Fandango’s Provocative Question #165

For some people, this is an interesting, albeit impersonal question. For some of us, it’s personal and cuts painfully close to home.

How do you feel about what is going on in the United States in regard to racism? Do you see any way of reconciling the concepts of White Replacement Theory and Critical Race Theory?

As a bi-racial couple, we have never felt there was a “right” place for us. New England is as good as any place we are likely to find in this country. Mind you, there are plenty of racists and bigots here, but at least the general attitude is liberal.

Mixed couples often seem to upset everyone on every side of this subject. When you mix that with different religions? We aren’t going to win any popularity contests anywhere, so we might as well stay where at least we are known.

America is in the process of (pardon the pun) of white-washing our history. Please don’t assume that the U.S. is the only country eliminating hunks of history to which we don’t want to own up. The British are the masters of “who-me?-ism.” After plundering half the world, they went home to be pure as driven snow. I guess we come by it naturally.

America’s original sin was slavery. It was the the biggest battle at our constitutional convention from May 25, 1787 through Sep 17, 1787. The south would never have agreed to nationhood without slavery and there were plenty of northerners who didn’t own slaves, but made enormous profits by importing and selling them. It was our original sin for which we have never apologized, made amends or even fully acknowledged. Now we’ve come to a point where we won’t even going to allow it to be part of our history books.

Not to worry. Much of the two world wars has been expunged by other countries. Our refusing to acknowledge slavery is not unusual. It’s probably tragic but not rare. If during the past 235 years of nationhood the U.S. was unwilling to own up to its own errors and past-imperfect, I see no reason to assume we ever will. We might eventually tone down our rhetoric — assuming we remain a republic in future years — or for that matter, have a viable nation and are not in an outright shooting civil war.

Toning down bigotry and racism ain’t gonna do the job. This ongoing hatred and irrational fear has been part of America since before we were a country. Slavery was our ugliest battle — and we lost it. We are still fighting the same battle and we are still losing. I don’t see a big change in the future. Everything is stacked against it. If we aren’t going to teach kids what really happened, we can’t expect them to accept a truth to which they were never exposed.

When you sup with the devil, you need a VERY long spoon. I think our spoon is not nearly long enough.

Categories: #American-history, #FPQ, Anecdote, Culture, Education, Hatred and bigotry, New England, Provocative Questions, Racism and Bigotry

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26 replies

  1. A sad state of affairs that’s been swept under the national rug since the inception of the very idea of an American democratic republic. Through books and t.v. documentaries, there is hardly a week that goes by that I don’t discover historical revelations that were never taught or talked about when I was growing up.


    • I have spent a lot of time reading history and honestly, EVERY country does the same thing. Australia has hidden their massive abuse of their Aboriginal population. The French have hidden how eagerly they cooperated with the Nazis. England has never admitted to any of the mess they made in India and all the other places they occupied, including China. The difference probably is that all of them have banished guns so they don’t have as many mass murders from their insane rightwing people as we do.

      There’s a book, “POSTWAR: A HISTORY OF EUROPE SINCE 1945” by Tony Judt which lays it all out. It’s a long book. Very well written and very complete, but it’s a lot of reading. I read it once on paper and twice on Audible and I highly recommend it, if you can face that much reading. But it explains SO much. Tony Judt was British originally, came to the U.S. where he was a professor at NYU until his death a few years ago (cancer). He was considered controversial, probably because he was a truth teller in world where truth has never been a major issue in any country.

      He wrote other books too, but this one was his last and his best. All the dirty little secrets that nations try so hard to hide. If you can deal with the length (almost 857 pages), it’s brilliant. Not just history. Also theatre, literatures, other arts — all of culture.


  2. I am reminded of Orwell.
    “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

    And currently that is a woke minority.
    I am angry at the woke rewriting ‘what was’ and burning books.
    It’s pointless, poisonous and, IMHO inflammatory to a state where people will react violently.
    To me it’s also communist thought control and Nazi thinking.
    Something that is tainting kids in schools and will make matters worse in the future.

    As for slavery?
    The pointless demands for reparations and apologies for what happened 100’s of years ago?
    It happened. Get over it.
    The guilty parties are long dead and buried.

    However racial tension still persists.
    Today, the woke rabble rousers play on it, make trouble, which does nothing but further inflame both sides. Which is pointless and destructive.

    Yet how many in the racial/slavery group are protesting about people trafficking today?
    That’s modern slavery BUT the stupid are more concerned about ‘what was’ to even think about ‘what is’ and stop it.

    Meanwhile I don’t care about race.
    Religion and culture maybe, but race?
    What is right for you is OK by me.

    The ultimate question is will all this stupidity end up in civil war?
    Probably. Only to what end?
    Ask what each side want and they can’t answer outside of quotes from some leftie literature.

    That and give me money.
    Can money solve everything?
    Nope, but there are some woke who think it can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think an apology — sincere — would probably do the job. “Get over it” is a nice, simple answer, but slavery didn’t really end with the civil war. Jim Crow was just as effective and that kind of oppression still exists. You probably can’t see it, but Garry sees it and so do his brothers and friends. It’s there and it hurts, especially for people who love this country and fought for it.

      At least an apology and an acknowledgement that something really happened. No one really expects reparations, but removing the event from history books is bad. A complete denial that anything occurred is humiliating and shameful. It isn’t a matter of seeking compensation. More a matter of setting things right, recognizing many of the terrible consequences that happened and that making an effort to educate young people so they understand =and maybe won’t walk that same path.

      But — considering the path this country is taking? We can’t even give women who are NOT a minority the right to govern their own lives. We are marching backwards. It’s chilling and I never thought I’d live to see this country turn around and become something else.

      I think the odds of some kind of civil war in the not very distant future is real. I hope I’m not here to see it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Understand where you are coming from but my mind remains fixed .

        I still maintain that today’s idiot world is hung onto what was and, as it WON’T acknowledge that and moves on, it lives blinkered to what is.

        Again I speak of modern slavery, people trafficking, arranged marriages, child marriage, honor killings and mutilation to suit some archaic nonsense (usually religion, traditions, and culture).

        Yet the Woke and other self appointed guardians of whatever, will not attack the real problems of today outside of their own pathetic agenda.

        Why? Because it means dealing with the scum of the Earth and the possibility of them being harmed because of their meddling.


        • Frankly, I don’t see anyone attacking any of our problems. Not the right, not the left, not the white or the Blacks or the mediums. Everyone thinks someone else should be doing something and no one is doing ANYTHING.

          Failure to acknowledge the past often means you can’t move on. You get stuck. In this case, a whole nation is stuck. The rigidity of every side of this moral equation bodes ill for pretty much everyone. Sure there are a lot of other issues including those you mentioned and others you didn’t, but that doesn’t mean there’s no value in making a simple statement of apology for wrongs done right here in THIS country. That’s it. No one expects — no matter what they say — to collect reparations as money or goods. That won’t happen, at least not nationally though it has happened locally in some places.

          Not everyone — of any color — thinks we should just forget the whole thing and move on. We aren’t going to move on if we can’t even accept that we did some bad stuff in the past. We could at the very LEAST say “Hey, really sorry about that!” That’s a small enough “ask” that there should not be an issue with it. But these days, living in a world of moral emptiness and downright evil, even a simple apology is overwhelming or so it would seem.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I agree we are marching backwards (Cue up the Tracy “Inherit The Wind” courtroom speech.
        The recent bloodbath in Buffalo, NY is just another example of the hatred that’s manifested on a daily basis, seemingly everywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “…assuming we remain a republic in future years — or for that matter, have a viable nation and are not in an outright shooting civil war.”

    I’m afraid that’s where we are headed, only this time it won’t be about slavery.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. insanity is ruling right now – what is wrong with people?


    • If we blank it out of our history, there’s little hope of improvement. But you know? This is what nations do. Not ours alone. Pretty much countries write want they want to believe is true or more to the point, what they want US to believe is true. I can’t think of any country that has not done it. It’s sad, but that’s how it seems to go.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know. I’ve watched as they tried to eraze Nazi Germany and what happened there. I watched them try to erase the horrors that happened to Native people here and it angers me. The only way not to repeat is to know what happened, learn from our mistakes and move on. Hopefully not in the same direction.


        • That’s the way it ought to be, but isn’t the way it is. It’s the same in every country. We are by no means the only people who slaughtered a native population. used slave labor or annihilated another “undesirable” ethnic group. As a species we have not done well in preserving the truth of our journey through time. We are not a truthful or honest species. I sometimes wonder if we actually know what “truth,” and “fact,” and “proven” mean.

          If truth can be whatever you want, there IS no truth.


          • Wow, truer words, |Marilyn. It seems people are too bored too tired too uncaring or to duped to understand the ramifications and do much about it. Seems the only people who care are the ones that fought the good fight in the beginning. Having done that, those of us who did are too old tired to start over. We do the best we can…I educate the grandchildren as much as possible and hope they retain some of the information. It’s something I guess.


  5. We were having this conversation with my two brothers and his close friends – this past weekend in the MIDWEST – Northfield, Minnesota. Fair amount of mental hand wringing, I believe.


    • I’m not optimistic about anything changing in a “real” way, especially if we don’t put it in our histories or teach it in school. It’s sad, but pretty much every country does it. To the victor …

      Liked by 1 person

      • “..put it in our histories”. Yes, but they don’t do it. And, so few know our history. That would be a start.

        Liked by 1 person

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