[Pnews] Charlottesville and the Battles of History - Mumia Abu Jamal

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 31 15:14:52 EDT 2017


https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/31/charlottesville-and-the-battles-of-history/ 



  Charlottesville and the Battles of History

by Mumia Abu Jamal - August 31, 2017
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The events surrounding Charlottesville, Virginia have a resonance far 
beyond the borders of Old Dominion. Even though they began as a strictly 
local affair, they quickly assumed a national character, because this 
strictly local event stems from the nation’s history—a history that 
remains not only contested but bitterly unresolved.

That history, of course is the toxic poison of White Supremacy, and the 
trigger thereof—African Slavery—the intentional, centuries-long 
economic, social, communal and psychic exploitation of Africans for the 
financial and psychological benefits of the White Nation. This toxin has 
tainted the bloodstream of the Nation, and infected all segments of 
society, and was integral to the very development of Whiteness as a core 
identity for millions of people who call themselves “Americans.”

As we look at protests rolling throughout the country, the first thing 
we must recognize is that this isn’t about monuments. Nor is it about 
the Civil War.

It is about the Present. It is about how this country will define 
itself, how it sees itself, and how it understands its future.

But history, true history is more about today than yesterday, for it is 
the pathway to tomorrow, and it lives or dies in the minds of the young 
who learn, or unlearn, how this country came to be, and what role they 
play in the days to come.

The great Black freedom fighter, Malcolm X repeatedly said, “Of all our 
studies, history best rewards our research.” He knew this not only 
because he was taught this by his Teacher (Honorable Elijah Muhammed) 
but because he learned this in the very expression of his life. For, as 
a state prisoner, a man so hated that he was called “Satan,” his 
learning of a deeper history of Black people literally made him a new 
man. It gave him confidence, it turned his loathing into loving, it gave 
him purpose—and perhaps more importantly, perspective.

Perspective. How to look at the world. How to interpret it. How to 
understand why things are the way they are. That’s the real value of 
History.

It teaches Perspective of Now—not Then.

And that’s the reason why monuments, turned green by oxidation and 
pigeon poop, are seemingly at the center of these controversies.

The Trump presidency signaled a Great Leap – Backwards. It was the 
expression of a deep, profound fear of the Future, of Change, of 
Transformation. So, they hold on to Yesterday, invoking Tradition—as if 
the central Tradition of America wasn’t—and isn’t—Black Slavery, which 
launched it into and Economic and World Power.

Charlottesville is thus a turning point—a pivot point upon which the 
Nation turns back, or moves forward, creating a New History.

This only the people of America will decide.

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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