Brain Dropping #45
Although I admit to an imperfect view of things due to the limitations of my sources of information and my own biases, I do want these ruminations to be taken seriously like a Zen “Koan” – a paradox to be meditated on to bring about intuitive enlightenment!” That’s just a fancy way of saying that our knowledge of what’s happening in the world is so skewed by the corporate media and “taken-for-granted-assumptions” force fed us in public schools. and more deviously insinuated in the NYT, that we citizens of “The United States of Amnesia” (Gore Vidal) are largely slaves to mendacity. So, yes I would love these “half-baked” commentaries to be eaten with skepticism and, at the same time, provoke some non-socially acceptable thinking.
A perfect example of such rare insight, that cuts deep into deeply rooted assumptions,is Gerald Horne’s “The Counter Revolution of 1776” which argues that the founding fathers broke away from Britain, not for “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” but to save the enormously profitable slave trade, which the Brits, pressured by William Wilberforce and other abolitionists, were on the verge of abolishing. Blacks were favorably disposed to join the British who, for their own nefarious reasons, promised to free the slaves and arm them. In fact, in the war of 1812 there were freed slaves, on the side of the British,who helped in the burning of the capital two years later – something we never learned about in Social Studies.
Horne believes that the hypocrisy this nation was founded on, is the root of the on going racism which still permeates our “whiteman’s empire”, both here and abroad, and exemplified by Ferguson, Missouri. Remember, if we can cut through our historical amnesia, Toussaint Louverture and Jean Jacque Dessalines were leading the successful Haitian (San Domingo) slave revolution at about the same time the slave owning founding fathers, were drafting The Constitution which declared blacks to be 3/5ths of a human being. According to letters from Jefferson and others they were “shaking in their boots” over the possibility that the successful Hatian Slave Revolution would inspire American blacks.
To invoke an old and useful analogy: Just as the fish is oblivious to the water he swims in, we seem to be unmindful of the ocean of lies and half-truths which are the accepted,widely believed dogmas of American life.