". . . 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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"Alternative history: the dangerous byproduct of fake facts"

     . . . .   "Alternative history: the dangerous byproduct of fake facts" by Jill Abramson, can be read in the UK Guardian here.

From Ben Carson claiming slaves came over as ‘immigrants’ to Betsy DeVos ignoring Jim Crow – history is a new frontline in the battle for truth.
See! African immigrant voluntarily preparing for a better life in the Americas!

See! How eager these African voluntary immigrants are to get to the Americans and their new, better lives!

Ignorant Ben Carson's doubling, tripling, etc. down this week on his preposterous lie that Africans came here as immigrants in search of a better life.  He's the head of the Housing Agency.  How is this even possible?

These people need to be ashamed!
President Trump’s ignorance about the fundamentals of US history is compounded by the team surrounding him. In his maiden address to his employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson equated the experiences of slaves and immigrants.
 After calling America “a land of dreams and opportunity”, here were the astonishing words that followed: “There were immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder, for less. But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.” 
 Outrage was immediate. The secretary, who has the most prestigious academic credentials of anyone in the Trump Cabinet, clung to this idiocy in subsequent interviews. On Twitter, he went even further out on a limb, insisting, “You can be an involuntary immigrant.” Later, as the limb was sawed off, Carson finally retreated, this time on Facebook.
“I’m proud of the courage and perseverance of black Americans and their incomprehensible struggle from slavery to freedom,” his post stated. “I’m proud that our ancestors overcame the evil and repression that we know as slavery. The slave narrative and immigrant narrative are entirely different experiences. Slaves were ripped from their families and their homes and forced against their will after being sold into slavery by slave traders.” Despite his prior reference to “involuntary immigrants”, he added, “the immigrants made the choice to come to America.”

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