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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Lesson From The Movie "The Birth Of A Nation"

The wife and I saw an important movie for all to see this past weekend. It was The Birth Of A Nation. Though because of the violence in the story, I could not watch many of the scenes because of the gore involved, I found the movie enlightening. The end of the movie is the most disturbing and yet revealing. It is then that main character, Nat Turner, had turned himself in to the authorities to be punished for leading violent and even murderous slave rebellion. 

As those Whites angrily called for his death when he was arrested and then later walked toward the gallows, what they either forgot or were completely oblivious to was the pain and horrors that prompted Turner to lead such a rebellion. And those responsible for the pain and horrors that Turner both witnessed and experienced were many of the same people who were screaming for his death and then, with very grotesque actions, celebrated his execution.

Don't we see a somewhat retelling of that story when Whites so easily dismiss movements like Black Lives Matter or when our nations so easily denounces terrorism practiced by others but adamantly denies our own atrocities in regions like the Middle East? Of course, Black Lives Matter are not seeking murderous revenge. Yes, there are individuals who try to retaliate, but the movement doesn't. What we don't see, and that is perhaps because we choose to look away from, are practices approved by our society that have greatly harmed Black people in our nation and have caused them such great pain. Likewise, we don't see how our foreign policies continue to visit horrors on those from other nations. And we don't see that because we prefer to live in denial. And we live in denial because doing so makes it easier to think well of ourselves.

It is easy to look back now and see the errors of our ancestors. But what about not waiting for both the future and our descendants before recognizing our own errors?

 

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