30.6.12

Fishing for Diamonds in the Trans-Atlantic Trash Bin


Well sure, why not? Why not shoot a look further back to a history that shines of positive possibilities, that gleamingly tells of great West African empires establishing centers of trade and commerce amongst the nations of the Americas, of voyagers from al-Andalus building mosques and schools amongst the Carib and Taino, of the greatly advanced multicultural and multilingual civilizations of the Atlantic islands and the Turtle Island that came to be known as the Americas? Why not cast our net for that history and pull out glittering tales shining as pearls rejected as garbage flotsam by the wider mainstream media and textbook lessons? We have been trained to accept far more ridiculous postulations and hypothesis instead. We have been conditioned to see no further than the centuries-long narrative of greed, corruption, genocide, the worst manifestation of institutionalized slavery yet known, rape, exploitation, and the institution of legal valuation based on physical features and accept this as normal; how can anyone find worth in a history such as this, bracketed as it is by theft, murder, and colonization with a squiggly dash leading into a future with more of the same?
Why not look backward with an eye to how we've digressed as time progressed and a mind to change the inevitability of this course? Does the "historical accuracy" of a fable count when it uses the same criterion that justified horrific atrocities as its test for legitimacy? Why not- move beyond our textbooks and the horrific historical legacy that's been ingrained into our very sense of self to look further, further back into the possibilities and learn about what this land and others were before its colonial history, and thus learn a new way of looking at ourselves and others.