Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Illegitimi Non Carborundum

The little piece I wrote below showed up on my Facebook Memories. Interesting to read about “waiting for a vaccine” and “might be curtailed within a year.” Equally interesting —and depressing— to consider that a mere two years later, the needed truths revealed in the 1619 Project are now prohibited from being taught in schools in far too many states. More than ever, this sense of backpedaling into a history we needed to leave behind has us reeling in disbelief. It takes great imagination and faith to understand that this backlash comes from people terrified of losing their unearned privilege and re-doubling their efforts to make their narrow, hurtful and soul-killing values the law of the land. But though we suffer from the one step back, we need to remember the two steps forward and regain our faith that though it’s hard for us to see, things are still moving toward more justice, equity and inclusion. And re-double our efforts to keep them moving in that direction. As the fake Latin phrase reminds us: “ Illegitimi non carborundum: Don’t let the bastards grind you down!”


Here's the piece: 


Here we are in the midst of two pandemics. COVID 19 has been causing havoc in the U.S. for over 4 months and COVID 1619 has been causing unbearable pain and suffering for over 400 years. One can be partially healed by wearing masks, the other by unmasking the purposeful lies and hidden truths. One asks people to stay apart, the other asks people to come together. One affects everyone regardless of class, religion, race, ethnicity, etc. and the other one does as well. (Though both are far more dangerous for people of color.) One waits for a vaccine to inoculate against the spreading of life-killing germs, the other waits for an education, awareness and awakening to inoculate against the spreading of soul-killing hate. One requires intelligence and care to act responsibility, the other does as well. One might be curtailed within a year, the other would need either miraculous transformation of hardened hearts (not likely) or a vast commitment of every cultural resource—news media, schools, churches, neighborhood associations, film industries, Twitter, Facebook, sports industries, etc. —to educate the young to know the real deal, to care, to act. Also not likely, but who can tell me really, why not?

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