Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Depressing thoughts after diversity training

What's new today? I took a diversity appreciation course that depressed me. What depressed me is how the world's only superpower has treated its natives.

I used to work for a guy who said "history is written by the winners." I understood his point and for the most part (sadly) agreed. Recently I heard a slightly different version -- "History is not what happened, it's what is written down."

Genocide, racism, murder, discrimination, rape, torture, yup, we've done it all. I learned the rocks that "stone-wash" jeans comes from a site sacred to native Americans.

Ironic, isn't it, that the qualities that are good in our nation--the First Amendment in particular-- are what let us know about our nation's flaws.

Now somethng less depressing. Today is the anniversary of some good peace milestones.

On this day in 1784, the brand new United States signed a peace treaty with ex-Mother England, ending our revolution and beginning the saga we are still participating in.

And 220 years later, in 1994, President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed accords in Moscow to stop aiming missiles at any nation and to dismantle the nuclear arsenal of Ukraine.

In 2005, just 4 years ago today, Army Specialist Charles Graner Jr., the reputed ringleader of a band of rogue guards at the Abu Ghraib prison, was convicted at Fort Hood, Texas, of abusing Iraqi detainees. (He was later sentenced to 10 years in prison.).

Thank you New York Times for distilling these anniversaroids.

Peace, y'all


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