Tag Archives: news

A Note on History

 

“…we shouldn’t have forces like racism and neo-colonialism direct our empathy for us” — Feminist Wire

But we still do. Because we are taught to. And it’s unfortunate that you don’t learn otherwise unless your family is conscious or you go onto higher education. I didn’t learn about the Black Panthers and all the good work they did until I took an elective history class called 20th Century US History in 11th grade. I didn’t learn about colonialism and imperialism in Africa — the institutional rape and degradation of a people and a continent– until graduate school. Up until then, school practically taught that Africa was to blame for all of her misfortunes. And not until this semester, as a doctoral student in an upper-level history course, did I learn that K-12 history classes are often the main culprits behind it all.

We learn that virtually no news coverage of a college massacre in Kenya that killed over 100 students is okay. It is taught to place more value on deaths in developed countries like France and the U.S. than deaths in smaller, less developed countries like Beirut. We aren’t born to naturally accept rights for animals over rights for black men and women unjustly brutalized by the police or children of color in U.S. cities being slaughtered by racialized gang violence and other insidious crime on a regular basis. We are born and then we are taught it all.
It’s a shame we live in a world where color, money and status are synonymous with humanity. It shouldn’t be.

But it is.

I was raised to value one person, one death, one travesty just as much as the next. I wish the world also felt this way.
But it doesn’t.
Racism and neo-colonialism still direct our empathy because our education still does.
It’s all taught.

You learn that it’s all taught as a grown up and you are now presented with a daunting task: to unlearn the entire world as you know it.

Neither a class nor teacher nor book can prepare one for such an assignment.

(photo: GMU History MA Program)

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Lost Momentum

justuspicEDIT
Because I am sick and I am tired and I am slowly losing momentum.
Tired is the father that does all that he can
To raise his son to be an upstanding young man
Who gets with the wrong crowd and with a substance he can’t live without
And learns the hard way what a heroin overdose is all about
Terrified is the woman
Who doesn’t understand…why she was assaulted by the police officer man
His motive pathetic, the message subliminal — his inferiority complex made her a sex object slash criminal
She runs home to wash the dirt off in the shower while he runs back to the station to bask in all his “power”
Tongue-tied is the little girl who says she loves who she is
trying to love her skin and trying to love what’s within
while every tv screen tells her that her hair should be longer and her clothes should be tighter
and that she should stop reading so many  books and that her skin should be lighter
Tortured is the soul
That dies the same death damn near every day
Death by miseducation, death by exploitation…death by this immovable socio-historio-political situation
Miscarriage of justice, yes, but no one really makes a fuss
Because no justice just is…after all, it’s just us.