During the past ten days there have been some items in the news which are worthy of comment as well as concern, to wit:
Oklahoma – None so blind as those who refuse to see
Recently the Oklahoma State Legislature determined that no public-school system in the state could have as part of its curriculum any study of American history that might make students feel ashamed of themselves or of America and passed a law to that effect.
It is ironic that Oklahoma is a state totally established on the land that was stolen from the indigenous people who had lived there for many centuries.
It is also ironic that it was in Tulsa, Oklahoma 1921 that white citizens shot, hung, murdered, bombed and burned the very successful Black community in that city. Unknown hundreds of men, women and children were killed and buried in unmarked mass graves and virtually every building in that community was razed to the ground.
So, it should come as no surprise that the Tulsa School Board would approve curricula that included requiring students to learn about that tragedy and savagery that afflicted their city only a short century ago.
And it should come as no surprise that the Oklahoma Board of Education has lowered the accreditation of the Tulsa school system as if by censoring the truth the truth will somehow disappear; that if by closing the eyes of the Black and white children of Oklahoma genocide and murder and lynching will no longer be a part of history.
Indeed, there are none so blind as those that refuse to see.
The Legacy of the British Monarchy
The death of Queen Elizabeth II turned out to be one of those inevitable events that still had the capacity to impact billions around the world. Of course, most of those billions were or are members of the Commonwealth or were colonized by the British, sometimes for centuries.
There is every reason to believe that Queen Elizabeth II was a perfectly gentle soul who performed her service as monarch during a period of seven decades, even as the notion of monarchy has dimmed as anachronism that has outlived its sell by date by a lot.
It does no dishonor to the memory of the queen to point out that the crimes, sins and outrages committed by the British Empire around the world in the name of the monarchy have to be fully acknowledged or even admitted. The death and destruction committed by Empire in the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia is undeniable.
And the rapacious character of the British Empire is also undeniable. The current wealth of Great Britain is due to outright theft, exploitation, slavery and genocide. The historical artifacts looted from civilizations virtually lost to time and depredation are proudly on view in museums in London as trophies of such outright global depredation.
It has been suggested that, with the death of Queen Elizabeth, it may be time to give the monarchy and the myth of the British Empire decent burials with little fanfare.
Then it will be time to discuss reparations, restitution and apology.
Dumb and Dumbest
No more cards and letters please, we have a winner for the Dumb and Dumbest Prize of the year.
It turns out that there are some Mensa dropouts in the Democratic National Committee have aligned with political and nonprofit organizations to donate over $50 million dollars in support of Republican primary candidates who are to the right of Genghis Khan, and some of them actually make Donald Trump seem well, rational.
The strategy that has been revealed is that by helping the most outrageous right-wing Republicans win their primaries, especially for House and Senate seats, will result in candidacies that are too radical for most general election voters thereby virtually guaranteeing Democratic victories (remember that word “virtually”).
Of course, if this strategy had been employed in 2016, millions of Democratic dollars would have gone to Donald Trump thereby derailing the likes of Jeb Bush and Chris Christie. And we now know how that would have turned out.
Why anyone would want to risk millions of dollars that might result in the election of one or more mini-Trumps is simply beyond comprehension.
We can only hope that this is not one time where being too smart turn out to be pretty dumb.