Not sure where I’m going with this so I guess you’ll have to read along while I write and see; we’ll both discover the end of this journey together.
Slavery and the results thereof are a continual topic of discussion. The tension it causes is often times best measured as off the charts and I must wonder sometimes what the value is. It’s not like we can change history. The race most associated with slavery is the African American. It is inadvertently suggested that the Africans were the only ones sold into slavery and there can be nothing farther from the truth. History states otherwise. And by history I mean true history, not the re-written version. Africans sold Africans into slavery, the English sold the Irish into slavery, Greeks sold the Turks, Turks sold the Greeks, Europeans sold the Africans, Africans sold Arabs, Arabs sold Africans, Africans sold Asians, Asians sold Asians, Vikings sold anyone they could get their hands on—the list can go on and on. You can start the phrase with any race or nationality and end the phrase with any race or nationality. If you have the courage to drill down you will discover it seldom had anything to do with race or nationality but everything to do with who was weak and who was strong. The real truth here is that human trafficking is still prevalent today but more emphasis is placed on ancient history than the plight of present day atrocities—how sad is that?
Short side note here: Little is mentioned about the slavery, herding and extermination of the Native American. In a very real sense that practice—or at least a portion thereof—is still practiced today. If you don’t believe that then go visit Pine Ridge.
Virtually every race has sold others into slavery and virtually every race has purchased and used slaves. This fact is irrefutable but not the topic of discussion. I believe the topic goes deeper.
It is good to know and understand history—both good and bad. If we ignore it, or as others attempt to do, re-write it, then we are doomed to relive it. What I see as a problem is when we let history, especially the bad history, define who we are. Our own personal history will define who we are but perhaps should not, unless we let it, define who we can be. If you had a horrible childhood then that history can make you an angry person but there is no requirement that states you must remain angry. Lingering anger is a personal choice. History that happened generations ago should have no quarter in defining who we are. If you fail at everything you do and you claim the fact that your ancestors 150 years ago were slaves then I would submit you would fail at everything regardless of what happened 150 years ago. You have failed yourself.
If we read the history of slavery and grow angry over it then I do not see that as a bad thing. If we read the history of slavery and feel that knowledge should empower us to be indigent then we are wrong and are perpetrating our own status in society—again, you failed yourself.
Some will take history and use it as a crutch. Others will acknowledge history and use that insight to make things better.
You are solely responsible for who you are and what you do. Whether you accept that fact or not is irrelevant. It’s still a fact.
I’ll let the reader decide if I made a point here.
Short note here: Every paragraph above can be elaborated on and go from a 100 word paragraph to a 5000 word article; but I didn’t go there. Why, because very few will read a 5000 word article that challenges them and requires a through process. See “Bumper Sticker Epidemic”