Sunday, March 2, 2014

Open Up That Can of Worms

My dear friend Andy  always makes me think.

You might remember him. He's AJ's English godfather,  and he  squired us around England on several occasions.   He's also one of the most well-read, well-spoken, and deep-thinking people I know.

( I just realized that I have very few pictures of him on the blog.   I must rectify that.)

This morning, before I'd had more than two sips of coffee, I opened up my email. Andy had sent me a link to a BBC article about the movie "12 Years A Slave."

Louisiana Legacy of "12 Years a Slave"

Well, even in my semi-somnambulant  state, it got me thinking.   Below is my quick reply to him, although I want to ponder it more.   Stir up the proverbial pot, so to speak.  (I know that pot-stirring  is usually the area of expertise for my brother Ed... nevertheless...)

Thanks for that article.  I have, on many more than one occasion, had that schizophrenic discussion with myself, as the descendant of slave owners who still owns a working plantation that is, in turn, the employer of many people who are the descendants of the slaves my ancestors owned.

While I in no way condone the "ownership"  of a fellow human being (In some small way, is that not how I was looked upon for 25 years? As a possession? I did what I was told, obeyed even when I objected, and was punished when it wasn't sufficient. After years of verbal abuse, I dreamed of running away, but thought that a possibility no more than a slave might have...yes, I had no physical chains, but the legal, mental and economic chains were just as binding... But that's another discussion)

As I was saying...While I in no way condone the "ownership"  of a fellow human being, I think "we" in the 21st century have the habit of looking back on history through 21st century lenses.  When I regard history, whether reading personal accounts, or those of a third party, I try to removed those 21st century glasses.  

And, as you so often remind me, America is quite a young country. We will need much longer than 150 years to heal those wounds. 

I know I write from a very privileged vantage point.  That is purely by chance...or God's will, or Karma, or whatever one believes.  All I can do is to try to make the world I live in a better try to change the world for good, and to right the wrongs that I perceive in the world around me to the best I can.  Moreover, I have done everything in my power to make sure that MY  descendants see the world through different eyes than my ancestors did.  

As Gen. Robert E Lee said....

"The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope."

Hmmm. Flawed I and my argument are,  I know...but you got me thinking this morning!!!  

So, I've gone and done it.  Opened a can of worms.  

Think on it.

Ponder it.

Let me know what you think.

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