July 18, 2016

Black lives do not matter, which explains why its opposite has become a rallying cry. All lives matter, obvious as is that statement, is not pertinent to what’s going on in this rapidly insane country of ours.

To those of us whites who feel compelled to say we are not responsible for historic events, we missed the point. No, we didn’t land at Plymouth Rock and begin the slaughter of Indians (That is the real story of Thanksgiving.) We weren’t in the American Revolution which, by the way, was as much about the right of the founding fathers to own slaves as it was about freedom.

We didn’t fight alongside Andrew Jackson who brutally tortured and killed Indian women and children, to teach the men a lesson. We didn’t segregate the Armed Forces in the pre-Korean wars. (Southern officers, descendants of Confederate traitors, controlled the commands of the armed services and inserted their own prejudices in the bargain.) We didn’t participate in the mass lynching of black people during the twentieth century.

But those horrifying things happened. We read history for a grade, but we didn’t learn from it and make ourselves better. “Never again”: the most solemn oath of post-World War II. Are you kidding? We forgot almost immediately. In a mere one hundred thousand years, we went from spears to AK-47s. In the Twentieth Century alone, we slaughtered two hundred million people in the name of God, superiority and morality.

St. Francis of Assisi went along for the Crusades, witnessed the horrific slaughter of the “infidels,” and joined those infidels out of love. How quaint. Martin Luther King Jr. knew he was going to be sacrificed, and he greeted death with open arms. How old fashioned. How against the grain, of the inevitable march of humanity.

The most egregious of “gifts” our white ancestors left to us was racism. Read scientist Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs and Steel.” After the human migration out of Africa (all people come from eight African ancestors), evolution led to changing body characteristics, including losing the dark skin pigment of the original people and, adapting to climate, becoming “white.”

And those white people had also accidentally, coincidentally landed in the most desirable climate for large production of food, and for mineral resources, leading to the Bronze Age and the development of steel and advanced weapons which would allow small conquering forces to wipe out vast armies of opponents armed with bows and arrows.

Enter “lucky” Columbus, the Vikings, the Crusaders, the British Empire and the good old US of A – all founded on the notion that non-whites were savages. These whiteys had steel, carried germs, and they wiped out millions of indigenous people in the Old and New worlds.

What we white people did do, what we white people do now, is live complacently and spout slogans. “Get over it.” “I don’t want to hear it.” “My people didn’t do that.”

Oh, yes they did. By being in denial, we perpetuate and regurgitate the unfounded prejudices and the staggering ignorance of ten thousand years ago. Today, we blatantly charge white police forces with protecting our whiteness. And by proclaiming bigotry as a moral force in the national pulpits, we have ceded the tenants of Christianity, of all other religions, of philosophy, of reason.

Now Christians are proclaiming the “end of days,” rather than taking responsibility for willful human self-destruction on a massive scale. Now Christians are throwing up their hands, importing red bulls to Israel and artificially attempting to bring about the end of the world. Bad news: there will be no Rapture.

We are godless. God left the building a million and a half years ago.

We can deny all we want. Ignore the fact that the poorest whites of our clans were born privileged, and now we don’t want to give up our “inheritance.” And we sure as hell don’t really want brotherhood, to become brothers with our original, Edenic selves, the mothers and fathers of us all. Why?

Guns and germs and steel have wrought overpopulation, terror, famine, moral corruption, disconnectedness with the natural planet, and disrespect for all living things.

We hate ourselves.

Have a nice day, and don’t forget to recycle.

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: eugenebaldwin.com. I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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