On Human Bondage

Image

If there is a single thing that I could point to which, more than any other single thing helped to form my socio-political ideals, it would have to be how my mother turned my then innocent eyes toward the history of slavery–its ugliness and its horrors, to help my understanding of humans’ sometimes inhumanity towards its own.   

Sometimes, a good parent has to make the child aware of something that will be painful for the child and in so doing close forever a chapter in that child’s life. Until this time, the child has been able to live in blissful ignorance of such sadness. I see this imparting of information as perhaps the only times when a parent’s causing a child pain is the most loving thing that can be done.

Sadly I do believe that there are parents raising children now who believe that the past is best left in the past and that revisiting those days, the darkest in our country’s history, only opens old wounds.  I also believe that these parents are raising children who would be more likely to be swayed by political talk intended to oppress, injure, rob, disenfranchise, and enslave.

I’ll not be fooled by thinly veiled racism or by privilege masquerading as prosperity due to perseverance, so present in the barrage of sinister spin currently showering down on this country like cluster bombs.  The very same philosophy that put the lash to human beings and regarded them as property is alive and well today. The rationalizations that the would-be modern aristocracy tries to pedal are ridiculous to any critical thinker. Ironically, their cleverly framed deceit is lapped up by millions, many of whom live on the very soil that was toiled by slaves and soaked in the blood of brothers who turned weapons on each other in the American Civil War.

The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified only 147 years ago. That’s yesterday in the vast scope of human history. The ramifications of the institution of slavery echo through modern America like the aftershocks of a terrible earthquake. They are subtle and they are many.

As we approach another election in this country, I pray we can continue to march away from slave auction blocks and away from the “civil” battlefield. Every step is either a step toward a future of real equality or a step back into ignorance and violence. There is no standing still.

  


About this entry