We Repeat the History We Don’t Address

Today is Memorial Day and I would first like to say thank you to all of those who have served and given their lives for the freedoms that we hold dear. Today is also commemorating another day. I don’t want to use the word Anniversary because that would suggest it was a celebratory occasion in which it was most certainly not. I guess I would say it is a day to honor those whose lives were slain 100 years ago in the Greenwood Neighborhood of Tulsa Oklahoma.

It’s a history that I myself had no idea about until I was well into my twenties (so not even in college had the history of this day been told to us) and even when I had first heard of this Massacre I hadn’t yet heard the extensive history behind it and I’ll admit that until recently I hadn’t wanted to do a deep dive of that day because I knew of the trauma it left behind and as someone who suffers from occasional bouts of depression I just wasn’t ready yet to know the totality of what had happened back then.  I have since learned more about that tragedy and watched numerous documentaries and television specials on it and to say that having done so, it makes the Insurrection of January 6th feel as if history was once again repeating itself is an understatement; perhaps in different ways but a repeat all the same.

It’s striking how much hate there is in this world. It’s sad that when I hear things that happen to people who look like me these days I have to even utter the statement of “I’m not surprise” because it should be surprising. It should be surprising that in all of this time we as a country, and for the sake of this argument, a good majority of white Americans (I’m not saying all because it is definitely not all) that a lesson hasn’t been learned.  It is disheartening that hate still seems to be triumphing over love in a lot of ways.

As a person who truly does try to find the good in most every scenario and find the love in all ways it’s hard for me to look at the story of what happened on that day in 1921 in Greenwood of Tulsa Oklahoma and see any kind of good or positive in that. I suppose that I could say that I don’t think that something like that would happen in America today but honestly I’m not sure I can comfortably say that. 

We get a little uncomfortable sometimes when we have to talk about painful pasts and tragedies that happened in American history but we can’t move past it until we actually address it and learn from it.  There’s this phrase that states we are doomed to repeat history if we don’t acknowledge it and I think it is a very true statement.  When people are hurting they don’t just miraculously heal, they have to first talk about the hurt because we can’t heal what we don’t acknowledge. 

There is deep pain in this country and it stems from a deep-seated hatred that keeps getting buried as if it never existed but that’s just allowing things to fester.  I still believe that love really can triumph over hate but the hate has to be addressed first so we can start to heal. I am really ready for that American Dream that the founding fathers talked about in that Constitution they wrote to be experienced by ALL Americans, as a whole. I think the healing is long over-do. 

Until next time… #BeBold #BeBrave #BeTheChange

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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