Monday, November 8, 2021

Extermination

"Trigger Warning" This not an inspirational post.

Whoooo-eeeee.  What price, knowledge?

I recently watched the 4 part series on HBO called "Exterminate All the Brutes."  A gripping and crippling look at colonialism beginning in the 1700s in Europe.  Spain, Portugal, UK, Belgium, and others raped the world's resources and killed (or enslaved its people) for financial gain, and framed it all in a picture of moral, religious and cultural superiority.  Beginning with the Spanish Inquisition where blood purity was the standard for being favored by God and Man, all the way to Charlottesville and the killing of Heather Heyer by a white supremesist, the brutal history of the have and have nots is laid out in horrific detail.

Do we humans deserve to live on this earth?  In church this weekend, the minister put forth the question of how we, as part of a humanist philosophy and organization, are supposed to come to terms with how devastatingly terrible humans can be.  Such questions go unanswered.  Except to say, on my part, I seek the stories that also highlight the best of humankind.  It's the only way I can carry on in a world filled with hate and violence.  When I connect with loving and kind humans, I know how the world at large could be, and how it falls awfully short.

The kids going to prom, 2012


My daughter, second from right, is now a U.S. history teacher at our local high school.  She takes crap frequently from parents about her teaching of history as it really was, not as the story of the victors.  Not there story I grew up with, certainly.  Where natives were brutes and savages, killing innocent white settlers who were only trying to 'civilize' this country.

How do we move forward, recognizing and honoring the story of the vanquished, making reparations where possible, and having true national reconciliation?  Is this even possible?  I know this for sure -- nothing will happen as long as the old stories that hide the truth are the dominant stories that we all hear.  The more our fragile white selves push away the truth and deny the experience of indigenous and people of color, the longer it will take for us to mend and heal.

And that's too bad.  And it's not only in the United States -- it is throughout the American continent.  European powers wiped out the people of an entire continent in their quests for gold and other treasure, and their insatiable need for slave labor.  Which leads me to laugh at the supposed efforts by the summits that convene to address the climate change issue.  It is a continuation of greed and gluttony that has led to our climate crisis.  I have little hope that the world will be able to join together to end this crisis.  We will watch the tides rise and the extreme storms and droughts continue.  Because people are getting rich from it.  And that seems to be all they care about.  The earth and its resources are just another version of conquest -- a wild thing to be conquered and killed.



3 comments:

  1. Definitely not a cheerful post, but one that I could have written almost word for word. I see no hope for the future. It is an ongoing tragedy that really cannot be remedied. From the time I was young I told my parents I was never going to have children. I used to say, "I cannot promise them a future." How did I know? It may be being the grand-daughter of immigrants and the great-grand-daughter of someone murdered in Auschwitz. We've been writing this future for a long time.

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  2. There are too many selfish, greedy and stupid people around to actually stop climate change. They don't believe it and don't care. Very sad world we live in these days.

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  3. We watched Exterminate All the Brutes, too, though I think we were so worn down by the final episode we may not have finished it. I despair sometimes. I am glad there are conscious souls such as you and your daughter.

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