Thursday, March 20, 2008

Reverend Wright Was Right

Maybe we need to take a trip down memory lane and reexamine our history. There is now a new series on HBO called John Adams. It is a stirring look at the beginnings of our “Democracy.” I watched the first installment and there was not one mention of the “Native Problem” or slavery. That first episode showcases the lovely relationship between Adams and his wife, Abigail. It’s a nice devise, and is documented in years of letters between Adams and his wife over the long course of their marriage. And frankly she seems the more thoughtful and intelligent of the two. It’s interesting for me to imagine how different our history might be if Abigail had led the revolution and helped to write the Declaration of Independence. Might it have read instead, “…..conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal.”

So for me, descended from the Choctaw, our history of “Live Free or Die America,” begins with invasion and slaughter, removal from our lands to concentration camps, and the deliberate destruction of our culture and language. For the descendants of slaves, it begins in invasion of their native lands, capture, kidnapping, a perilous and mostly deadly journey to a place where they were auctioned off and made to labor often under the lash and for no stake in anything except survival. That any of us survived your damed “democracy” is a bloody miracle. So for starters, I’m not sure Reverend Wright’s list of atrocities you have committed in the name of “Democracy and America,” is half long enough. But just so we’re clear on this, let me innumerate for you a few.

Manifest Destiny is the term that was to justify the expansion of the United States from the original thirteen colonies westward across the continent, gobbling up other people’s land all the way to the Pacific and then south into Mexico. It is the religious zealot’s justification for taking what does not belong to him. God wants me to have “it,”—land and everything on or under it, or in the case of certain classes of people, “you,” especially if you are not the same color or speak the same language, as I, because He favors me. I am chosen and you are not. Sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it? What is it that makes you immigrant descendants of Europeans think you are so very special that God favors you above all other’s? Even your Christianity is a child among the world’s religions. Now again Manifest Destiny is a term Bush used recently to justify our occupation of Iraq and our permanent presence in the heart of an ancient culture we know almost nothing about—such is our arrogance. God wants us there!

And in between, we have so much carnage, the fire-bombing of Dresden, the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the My Lai massacre, the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. I think the Reverend might have touched upon a few, but I could go on and on. The real reason we want Cuba back is to turn it back into the whore house it was before Castro’s revolution. Our little brown Las Vegas in the soft, warm waters just ninety miles from Miami. Did I mention our guy Pinochet? Our little CIA operations to topple democratically elected socialist governments throughout our hemisphere and replace them with military dictatorships—so common, so uniformly disastrous to the ordinary people in those countries. Remember the Disappeared? Remember Haiti?

And here at home we are using religion to justify denying full civil rights to certain classes of citizens because God doesn’t approve of them for some reason. Here the Reverend and I part company. I cannot believe in such a god.

13 comments:

MadMike said...

I agree with every word you said Utah. The Rev and I parted company on a number of issues, especially his primary message. One cannot, however, deny his right to say it, regardless how distasteful.

Utah Savage said...

Mike,
What is it that you found so distasteful? Could you elaborate?

LB said...

Bravo! A nicely done reminder of our real past (as opposed to the collective-memory's past, which includes most 'history' texts). {A few typos. Do you care?}
LB

Utah Savage said...

LB, yes, I care. Unless my spell checker doesn't pick them up I tend not to notice. I do indeed need an editor. Anyone want a job?

Petrosexual said...

Yeah! Where do I apply???

Utah Savage said...

Petro, you wouldn't be a little smart ass would you? Are you referring to content or typos?

Vigilante said...

This is quite a rant, Utah. {Applause}

However, I have to take exception to some of the kitchen sinks thrown into the mix. I'll take this to work with me today and see if I can't tweak your nose.

But it's a fun read, anyways.

Petrosexual said...

Content, Salvage, Content.

Utah Savage said...

Petro, why do you read me?

Vigilante said...

Utah, this is a fun riff to read through. I can’t resist beachcombing through it.

I give high ‘props’ for:
your Christianity is a child among the world’s religions. Now again Manifest Destiny is a term Bush used recently to justify our occupation of Iraq and our permanent presence in the heart of an ancient culture we know almost nothing about—such is out arrogance. God wants us there!

Not so,

I did not mention ([sic!]!) the fire-bombing of Dresden, the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,

Not sure those belong with your other kitchen sinks. But high marks, again, for:

… your Christianity is a child among the world’s religions. Now again Manifest Destiny is a term Bush used recently to justify our occupation of Iraq and our permanent presence in the heart of an ancient culture we know almost nothing about—such is out arrogance. God wants us there!

This was funny, but not true, IMO:

The real reason we want Cuba back is to turn it back into the whore house it was before Castro’s revolution.

Well, maybe it’s true. At least it’s debatable. But this is true:

… our guy Pinochet? Our little CIA operations to topple democratically elected socialist governments throughout our hemisphere with military dictatorships—so common, so uniformly disastrous to the ordinary people in those countries.

Then you say, “Remember Haiti?”

No, forget Haiti. Haiti is an American land mine. Clinton stumbled on it even before he was inaugurated, practically. Periodically, the U.S. has to intervene down there just to make some peace; otherwise their humbled masses will massively come to our shores and immigration reform will be a joke. Haiti is a hopelessly pathetic case of chronic poverty. Tie a rope around it and drag it out into the South Atlantic. Someplace. Get it away from our shores.

Forget Haiti, but remember Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo. I remember, very clearly. I remember the bridge over Ozama River. Duarte Bridge. And I remember Colonel Francisco Caamaño. And I remember that day, May 14, 1965. That was the day, as a callow youth, I learned a painful, powerful and permanent lesson: given a chance, my government will lie to me. Every damned chance it gets. That was the day that LBJ and Dean Rusk lied to me, and I never, ever again believed any god-damned motherfucking thing coming out of their lying mouths.

Forget Haiti. Remember Santo Domingo.

Utah Savage said...

Bravo Vigilante. We can agree to disagree about Haiti, but you do know how to give a girl the compliment of taking her seriously by taking her on and then for the most part agreeing with her. Thanks for taking the time. Now catch up will you?

Stella said...

Great thread. Vig, she gotcha! LOL! Although, I agree with given a chance, my government will lie to me. That's a quote we all should remember.

Anonymous said...

For a large range of kitchen sinks, take a look at the link. Should be of interest!!