How do we move beyond the economic violence of racism?

Until America teaches every child in every school the whole unvarnished truth about American Chattel Slavery there is no hope to move beyond the debilitating social and economic violence of racism. 

White Americans bask in the heroics of American history as they present it. Black Americans in large part misunderstand and devalue our contribution to the greatness of the nation. These realities breed attitudes of “white entitlement” and “black worthlessness.”

As slaves, black Americans made enormous contributions to the economic development of America and Europe. These realities are largely hidden from white children, which allows them to grow to maturity on a diet of distortions, omissions and outright lies.

When whites loudly proclaim that they have no personal responsibility for slavery blacks fall back instead of vigorously countering that white society built its large advantage over blacks as a result of stealing wages and capital that black would have been entitled to but for slavery. We must never relent on that point. The grand theft of “the means of production and capital formation” can never be surrendered as our legacy claim. All should not be forgiven until all is equal—which can be accomplished. 

America must continually be called upon to make appropriate redress for its horrendous past acts. And bottompeople must reject leaders and intellectual apologists who want to put it all behind us in the name of “moving forward.” They deserve firm rejection.

The economic value of the black contribution to America through slavery has been estimated at $20 trillion dollars. And setting any discussions of reparations aside, why should we not teach all American children the facts and details regarding such a huge contribution? 

What is it about discussing American Chattel Slavery that must be avoided at any cost? It does not put us down. Indeed, it lifts us up. It recounts hundreds of years of our history. Why do our leaders want the citizens to be ignorant of their own history? Isn’t that just a little suspicious?

Unless and until this truth is fully taught, and just recompense made, economic and/or racial justice will never exist in America. And achieving these goals seems far more worthy of sacrifice than eliminating racism, which must be a personal quest.

Often, these days, America is described as a “nation of immigrants.” It's a description that conveniently leaves out Americans with slave ancestry and aboriginal Americans. Interesting how lawmakers and others describe the nation in a manner that banishes its two irremovable moral stains: genocide and slavery in pursuit of a revisionist legacy.

America must tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the past. It is time for a full-throated confession. Anything less only further diminishes the nation's credibility with American citizens as well as careful observers across the globe.

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