Living Ahistorically

Last night, Nashville had a community meeting about whether Ferguson could happen here. Over at Pith, I already went into how what was a weird question, because it has happened here.

But this morning on my walk, I thought of a better way to illustrate the problem. We live in a city where white people ask a question that rests on an unspoken question, “Do we have that kind of despair over racial inequity here?”

We live in a city where people my age have living parents who were banned from whole swathes of the city, who were beaten and poisoned and arrested for trying to make that different. Those people my age are trying to raise children in this city–a city that would treat their parents that way.

The people who treated their parents that way, some of them, are still alive. Their children and grandchildren still live here.

And yet, it always seems like we want to move ahead as if the past doesn’t weigh on us. At least, some of the past. We pick the weights we want to bear and it seems like Nashville’s long history of what we do to black people is a weight most white people are constantly surprised to find still exists.

One thought on “Living Ahistorically

  1. Hello, B. Thank you for another sparkling insight. I’ve heard this dynamic demonstrated by a couple of my colleagues in the firehouse, suggesting rather emphatically that the Ferguson police should just start shooting to kill protesters. It’s as if they have no knowledge of the state and state-sanctioned violence poured on the nonviolent civil rights activists during the middle of the last century. They have no knowledge of the violence poured on the labor organizers of the early 20th Century, organizers who shed blood so that these pampered, ignorant fuckers can stand around on the taxpayers’ generously apportioned dime to casually denigrate and wish death upon others who are demanding simply to be recognized as human beings.

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