Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Friday, October 14, 2016

teach the children

 When the first settlers came to this land they discovered they were not alone. The " savages " that lived in those dense forests were something to be feared. The reason was a simple one, because they were different. The looked different, they dressed different and they talked differently. Then we had some dealings with  them, misunderstandings took place and resentment grew. One culture could not adapt to the other. The Europeans took over by shear numbers alone. You could argue about technology and diseases giving the advantage to the white man and it is a valid point but it was by shear numbers that we prevailed. Interesting isn't it that I say we, it is an ingrained thought. I am a white man. The white man conquered the Indians or indigenous population if you prefer. An error in navigation gave them the name of Indian and it could just as easily been something else. We are called white men because of the color of our skin. Just an identifier, nothing more. The white man wanted the land and the wealth it contained. I hear arguments that we were illegal immigrants but that isn't so. We didn't know a nation of any kind even existed, shoot we didn't know the land even existed, so to say we were emigrating is ludicrous. The plan wasn't to conquer the indigenous folks and take the land. We ( white folks ) were trying to escape Europe and the limitations there. But, all of that is subject to conjecture and speculation. What I am trying to say is, white folks were taught to not trust and fear the indigenous folks. Was it justified ?
 Well now that is another whole discussion isn't it ? My suspicion is it was a two way street. There was wrongdoing going on. The indigenous folks liking what they saw these white people had and getting it any way they can. There wasn't any law enforcement folks to arrest you for just killing those folks and taking whatever you wanted. Of course it worked the other way too. Point being both groups began to teach there young to never trust the others. In more modern times the white man has figured the indigenous folks have pretty much been neutralized. They don't pose any threat. So now we romanticize them and speak of their great wisdom. We admire their culture and revere them. Kinda the same thing as domesticating an animal when you think about it.
 I got to thinking about all of this after watching the news. There were the Black Lives matter bunch and others on there. I began thinking what are the children being taught. It appears to me that African-American children are being fed a constant diet or every white man is prejudice. That there is/was injustice can not be disputed. They were enslaved ! And white folks were the owners of those slaves. Let us not forget that they were sold by Muslim slave traders, people of color themselves. They " purchased " them from competing tribes in Africa and other places. here is a difference in culture. I don't think anyone would dispute that either. Are the African-Americans justified in teaching that all white folks are racists ? I'll leave that judgement to you but I will say this. Folks have a tendency to believe whatever it is they are taught to believe. I can't see race relations improving much in the climate that is being created today. You hear talk of this " divide " between the races. One race being pitted against the other. It is real, it exists ! The question is how do we close the gap ? It must begin with trust. Children instinctively trust one another. It is only later that they begin to harbor doubts about their fellow man. It begins with sharing their toys and what Mom and Dad may tell them. Siblings add to the " knowledge " base. They begin to learn what they are taught. After a while, they believe it. And that is my point. People do tend to believe whatever it is they are taught. Maybe, just maybe the lesson plan needs to be changed. It is a two way street. The indigenous folks were " subdued " and made irrelevant. What we struggle with now is being " inclusive." Can we melt cultures together ? I believe it is possible. It sounds old fashioned but I believe it wholeheartedly. Once we all determine that we are all Americans, and nothing more, the process will begin. One people, one culture, one nation.