Thursday, August 21, 2008

In Memory

Today is Thursday, 21 August 2008.

On this date in 1831, Nat Turner led the largest rebellion of slaves in U.S. history. The uprising was suppressed within 48 hours.

Turner and 54 other Blacks were judicially murdered by the state of Virginia. Some 200 other Blacks (of whom few, if any, had any link to the rebellion) were tortured and assassinated by white lynch mobs.

Wherever slavery has occurred in human history, it has meant three things: mass theft of labor, mass rape, and mass murder. The fact that most of the deaths of slaves occur as a consequence of being worked to death, rather than by direct execution, does not mean that the former killings are any less murder. (Interestingly, Heinrich Himmler was initially opposed to the gassing of Jews: he wished to work them to death for the economic profit of the Reich.)

This is not to condone the killings of 57 white females, children, and males by the rebellion. All slavers know that, as they murder, they risk drawing murder to themselves and their loved ones. Yet they enslave, valuing the theft of wealth above human life, even their own.

During the night of 20-21 1968, some 200,000 soldiers of the armies of the USSR, Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary, and Poland invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia, bringing brutally to an end the experiment with “socialism with a human face” known to history as the “Prague Spring”. Meanwhile, the brutal invasion and occupation of Vietnam by the USA/USE/USS military ground on to its final tally of nearly 6,000,000 Indochinese victims.

On this date in 1972, your author was convicted in Federal District Court in Tulsa for the “crime” of draft resistance to the Indochina War, to wit, “nonpossession of draft materials”, HH having returned his “mutilated” (i.e., torn up) draft cards to the government.

Not an hour goes by without HH thinks of those murdered millions.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not an hour goes by that you don't think of the murdered millions? While I feel your pain and sympathize, I fear for you. These innocents are gone and there is nothing that can be done to change that. The only thing you or any of us can do is work toward such things not repeating.

Please don't dwell on the past. It is not healthy. Rather look to the future and ways to better the world.

10:42 AM  
Blogger HH said...

Not to worry, Anonymous: I don't remember or dwell in any morbid way.

I simply believe we ought to live simultaneously in all three dimensions of time, past, present, future. For example, when no one any longer remembers someone who has gone before, then that someone has truly perished. We must embrace the past, take joy in that which is good, weep for the waste and suffering, take heart to struggle against the bad. Without the past, the present is a trap, a snare, a cul de sac with no possible future, just randomness.

This is why I have seriously studied history for the past forty-eight years. When I look at the world, I see it, not only in physical depth, but vividly in depth in time, reaching as far back into our common humanity as I can. Time is a dimension of many sorrows, and also an inexhaustible fount of strength and joy.

1:35 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home