July 4: The Lonely Road of Reconciliation 

July 4 can be a good time for reflection, and it seems that every year, we have had something to say for the holiday, such as: religion, real and fake; an explanation of why sexual freedom is the bedrock of all freedoms; and, a 7-minute video montage of street interviews asking, “What Does Sexual Freedom Mean To You?”

Last year, though, I took a different approach, tied in with my life-long search for answers to the cratering of modern civilization that we are witnessing today.

While I believe that America may be the world’s best hope for universal human rights and peace, its antecedent history is permanently marred, always with an asterisk, because of the geneocide that wiped out 90% of First Peoples and an economy based on slavery, the repercussions of which are damning us to this day.

Peacekeeping Monument, Ottawa, Canada Photo by Catherine Bulinski Flickr/creative commons

Peacekeeping Monument, Ottawa, Canada
Photo by Catherine Bulinski
Flickr/creative commons

Reconciliation is the only answer to our current dilemma. Reconciliation is the obvious concept that maybe someday will become center to all the fireworks, BBQs, and white-centric glad-handing that takes place. (Thoughts on July 4, Part 1 and Part 2, 7/4/15)

The whitewashing of our own history continues to this very day. White, fear-mongering men led and lead the charge to fight change, deny science and human rights, to fight their dwindling power, to fight the natural evolution of reconciliation and healing, and to fight all efforts in rightly blending and balancing the best of socialism and the best of capitalism.

The 3-pronged goal of Martin Luther King, Jr., to end poverty, war, and racism through reconciliation is best embodied in his screed, “We Are The Beloved Community.” Both King and Nelson Mandela of South Africa have schooled many, myself included, on the essentials of reconciliation, and why it is the sole remedy to the rising difficulties of living with our world’s racial and cultural history.

Like King, Mandela understood that reconciliation is and forever will be the only thing that begin to permanently heal the deep wounds of Dutch colonization in his country that waged brutal campaigns to strip the human rights of South Africa’s indigenous population and immigrants of color.

Mandela’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (1996) showed the world what was possible, what King could only philosophize and dream about for the US.

The world is at war with itself, punctuated this week by a barrage of terrorist attacks across the globe. Corporatists corrupt then control our governments. BigPharma and BigAg are making us sick with their poisonous products. Politicians celebrate anti-intellectualism. Is it not time for the US to form its own reconciliation commission?

Consider that US reparations to generations of slaves, all of whom were kidnapped and put in bondage, and all of the remaining America’s First People, 90% of whom lost their lives to white colonists, are just as much psychological as they are economic. We have to start making amends somewhere — searching for reconciliation together is the only route out of the bondage of the current insanity we live in right now.


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This conversation continues . . .





Alison Gardner