Holding This Moment 2

02021-01-13 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

Regarding my post from 8 January I want to add a few words after carefully reading the comments.

I appreciate that the commenters went to see the atrocities that happened in Germany and in Cambodia. It is difficult to keep one’s eyes open in the face of such evil. I wonder, however, whether it really is that difficult to look at the killings of POC in this country, the locking up of a disproportionate number of people of color, the racism at home? Or, looking a little further back in time and acknowledging the countless atrocities committed against the native peoples of this land?

It is relatively easy to look at the horror that took place in other countries. There is a geographical and emotional distance between us and their guilt and shame. Looking at our own horror, however, is quite another matter because it means acknowledging that your fellow people were and are the perpetrators.

I think many white Americans are scared to take a hard look at the systemic racism that exists in this country because they are afraid of the feelings they will encounter. They might feel a sense of shame for not having seen the extent of racism before, or for not having listened to the cries of injustice from the communities of people of color.

It is time for us to look at the horror that happened and is happening right here at home, in our backyards. You do not need to travel to Auschwitz or the Killing Fields when you can look at current and historical events on this land. As long as we refuse to acknowledge the presence of these occurrences, or we turn away from seeing them, can things improve?

I read that the Thanksgiving holiday is based on a custom whereby settlers would celebrate the massacres of native people. After a while, there were so many Thanksgiving feasts that George Washington suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre.

And finally, I can’t help seeing the similarity between the settlers who killed Native American people in order to take away their lands and the men and women who stormed the Capitol last week in order to take away an election.


  1. Y.

    “As long as we refuse to acknowledge the presence of these occurrences, or we turn away from seeing them, can things improve?”

    We don’t have to look far to see how hatred is encouraged. Look at the Japanese American “internment”, for example.
    I’m glad that you placed your thoughts in these two posts.

  2. JaneParhamKatz

    Well done, dear Ottmar!

    I have stopped celebrating Thanksgiving since I learned of the wretched nature of it. I can celebrate life and love every day, and enjoy good healthy food at every meal (almost).

  3. Liz in Ohio

    I have been reading “How To Be an Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi and although it is at times difficult to read because of the plentiful examples of racism both past and current, it is worth it to me to be made uncomfortable. That is what motivates me to be a part of the change. I read it in a book group that included some people of color and they were kind enough to share their stories. It was so hard to hear of people that I greatly respect and care about being mistreated just because of the color of their skin. The book is not written in an accusatory way, but to illustrate how we can all do better. I cannot recommend it enough to people who want to learn more about the subject of inequality. I’m sure I have plenty more to learn about the subject, but I felt this was a great introduction.


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