". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Will South Carolina Lower the CSA Battle Flag Over Its State House in Respect and Mourning

Will South Carolina lower its CSA battle flag flying at the state capital in respect and mourning of the good, Christian people murdered by terrorist attack in Charleston? 

I first learned of this awful event while, by sorrowful coincidence, we were fact-checking, copy editing via reading aloud this morning the chapters in The American Slave Coast that trace the history of South Carolina, founded in white supremacy, slave trading and slavery of both Natives and Africans from the start of some of the founders in Barbados. 

The Obamas knew the murdered pastor. This has got to be a terrible day for them, recognizing in many ways those shot in cold blood were surrogate targets for First Family.

How many times must it be proven that white supremacy and guns are a deadly combination for any nation that proclaims equality and democracy and diversity as positive goods.

From President Obama's speech:

Mother Emanuel is, in fact, more than a church. This is a place of worship that was founded by African Americans seeking liberty. This is a church that was burned to the ground because its worshipers worked to end slavery. When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, they conducted services in secret.  When there was a nonviolent movement to bring our country closer in line with our highest ideals, some of our brightest leaders spoke and led marches from this church’s steps. This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America.

One of Mother Emanuel's founders, in fact, was Denmark Vesey, a black martyr for African American freedom (we have a photograph of the ground where he was hung in The American Slave Coast).

The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history. This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked. And we know that hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.

Will this white supremacist be given the death penalty as has the surviving Boston Marathon Bombing brother?

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