Republicans across the country are using abuser’s language and approaches as they work hard to undo democracy, voting, and voting access. They are using abuser’s language that is all too familiar to those who have been attacked and abused by bullies and partners.
Their words have been polluting state legislatures across the land as they have written close to four-hundred bills designed to restrict Black voters of all ages. And the words have been used as republicans have launched attacks against Critical Race Theory and even as they pass state laws that forbid the federal government from helping citizens.
The language is ugly, mean, and abusive:
You will love the history I teach you and you will not complain.
You have no history, your history is what I tell you it is.
The pushback against Black scholars, historians, sociologists, writers, and artists, who are producing work that center Black people and our contributions. Black people are correcting patently false narratives and it is telling republicans are losing their minds and their refusal to accept our truth causes their disagreement responses to be disproportionate displays of anger. Just look at the mainstream white media losing their minds over the 1619 Project.
People who have forced us to learn about Rome ad nausea, Greece, the “Enlightenment” and with forays into ancient Chinese and Egyptian civilizations and who are the same people who can trace the lineage of Kentucky Derby horses back hundreds of years to breeding farms in England because they value record-keeping for animals, refuse to do the same for Black humans/co-citizens.
But they still want to dictate what can and cannot be taught, because they think they are the “victors” of a conquered people who have no say-so in our education.
These are the same happily ignorant Americans who are ignorant of world maps and who can’t distinguish how incorrect American-distributed maps and globes are -but want to tell us “You have no history outside of the white history we gave you and taught you in your underfunded schools with your mostly underpaid teachers which is that way because we vote for it to be that way.”
“We are right” they say, as the nation is full of thousands of confederate monuments, statues, streets, parks, buildings, schools, and holidays that are named and celebrated for racists who owned our families. And because they know how stupid their base is they’ve retreated to their confort zone of writing laws to restrict, suppress, and invalidate votes and voters because barely ONE generation after landmark civil and voting rights laws were passed – passed when this writer was a baby – lawmakers across the nation have written close to four-hundred bills that will take away what was fought for and granted us in the mid-1960’s. They know their base will go along with it because they told them lie after lie about voting which led to the BIG LIE that then led to the insurrection.
Because we’ve spent 50 years NOT teaching white people what civil rights legislation, what slavery, segregation, redlining, underfunded schools, and systemic racism are and how each one infects every aspect of America.
White Americans are content to learn about tHe RoMaN eMpIiRe and its collapse but not the collapse they are actively bringing about right here and now and one we barely escaped just over 100 days ago.
We don’t have to honor white history or your white heroes and we certainly don’t have to hold in esteem your slave-owning “founding fathers” no matter what else they accomplished because nothing – nothing defines them more than the cowardice they demonstrated by knowing owning humans was/is wrong and doing jackshit about it.
Fuck them all- until the full story is taught and you understand why the preceding sentence was written.
If we don’t reign in our national stupidity of elected morons like Florida governor De Santis, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Joe Manchin, Kristin Sinema, and morally bankrupt governors in Texas, Arizona, Mississippi, Alabama, etc, they will continue to drive this teetering country to ruin.
Reject them, learn and teach true American history, starting with Native history, then Black history, and make sure the first people who learn are white Americans who have been spoon fed lies about this nation its history, its people, and its laws for far too long.
We will all be better off as those myths of white heroes and “manifest destiny” bullshit are tossed forever in the trash heap where they belong.
We will learn about the millions of Native people who lived and thrived on this land for tens of thousands of years while building civilizations that spanned the continent. We will learn – really learn – about enslavement in all its gore and brutality. And we will equally learn about the resilience, the brilliance, beauty, and fire of the people who persevered so much they not only built a nation, but enriched the entire western world with their labor, smarts, and hearts. And how they, against all odds, survived and overcame each new obstacle for generations to become the people who have inspired resistance, revolutions, art, music, inventions, and culture for people all over the world.
We will celebrate more than white men. We will celebrate and honor all the people and genders who contributed to the success of the country. We will balance things to fix the myths and spread the truth of who we all are and what we all can be.
When we really learn who we are and where we have been, then we can look ahead to who we want to be and where we want to go.
Because as it stands now, we are in a never-ending merry-go-round and many of us are tired of going in circles and seeing the same ugly sights.
© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.
Myron J. Clifton is slightly older than fifty, lives in Sacramento, California, and is an avid Bay Area sports fan. He likes comic books, telling stories about his late mom to his beloved daughter Leah, and talking to his friends. Website | Bookshop | Twitter
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