America’s original sins

Well, I forget whatever it was I was going to write about today, cause today is the day of the El Paso shooting, and last I’ve read there were 18 people killed by a white supremacist who was worried about hispanics taking over Texas or something. I really don’t know what it’s going to take for us to get some reform done here in this country. It’s despicable.

Guns are such a part of this country. There’s a tweet I saw about how America is so fucked up, it’s almost like it was built on an Indian burial ground or something. But the fact of the matter is that America was founded on slavery and the genocide of the Native Americans, and guns and the 2nd Amendment were a part of that. The militarism of this country and our love affair with guns is a direct effect of this racist history, and I see no sign that we’re dealing with it at all.

A couple recent pieces that I’ve read lately about the American frontier, or really the myth of it, has enlightened me to a bit of the violence that is endemic to the American story. This last Fourth of July, I re-read Howard Zinn’s chapters on the American Revolution, and noted that one of the main reasons for the revolution was that the British were preventing colonists to expand westward. This was to ally with the Native Americans against the French, but the colonists wanted the land. So the story of American expansion through the frontier becomes the Trail of Tears and so on. But the closing of the Frontier as Americans reached California didn’t stop the expansionist aims, so we had wars with Mexico, invaded the Philippines, Guam, Virgin Islands, et cetera.

Of course this all plays back to what Trump is doing with the resurgence of white Nationalism, and the El Paso shooter and his manifesto. America’s sins continue to be America’s tragedy, and until we can reckon with that past we’re not going to do a damn thing about the tragedies today. These shootings will continue to occur and we will continue to lament the deaths while doing nothing about it.

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