anger.
To stumble back through a brief scattering of racial injustices; the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the Romans and their Christian slaves, Egyptian slavery, the Holocaust, the abuses of Pol Pot, the abuses inflicted on Chinese immigrants during the Gold Rush, the decimation of indigenous peoples in South, Central and North America, the outrage of Apartheid, the list of humanity’s abuses could be infinite. All of the abuses are equally deplorable. One is not of greater ‘despicability than any other. This is not a race to the bottom. Wrong is simply wrong.
My concern is with the regurgitation of slave issues as reinforcement for wrongs committed today. Today’s injustices, in my opinion, are to be addressed by the lack of our current humanity, failings in our maturity as beings and are not defined by instances committed by others unknown and of lesser development. We define ourselves, develop and evolve in today’s world, not in times past. The past cannot be changed and replayed though nor should it be forgotten. Equally, we do not relive the context of past injustice and attempt to apply it to our current world.
History is a window, not a mirror. As a window, it reveals an understanding of the past and what has transpired. It does not act as a mirror to reflect and direct or replay who we are today, nor does it give current validation for past grievance and agendas.
There then is not here now.
We are an age of understanding, of questioning, of conscience we can best pursue those attributes by focusing our strengths on today, not on that which occurred generations past.
History teaches what happened there — then.
History does not validate or reinforce responsibility for today’s actions, that is for us in the — here and now.
I do not know the actions of my forebearers centuries past. I do not know their injustices, their loves, crimes, misfortunes nor achievements, and knowing them will not help me show consideration and kindness to another whether it is lifting a fallen soul or ushering a smile and respect for another.
My evolution as an individual must thrive in the immediacy of the Here and Now not be harped back to the There and Then.
Thanks for reading the thoughts of an individual who is perpetually a work in progress.