You’ve finally managed to render me speechless. I literally do not know what to say to you. In fact, I have to take a break from this letter right here to write another one.
Dear Sean Braisted,
I sometimes get the feeling that you don’t like me. I don’t think you hate me. I just sometimes get the feeling you see me coming and are all like, “Oh, great. It’s her.” That’s fine. I sometimes look in the mirror and say the same thing.
I only mention that because I’m concerned that your indifference to me will make you indifferent to what I’m about to say, and that would be too bad.
I’m going to say it anyway.
Thank you for your “original sin” comment at the end of Kleinheider’s latest rant.
Okay, Kleinheider, back to you.
“Very few modern whites can be held responsible for Jim Crow to say nothing of slavery.”
Very few modern whites can be held responsible for Jim Crow?! Good fucking god, when do you think that was? Emmitt Till, the kid the white folks killed in Money, Mississippi? He was born in 1941. He was only four years older than my dad.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in 1929. He’s younger than my grandma, who is still alive.
Shoot, ask John H. about when the lunch counters here in Nashville were desegregated. He was here. He remembers. Or take your ass to a show of Ordinary Heroes, and look around the audience and see how many of those folks in the audience were there during those days.
You think the folks who upheld Jim Crow are all dead? Their victims and their witnesses are still alive. Which means that they are too. Yes, they’re getting older, but please, “very few?” Only if your math is funky.
You know what? Forget it.
You’re right. History doesn’t matter. What’s in the past is in the past. Today is a new day. We’ll just set aside what happened back then, because it has no effect on us, right Carter?
Humans are not the sum of their experiences but they do help mold us. The same is true of history. We can try and whitewash out personal histories but the memories are still there and they are important.
God, you know, that bit–We can try and whitewash out personal histories but the memories are still there and they are important–is pretty persuasive. I wonder why it didn’t have an effect on you.