Artwork by Judith Dragonette
Once again Europe has opened my eyes to the fact that America has never come to grips with its wrongs. Not many places in Germany can you go that the memory of their country’s wrong, the killing of Jewish people, are on display. Honoring the many Jewish families whose lives were taken by a time that to this day still shames German people. This honoring consists of gold stars in front of the houses of people that were killed, statues erected in their memories and a never-ending reminder of the wrongs that occurred. Admitting and never forgetting these tragedies is a strong way to make sure this never happens again. I think this shows a true path to healing. To admit wrong and display it helps ensure it will never happen again.
The country I come from, America, has much to be ashamed of from our past, yet we don’t make any efforts to recognize or to face our demons. Our country was formed on the backs of slaves we took as our property from Africa. The welcoming to the new continent came from the Native American tribes. They taught us how to survive in the new world, what to eat and all the other knowledge needed to keep us alive. Then we began to murder them and steal their land removing their way of life. Starting the first form of chemical warfare, in the form of small pox blankets, we weaken them and then exterminated their food supply by killing over 30 million Buffalo.
Artwork by Judih Dragonette
Our harsh and unforgiving ways can never be forgotten. Yet these atrocities go almost unrecognized in the history of our country; in fact we honor the ones that committed these crimes with statues and in our history books. To truly heal from these inhumane acts, we need to recognize and admit how horribly wrong all these actions are. We need to honor the millions of lives lost by paying tribute to these people and their families and admit we were wrong. Recognize that this country was built on the backs of black slaves and that this is also wrong. When I watch people get angry over the removal of statues of people that carried out this horror, I ask them to look at why the memories still haunt so many. To undo wrongs, we must first admit they exist. We must face the evils done by our ancestors by denouncing them. Place memorials throughout the country honoring the victims of our action. Tell the truth in our history books and always have a reminder of this wrong so it never happens again. We must honor the victims of the past to heal our future. As we see, this still is happening today and it is time to stop this. We need to put up memorials of all the Native Americans murdered, like we do for our war heroes. We need to erect statues of the slaves that built this country. We must have never ending reminders of what took place, so it can never happen again. This might help to let the healing begin.
Written by BFC co-Founder
While giving talks in Europe Feb. 2020