Saturday, February 23, 2019

Overheard at the Counter: All Heroes and Villains

As a student and teacher of history, I can say for certain that all those who have gone before, and whose lives are now ended, truly do not give a shit what you think of them or what they did.

Whether you think that they are heroes or villains, or even if you are astute enough to understand that they, like all humans beings, are complex creatures and a mixture of both heroism and villainy.  They still don't care.

Their work on this earth is done.  For good or ill.

So don't go around pretending that you mean a damn thing to them, just because you may have some sort of either real or fictitious familial tie, or even if they happen to have the same melanin content as you.

They are not you.  You are not them.  

In this country, the United States of America, what it is now, is a gift from all the heroes and villains who helped shape this country, and those of us who live here - each and every one of us - are children of those heroes and villains.

Yes: we are all children of George Washington and George Washington Carver and Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson and Jefferson Davis and Robert E Lee and Lee Harvey Oswald and Harriet Tubman and Eugene V Debs and WEB Du Bois and Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X and MLK Jr and Susan B Anthony and Frederick Douglas and the Rockefellers and Charles Manson and all the statesman whose names you never learned in school and all the workers whose names were never written down in any book, and all the people who bled for this country and all those who shed the blood of others for this country and those who beat others for their own selfish racism and those who were beaten by race hatred.

We are the children of all of them.  Together,

So stop acting like you are only part of the history of this country.   You are the child of all of it.
All the ancestors are your ancestors.   They are all your parents, and my parents, and our parents, and its high time we all admit that and decide how we're going to move forward.

Else we'll just be fighting over who gets the silverware while the whole  house burns down.

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