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Human Depravity and Living by Example

 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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31 May 2021 18:56
 

They uncovered the remains of two hundred and fifteen Indigenous children in a mass grave at a residential school run by the Catholic Church in Kamloops British Columbia last week.  The school was in operation from 1890-1969 then the government took over and ran it until 1978.

It is estimated more than 150,000 children attended residential schools in Canada from the 1830’s until the last one closed in 1996.  The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation was established in 2008.  Apologies mean nothing without a living example of contrition.

A hundred years ago in Tulsa Oklahoma they decimated an entire town for being black and successful at the same time.  Bombing them from private aircraft and planes had only been around for twenty years by that time.  There’s no need to compete when you eliminate the competition.

These acts of terror show no respect for human life.  They created crime scenes of mass murder yet no charges were ever laid.  According to the record these events never happened.  And rewriting the history is horrendous enough.  Whitewashing it entirely is fucking deplorable.

Reparations aren’t about money.  It’s not meant to punish.  It’s a manner of atonement to preserve whatever dignity we have left.  Covering up the truth makes murderers of us all.  From Tulsa to Kamloops to Palestine.  We have to face the facts in order to stop these genocidal tendencies.

Ze Germans came to study this behaviour in the 1930’s.  They wanted a front row seat to the slavery and genocide to be observed.  A place to learn the ways in which to subjugate entire groups of people and deem them sub-human savages.  And they got what they came looking for.

In other words…we showed them how to be better Nazis.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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31 May 2021 22:05
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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01 June 2021 07:23
 

If they didn’t need to learn it from us and we didn’t need to learn it from them does that at all describe a species bent on self destruction?  Is this our natural disposition?  I see how easy it is for people to dehumanize groups that aren’t directly in front of them.  It seems the same is done with history.  We are able to deny things when they aren’t in our faces and look away from the things we’re unable to face.  Which is probably why we keep repeating the same mistakes. 

Academics like to express how much more peaceful the world is now.  That must be strange for young students to imagine.  When observing all the war.  A kinder, gentler, healthier, safer, happier global population overall.  Sure…but isn’t that less of a reflection of how peaceful things are and more about how violent things have been?  We need to finish that line of thinking.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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01 June 2021 08:39
 

Past massacres need to be recognized and remembered. Current ones more so, wouldn’t you say?

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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01 June 2021 10:34
 
LadyJane - 01 June 2021 07:23 AM

If they didn’t need to learn it from us and we didn’t need to learn it from them does that at all describe a species bent on self destruction?  Is this our natural disposition?  I see how easy it is for people to dehumanize groups that aren’t directly in front of them.  It seems the same is done with history.  We are able to deny things when they aren’t in our faces and look away from the things we’re unable to face.  Which is probably why we keep repeating the same mistakes. 

Academics like to express how much more peaceful the world is now.  That must be strange for young students to imagine.  When observing all the war.  A kinder, gentler, healthier, safer, happier global population overall.  Sure…but isn’t that less of a reflection of how peaceful things are and more about how violent things have been?  We need to finish that line of thinking.

I second all you’ve said here (above and OP).

In some respects, the current world is more peaceful than in our past.  But we still have a long way to go and ignoring or dismissing the past is a huge mistake and only continues to hurt the victims of the past (and present) who are still with us, and their descendants.  And in remembering, we must humanize this history with stories and faces, not just facts and numbers.

I also fear that this slow trend towards humanitarianism won’t last.  If in the decades to come climate change causes mass migrations and competition for land and resources, the human trait of selfishness and self-interest might very well supersede our compassion and common sense.

 

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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01 June 2021 10:43
 

It’s not an either/or proposition.  We can remember the past while also considering the present, and hopefully the future. 
I hope we can do so with enough empathy to help victims past, present, and future, by working together to try to prevent such tragedies from re-occurring.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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01 June 2021 12:29
 
Jefe - 01 June 2021 10:43 AM

It’s not an either/or proposition.  We can remember the past while also considering the present, and hopefully the future. 
I hope we can do so with enough empathy to help victims past, present, and future, by working together to try to prevent such tragedies from re-occurring.

I don’t know where you folks in Canada are buying stuff these days, but here in the U.S., we get almost everything from China, who, right now, silences and enslaves innocent people. Sure, by all means let’s remember past horrific situations. The Bisbee massacre is another nasty scene for Americans to remember. Just don’t ignore what Western economies do right now by relying on Chinese trade to the degree that we do or we’re the depraved ones!

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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01 June 2021 12:35
 
nonverbal - 01 June 2021 12:29 PM
Jefe - 01 June 2021 10:43 AM

It’s not an either/or proposition.  We can remember the past while also considering the present, and hopefully the future. 
I hope we can do so with enough empathy to help victims past, present, and future, by working together to try to prevent such tragedies from re-occurring.

I don’t know where you folks in Canada are buying stuff these days, but here in the U.S., we get almost everything from China, who, right now, silences and enslaves innocent people. Sure, by all means let’s remember past horrific situations. The Bisbee massacre is another nasty scene for Americans to remember. Just don’t ignore what Western economies do right now by relying on Chinese trade to the degree that we do or we’re the depraved ones!

Who said anything about ignoring China?
As mentioned above, it’s not a either/or situation.  We humans have the capacity to pay attention to more than one issue.

 

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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01 June 2021 13:42
 
Jefe - 01 June 2021 12:35 PM
nonverbal - 01 June 2021 12:29 PM
Jefe - 01 June 2021 10:43 AM

It’s not an either/or proposition.  We can remember the past while also considering the present, and hopefully the future. 
I hope we can do so with enough empathy to help victims past, present, and future, by working together to try to prevent such tragedies from re-occurring.

I don’t know where you folks in Canada are buying stuff these days, but here in the U.S., we get almost everything from China, who, right now, silences and enslaves innocent people. Sure, by all means let’s remember past horrific situations. The Bisbee massacre is another nasty scene for Americans to remember. Just don’t ignore what Western economies do right now by relying on Chinese trade to the degree that we do or we’re the depraved ones!

Who said anything about ignoring China?
As mentioned above, it’s not a either/or situation.  We humans have the capacity to pay attention to more than one issue.

 

Which social issues are most salient today—past horrific crimes, or current ones that take down our ideals with similar force right this moment? I’m not asking Which crimes are the only ones to notice?, but Which crimes need to be attended to immediately with at least a modicum of patient sacrifice? (The sacrifice being that Americans and many others might end up paying a few more cents per pound for plastic pre-garbage.)

 

[ Edited: 01 June 2021 13:53 by nonverbal]
 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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01 June 2021 14:39
 
nonverbal - 01 June 2021 01:42 PM

Which social issues are most salient today—past horrific crimes, or current ones that take down our ideals with similar force right this moment? I’m not asking Which crimes are the only ones to notice?, but Which crimes need to be attended to immediately with at least a modicum of patient sacrifice? (The sacrifice being that Americans and many others might end up paying a few more cents per pound for plastic pre-garbage.)

The problem is that past horrific crimes ARE still current in that they have not yet been resolved.  Lies, false histories, dismissal, prejudice, etc., have all seen to it that truth and reconciliation are still only a dream.  As Jefe says, it’s not an either/or proposition – the need to ensure current ethical practises (e.g. trade) is no excuse to ignore the crimes of the past that keep on giving.

 

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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01 June 2021 16:24
 

The problem is inside of us, and like the OP says, living by example is what can bring us out of it, or at least dampen it somewhat. We may never completely get rid of the primal, tribalistic urge, but the higher parts of our intellect can learn to override those animal impulses. We need to start with ourselves, then choose leaders who model what we are doing. The worst leaders are those who appeal to our baser instincts, not our “better angels”, as Lincoln said. A certain orangey person comes to mind on the former. I’m hoping the moral arc keeps bending toward justice. We will see. Remember Rwanda? The instinct goes deep.

 
Jefe
 
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01 June 2021 17:24
 
nonverbal - 01 June 2021 01:42 PM
Jefe - 01 June 2021 12:35 PM
nonverbal - 01 June 2021 12:29 PM
Jefe - 01 June 2021 10:43 AM

It’s not an either/or proposition.  We can remember the past while also considering the present, and hopefully the future. 
I hope we can do so with enough empathy to help victims past, present, and future, by working together to try to prevent such tragedies from re-occurring.

I don’t know where you folks in Canada are buying stuff these days, but here in the U.S., we get almost everything from China, who, right now, silences and enslaves innocent people. Sure, by all means let’s remember past horrific situations. The Bisbee massacre is another nasty scene for Americans to remember. Just don’t ignore what Western economies do right now by relying on Chinese trade to the degree that we do or we’re the depraved ones!

Who said anything about ignoring China?
As mentioned above, it’s not a either/or situation.  We humans have the capacity to pay attention to more than one issue.

 

Which social issues are most salient today—past horrific crimes, or current ones that take down our ideals with similar force right this moment? I’m not asking Which crimes are the only ones to notice?, but Which crimes need to be attended to immediately with at least a modicum of patient sacrifice? (The sacrifice being that Americans and many others might end up paying a few more cents per pound for plastic pre-garbage.)

Depends on perspective.  I’d say climate change is a biggie.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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02 June 2021 06:15
 
Jan_CAN - 01 June 2021 02:39 PM
nonverbal - 01 June 2021 01:42 PM

Which social issues are most salient today—past horrific crimes, or current ones that take down our ideals with similar force right this moment? I’m not asking Which crimes are the only ones to notice?, but Which crimes need to be attended to immediately with at least a modicum of patient sacrifice? (The sacrifice being that Americans and many others might end up paying a few more cents per pound for plastic pre-garbage.)

The problem is that past horrific crimes ARE still current in that they have not yet been resolved.  Lies, false histories, dismissal, prejudice, etc., have all seen to it that truth and reconciliation are still only a dream.  As Jefe says, it’s not an either/or proposition – the need to ensure current ethical practises (e.g. trade) is no excuse to ignore the crimes of the past that keep on giving.

Current slavery gets supported by almost everything we in the U.S. purchase. I assume you Canadians contribute to slavery this way, as well, right? We can struggle to end this second-hand slavery rather than continuing to support it. But that’s not happening, is it? In the 21st century, now that we’ve exported our slavery needs, we’re entirely free to display moral indignation regarding our own slavery-infected past because we’ve exported the shame. We’ve become spoiled children who don’t know any better.

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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02 June 2021 07:20
 
Jan_CAN - 01 June 2021 10:34 AM

In some respects, the current world is more peaceful than in our past.  But we still have a long way to go and ignoring or dismissing the past is a huge mistake and only continues to hurt the victims of the past (and present) who are still with us, and their descendants.  And in remembering, we must humanize this history with stories and faces, not just facts and numbers.

I also fear that this slow trend towards humanitarianism won’t last.  If in the decades to come climate change causes mass migrations and competition for land and resources, the human trait of selfishness and self-interest might very well supersede our compassion and common sense.

Exactly.  When ideas are bandied about it’s always good to have folks around who can say We tried that already and it was a miserable failure of epic proportions.  Admitting that would save a lot of trouble.  Mass migration is a going concern.  Exacerbated by the rise in xenophobia.  I don’t like to imagine what all the weary travellers are encountering the more they are displaced.  That is where abuses tends to thrive.  Then get glossed over.  And that won’t do.

Like most stories involving mass graves the Kamloops story was like a gut punch.  The worst case scenario of what the sick and twisted do.  Whatever images we sear into our memory can last long after the lowered flags and tiny shoes are gone.  And we learn what it means to have compassion for folks we’ll never know.  From Namibia to Rwanda to Yemen.  I think a little understanding would make for friendlier doorsteps.

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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02 June 2021 07:25
 
nonverbal - 02 June 2021 06:15 AM

Current slavery gets supported by almost everything we in the U.S. purchase. I assume you Canadians contribute to slavery this way, as well, right? We can struggle to end this second-hand slavery rather than continuing to support it. But that’s not happening, is it? In the 21st century, now that we’ve exported our slavery needs, we’re entirely free to display moral indignation regarding our own slavery-infected past because we’ve exported the shame. We’ve become spoiled children who don’t know any better.

I see where yer coming from.  And there’s always a choice.  As long as enough people stand up to the depravity and call it out wherever it lives we’ll have a fighting chance.  Demand the truth from our representatives.  If we forget or ignore or deny our past we won’t know what or who we’re fighting.  And won’t know what or who to boycott.  And inadvertently become the corrupt bastards we’re trying to avoid.  It starts will an honest evaluation of reality.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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02 June 2021 07:39
 
nonverbal - 02 June 2021 06:15 AM
Jan_CAN - 01 June 2021 02:39 PM
nonverbal - 01 June 2021 01:42 PM

Which social issues are most salient today—past horrific crimes, or current ones that take down our ideals with similar force right this moment? I’m not asking Which crimes are the only ones to notice?, but Which crimes need to be attended to immediately with at least a modicum of patient sacrifice? (The sacrifice being that Americans and many others might end up paying a few more cents per pound for plastic pre-garbage.)

The problem is that past horrific crimes ARE still current in that they have not yet been resolved.  Lies, false histories, dismissal, prejudice, etc., have all seen to it that truth and reconciliation are still only a dream.  As Jefe says, it’s not an either/or proposition – the need to ensure current ethical practises (e.g. trade) is no excuse to ignore the crimes of the past that keep on giving.

Current slavery gets supported by almost everything we in the U.S. purchase. I assume you Canadians contribute to slavery this way, as well, right? We can struggle to end this second-hand slavery rather than continuing to support it. But that’s not happening, is it? In the 21st century, now that we’ve exported our slavery needs, we’re entirely free to display moral indignation regarding our own slavery-infected past because we’ve exported the shame. We’ve become spoiled children who don’t know any better.

I’m no expert on this topic, but it seems that there has been a move in the right direction – fair trade companies (e.g. coffee, textiles, ethical stocks) and consumer awareness.  That is not to say much more needs to be done, but discontinuing trade could actually harm those one seeks to help.

The OP was addressing crimes (slavery, residential schools) committed directly by our own countries for which this history has been suppressed.  The consequences of these crimes are still with us and the prejudice towards black and indigenous peoples is still evident.  If we want to judge other countries for their injustices, we also need to deal with ours.

[ Edited: 02 June 2021 07:42 by Jan_CAN]
 
 
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