I am a member of an oppressed people group, though you wouldn’t know it from looking at me. I’m as white as an eggshell and have the coordination to prove it. But, still, my people have a long history of being persecuted, exploited, and otherwise crapped upon. And many of them are still suffering at the hands of their tormentors.
You see, I’m Scotch-Irish by descent; and the atrocities committed against my people are too great to number. First came the Romans, with their legions and their banners and their lust to dominate others. Then, centuries later, the bloody English showed up on our native lands, and anyone who has seen Braveheart knows what happened then. Our proud warriors fought bravely with their primitive weapons, but it was futile against the superior numbers of our persecutors.
One would think that any people as abused and marginalized as mine would know all too well how utterly inexcusable it is to oppress others. But that lesson somehow escaped us. In fact, we proved just how quickly we could forget, once millions of us immigrated to the New World. Here we met the Indians; and we promptly began proved how cultured and civilized we were by slaughtering them.
Not too much later, many of us discovered the long growing seasons and fertile lands of the American South. We also found that we could get others to do our work for us, simply by purchasing them off the trading blocks in Savannah and Charleston. And so we treated the blacks every bit as atrociously as we had the Indians.
I can’t begin to comprehend what the children of Africa endured for all those centuries. But I can relate to the suffering of the red man, because a small slice of my family tree is from the Cherokee tribe. Cherokees are known for their beautiful jewelry and rich folklore. They’re also distinguished by how they oppressed other tribes that inhabited the area now known as the Appalachians.
These kinds of antics weren’t limited to the Cherokee, of course. Abundant evidence proves that Indians in the Southwest were wiping each other out with gusto, long before white folks appeared on these shores. They also practiced human sacrifice and slavery.
All that ended when Europeans arrived and realized the Native Americans didn’t have gunpowder or steel swords. After that it was one long murder-fest all the way to the West Coast. Of course, we Americans took a few years out from our westward push to kill hundreds of thousands of each other, in a little conflict known as the Civil War. My ancestors butchered the Yankees, the Yankees butchered us, and along the way we both pissed on the Africans. To be fair, though, the northerners were a bit more restrained in their hatred of black people than us good Christians from Dixie.
There are counter-examples to all these facts, of course. Native people greeted the Pilgrims with kindness when the Puritans crossed the Big Pond. White abolitionists risked life and limb to wipe out slavery in the United States. And people of all races marched with Martin Luther King in the 1960s.
As inspiring as these examples are, however, they are exceptions to the rule. As a whole, the human animal finds it remarkably easy to prey on the weak and excuse its worst behavior. This was seen in what the Nazis did to the 12 million victims of the Holocaust, six million of whom were Jews. And, fitting the pattern outlined in this post, Jewish people have visited much the same types of horrors on the Palestinians over the last several decades.
Time and again, the oppressed have turned into the oppressors when given a chance, using the evils they suffered as an excuse; “we must never let it happen to us again!” So said the Romans. So said the Irish. So said the Puritans. So said the Germans; and so say Israeli militants. If we ever colonize another planet, then God help any poor bastards we run into, especially if we have an edge over them technologically. They’re toast. Might they do the same thing to us? it’s very likely, especially if their history resembles ours in any way.
Reminding folks of these facts is risky. In fact, it might get you labeled as one of the following kinds of people:
- Fat shamers.
- Japan bashers.
- etc., etc., ad nauseum.
Quite often, it’s the most virulent bigots who are quick to use these terms against others. To see this, one has only to peruse the Internet long enough to read the nasty things those on the Left call people who deviate from the dogmas of political correctness. It’s amazing how anyone can be so tolerant yet so downright mean.
Of course, the PC crowd has a quick response to anyone who points out its hypocrisy: “it’s perfectly fine to be intolerant of intolerance!” Of course, they are the only ones who get to decide who is intolerant. The hatred spewed by the Left is matched only by the drivel shoveled out every day by Fox News.
So what’s really going on in human hearts and minds? Nothing new; it’s really the same old thing pointed out time and again by troublemakers like Jesus. He was known for saying things like these:
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:3-5
For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. – Luke 14:11
But forget isolated verses; just read the parable of the Good Samaritan. While you do, keep in mind what kind of human scum Samaritans were considered to be in the first century AD. To understand what I mean, Imagine what right-wingers would think of a gay, hybrid-driving Socialist who eats tofu. To the Left, on the other hand, a Samaritan would be as bad as an NRA member who shops at Wal-Mart.
Jesus wasn’t out to win friends and influence people. That’s what got him killed, along with his tendency to point out a nasty truth about us human beings. What is that uncomfortable fact? Simply this:
- We are all racists.
- We are all anti-Semites.
- We are all homophobes.
- We are all Indian killers.
- We are all slave owners.
- We are all street thugs.
- We are all monsters.
This explains why Israelis are slaughtering Palestinians; it explains why the Nazis butchered Jews. It shows why Europeans enslaved Africans and murdered Indians. It reveals why the Romans wiped out hundreds of thousands of people building their empire. And it tells us why the world is the vicious, brutal, hateful place it is today.
People will say or do anything to avoid admitting these truths about themselves. But, until they’re willing to do so, nothing will change except the faces of the oppressed and those of their oppressors. Of course, I’m just a dirty mick; so what do I know?