The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 12: Overcoming Selves

June 12, 2020

There are those who loathe Columbus.

They would gladly tear down his statue,

were the opportunity to present itself.

I don’t at all like what he did to the First Nations

of the Caribbean and the north coast of South America.

There are those who would erase all mention

of anyone who ever owned a slave.

They would obliterate statues and monuments,

of Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe.

Locales, across the country,

would be obliged to change their names.

If it ever came to that,

I would recommend the original names

given to each place,

by the First Nations people.

I don’t at all like that people were enslaved,

or even indentured in servitude.

I think, though, that

we cannot erase our history.

I have made mistakes in my life,

some of which merely irritated

those affected, and some

which greatly discomfited

the people who were in

my life, at the time.

I will not erase myself,

I will improve, and continue.

We, as a human race.

cannot erase our past.

We can only learn from it,

and move on.

4 thoughts on “The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 12: Overcoming Selves

  1. If we start “sanitizing” history it becomes less a historical record and more an idealized fiction. That is exactly why history books are so mute on the true actions of the US government toward the First Nations, it is why the brutality of slavery is glossed over. A sanitized history removes the violence and terror of war, the horror of genocide… If history is forgotten it will be repeated. I would hazard that if history is diluted or revised we will fall into the trap of repeating past disasters. As individuals we need to be better, as a nation we must do better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Both those who want to honour the sufferings of people of colour and those who believe history should be written by the “victors” are guilty of not wanting the whole truth to be told. We need to be bigger than the apologists on both sides of the fence.


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