Unforgiveable ignorance

Posted: September 2, 2010 in Uncategorized
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‘Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it’ – George Santayana

Sometimes it’s unsettling just how many millions of people are completely oblivious to this telling universal maxim, or believe it should only be applied to wars.

Sadly, this seems to be another ruminative post on racism and xenophobia, but only by shining the bright light of truth on the ugliness of prejudice can we hope to force it into hiding or shame it into dying a death.

I saw a link on a social networking site recently to an article which contained comments discussing ‘the rights of real Americans’, which, as you may guess, was actually referring to white Americans, or Euro-Americans as they don’t like to be called.

This is both baffling and scary that potentially a generation of Caucasian Americans could grow up not realising that in fact their ancestors were not indigenous to the continent, rather they settled as a result of genocide against the original inhabitants.

I guess the point I’m attempting to make is that people should always have a basic knowledge of their origins to prevent similar mistakes from their own ancestors being repeated. Ethnic minorities have no problems with understanding their origins. Even if they don’t think to research, they are constantly reminded by ignorant people of their difference to the majority.

I’m not suggesting that ‘white guilt’ means that these white Americans should wake up every morning and beat themselves with tree branches while praying for absolution for the sins of their forefathers. After all, these were sins committed many years ago by a specific generation of people, and since that period of horrific ethnic cleansing, the white founding fathers of modern America have done some very positive things for civilisation.

Their forebears drove the indigenous population almost to extinction, and they then atoned for this by proceeding to found the greatest democracy in the world…before importing the indigenous peoples of another continent to their stolen country to do their dirty work for them. So their ignorance or utter disregard for the acts of the past led to another atrocity.

Generations later, this despicable mandate was repealed, but the later generations reignite the fire of oppression through hatred, scorn and exclusion of the descendants of these wronged peoples and to a lesser extent continue to do so.

This is why these signals are so scary. Because this unforgiveable ignorance fuels the fire of future oppression and hatred. Although I hope these kinds of oblivious statements only apply to a tiny minority of white America, you have to be concerned, for when you are ignorant of your past, you go blindly into the future repeating the mistakes of your ancestors.

  1. Brit Miller says:

    Excellent piece as always mate. Could you send me the link of this group, I’m intrigued?

  2. Cheers mate. I am not yet in professional mode so i pick up on things without remembering to make a note of their links. I can’t for the life of me remember where i found it on facebook or msn, as it was a series of comments rather than an article itself. However i did stumble upon this interesting press report!


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