Discovery and �settlement� of America involved horrid
genocide against multiple millions of native inhabitants whose desperate,
surviving progeny live dirt poor in godforsaken places where substance abuse,
crime, and stratospheric joblessness are the cruel, never-remedied norm.
What the European conquerors took, with a hypocrite�s Bible
in one hand and a dripping sword in the other, their later-generation offspring
now rule with a callous disregard for the acute hardship that it�s the Indian�s
�fate� to endure amid the dust and tumbleweeds, or swamps and mosquitoes, where
a beaten people were forced to relocate after their slaughter finally stopped.
And let�s not forget slavery. No, by all that�s holy, let�s
not do that!
Brought here in chains, and compelled to toil under a
blazing sun in the supposedly superior Master�s plantation fields -- with whips
cracking on black backs to assure proper devotion to the white owner�s profit
-- slaves built America�s initial economic success.
A murderous war had to be fought because half the country
saw nothing wrong with such a satanic arrangement.
Then came an extended period when newly-freed �Negros� were uniformly consigned to doing the hardest work for the
least pay even in the purportedly supportive North, while Southerners donned
KKK garb and strung terrified, �uppity� ex-slaves from every variety of tree
with branches strong enough to suspend a hideously jerking, expiring human
Today, in ghetto neighborhoods every bit as impoverished and
soul-devouringly unlivable as they were just before rebellion erupted in inner
cities across the country during the �60s, descendants of slaves wonder how a
light-skinned majority that imagines itself so good can perpetually do them so
much savage harm, through both benign neglect and malign intent.
Meanwhile, white folks gather in football stadium parking
lots, to tailgate themselves into drunkenness over their favorite teams,
comprised primarily of black and brown athletes cherished as entertaining
tokens, on Sunday afternoons, without giving a moment�s thought during the rest
of the week to how difficult the racist culture they perpetuate makes existence
for black and brown masses, from coast to coast.
Each and every day, year after devastating year.
Relatedly, at a Nevada military site, white soldiers with
specialized technological training remotely control Predator drones on their
Afghan/Pakistani missions to �take out� alleged terrorists. Through biased
eyes, and minds filled with decades of fundamentally racist propaganda, it�s
easy for them to think that any �raghead� or �haji� roaming through the Muslim
mountains half a world away is a legitimate target.
It takes grotesque WikiLeaks-style disclosures to reveal how
complete innocents consequently die, in sickening numbers, when the Hellfire
missiles are let loose.
Next door, in Arizona, which used to be a part of Mexico,
white folks, who could easily be attitudinal clones of Germans who acquiesced
to the Holocaust, are crazily adamant in believing that their well-being
depends on rounding up the Hispanics who undergird their state�s base economy. �Ship
them back where they came from!�
Never mind that many of their ancestors lived right where
they presently are, while Cowboy Jingo�s people were still dwelling in feudal
huts somewhere in the benighted Old Country.
Each August, as a handful of morally aggrieved protestors
point out that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki clearly
constituted a monstrous war crime, old white men rise to object.
They indignantly contend, despite great evidence to the
contrary, that vaporizing countless �Jap� women and children into sudden
nothingness was necessary to save U.S. lives. With only names and places
changed, it�s the same argument used to justify every atrocity from Wounded
Knee to My Lai, to Haditha, extending forward into a racist future.
So it goes, with a sizeable chunk of the U.S. Caucasian
populace not having the slightest clue about why much of the rest of the world
-- majority non-white as it is -- looks upon this nation with dismay, to put it
In fairness, not all white Americans are crude,
prejudice-spewing semi-barbarians cleaning their NRA-blessed guns in
preparation for a race war. Others are bigoted in subtler though nonetheless
equally as wrong ways.
Some whites actually support civil and human rights for
minorities, as a wise reflection of the enlightenment that�s attributable to
their association with left Christianity, progressive Judaism, organized labor,
the peace and justice movement, etc.
But they�re increasingly being drowned out by a cacophony of
raging intolerance -- such as that surrounding the Ground Zero �mosque� in
Lower Manhattan -- that�s capable of bringing hellish results to our overall
society if it manages to triumph and then consolidate its ugly, broadly
We�re behaving in an uncivilized way, and the fate of
civilization itself is consequently at stake.
It should be obvious to everyone-- but alarmingly isn�t --
that our nation�s destiny can�t be safely kept in primitive haters� hands, or
in those of their right-wing enablers.
Dennis Rahkonen of Superior, Wisconsin, has been
writing progressive commentary with a Heartland perspective for various outlets
since the �60s.