How much of the past can we shed, and how so, before we cross that line between lying and just moving on?
It’s true: after over 30 years of watching Woody Allen movies, I have had to limit myself to those that review well. That’s because bad Woody Allen films are perhaps more painful to me than the bad films of other writers and/or directors.
As I have noted, I’m not one much for nostalgia. I don’t long for the “good old days.”
Also, I used to think in terms of time being linear. You do this; this is over. You do that; that passes. On to the next thing. I’m more likely now to see things as parabolic, with events somehow coming back to re-inform one’s life periodically.
When Jackie Robinson joined major league baseball in 1947, that did not mark the end of racism and segregation.
It’s likely you’ll see a LOT of stories about the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Every single one will marvel about how much progress has been made in America in the area of race, since 1963. Almost all will point to a black President, the current Attorney General, and two recent Secretaries of State as examples. The divergence in opinions come on this point: some will claim that we have “reached the promised land,” making sure to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr. from that day a half century ago – as though he were the only speaker there – while others will suggest that we haven’t quite gotten there yet.
When President Obama suggested that we look at race again in light of the Trayvon Martin case, that Obama could have been Trayvon 35 years ago, some, such as Touré at TIME, thought it was a brave personal observation. He wrote: “The assertion that blacks are hallucinating or excuse-making or lying when we talk about the many very real ways white privilege and racial bias and the lingering impact of history impact our lives is painful. It adds insult to injury to attack all assertions of racism and deny its continued impact or existence.”
James Gadsden was a lieutenant from South Carolina who wanted to expand slavery westward into California, perhaps by splitting the state into two, one slave, one free.
I swear I went to bed one night, wondering, “What should I write about for the letter G?” Then I woke up in the morning thinking about the Gadsden Purchase.
You can see from the map above that the western expansion of the United States had already been achieved by the time the US purchased this relatively small section of the country, shown in orange. After the Revolutionary War Continue reading “G is for Gadsden Purchase”