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Friday, July 10, 2015

An Actual History Lesson


I have seen this ridiculous meme countless times in the last month. I know that anyone who demands its history of pride and heritage has either been conditioned to believe that or is desperate to be seen as something other than racist trash. I also know, for certain, that the person who posted it is in desperate need of many history lessons. The kind of history lessons that won't be found in the new books Regressive Party politicians across the country are trying to rewrite to create this exceptionalism they try to force feed those who don't think for themselves. The kind of history lessons that don't come from memes, the most common means of far right dissemination of 'facts.' And the kind of history lessons that won't be found in a book written by Bill O'Reilly, a man who calls himself a historian but who the intelligent among us call a propagandist.

I always end any debate regarding that flag with the same question, "Would you expect to see the Nazi flag flying in Germany today?" It is the exact same thing. Nazi descendants live today. They don't leave a Nazi flag on the tombstones of their ancestors. No state or official buildings fly the Nazi flag. In fact, the flag is illegal in Germany as it is such a source of shame. Why demand that American society be less than that of the Germans?

As with all aspirations of the Confederacy, Nazis built their new society by kidnapping, forced labor and genocide. They both had the same agenda: Define, create and maintain a master race. Hitler was actually inspired by Americas treatment of its slaves and the Native Americans when he created his plans. Hitler believed innovation was a marked feature of a leading world power. He used the ideas of free labor to build German industries and believed that The Long Walk of the Navajo was a brilliant means of weeding out the Jews who would be useless to him as they could march to their prisons and if they were unhealthy, they would just die along the way.  His intent to build his ideal society drew directly from the shames America tries to forget.

The Confederate Congress initially adopted a flag which ended up creating a lot of controversy because many believed it looked too similar to the American flag, so it was promptly replaced. The second and third flags adopted both had the symbol we now associate as the Confederate flag as part of the design where only the number of stars would increase based on states joining the Confederacy. The second flag adopted had an entirely white background and the 'X' was where todays American flag has its stars. The man who designed it, William T. Thompson, called it the "White Man's Flag" because it symbolized the "supremacy of the white man." He wrote for Savannah's Daily Morning News in 1863:
"As a people we are fighting [to] maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause.
The third flag was barely seen because the war ended as it was being introduced. Debating over which flag was put to use is a wasted exercise in semantics, however, as the objective of its creation was pretty much encapsulated in the quote above. (and in the fucking war itself for Christ's sake)

Hitler proudly designed the Nazi flag himself. He decided to use the traditional colors of Germany because:
"As National Socialists, we see our program in our flag. In red, we see the social idea of the movement; in white, the nationalistic idea; in the swastika, the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work. (from Mein Kampf)
The swastika was meant to represent an Aryan objective to have a racial 'cleansing.' Beginning in the early 20th century German nationalists determined the Aryans of India (many hundreds of years BC) depicted a glorious tradition of superiority and, basically, rewrote their own version of history to support this premise based on Nordicism disturbingly embraced and defined by British psychologist, William McDougall, explaining a 'master race' in 1920:
"Among all the disputes and uncertainties of the ethnographers about the races of Europe, one fact stands out clearly—namely, that we can distinguish a race of northerly distribution and origin, characterised physically by fair colour of hair and skin and eyes, by tall stature and dolichocephaly (i.e. long shape of head), and mentally by great independence of character, individual initiative and tenacity of will.
The invasion was profoundly misinterpreted by Germans to define the glories of Aryan invasion where the intimidating symbol of the swastika would also serve as reminder of the dangers of spiritual and racial mixing due to close proximity of the races.

Both the Confederate flag and the Nazi flag are used today by white supremacist groups all over the world as a means of glorification and intimidation. It is not a coincidence that they have both been adopted by those with such mentalities. The flags are symbols which represent times and places where white supremacy was given a voice and an opportunity to thrive. Germany spends none of its time celebrating either that history or its soldiers. Remembrances of ours should also be left to (actual) history books.

No rational or thoughtful individual would take time with this argument and explain to me the pride they have in their ancestor who fought to enslave people and commit treason. Those who demand otherwise are free to fly that flag in their homes or in their lawns and silently tell the rest of society who they are, as any German would if they projected pride over the Holocaust. And the rest of society will shun them and diminish their voices, as we should. We are the 'land of the free and the home of the brave.' As such, we have no business glorifying those who meant to enslave others and, in a cowardly fashion, tried to secede rather than give up an entitlement to continued atrocities.








28 comments:

  1. These ignorant and hateful people want to rub salt into open wounds that still haven't healed after 150 years. THEY'RE the ones that need the history lesson: THE CONFEDERACY LOST!

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    1. So true... What kind of absurd desperation does it take to cling to a flag of 150 years ago for a war that you LOST? I do not understand.

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    2. As much as I hate to be the bee in the bonnet but whoever wrote this article is actually the one needing the history lesson because besides the fact that Hitler was the one looking to cleanse the german people of the people he deemed as undisirable ( the jewish community) and the other truth from this article is yes the South had adopted this stars and bars flag to represent them and the south when they tried to succeed from the united states. The rest of the article is just one persons opinion on things and its not even a very educated one at that. Dont get me wrong I'm not from the South nor do I associate with the hillbilly types that usually ride around in their pick up trucks waving that flag while hooting at the top of their lungs over nothing. I'm just saying at least get your facts straight, the confederate flag had nothing to do with racism, slavery or anything like that it was just the flag they used that represented them in battle much like the current flag of the united states does for us today. There were black people fighting on the side of the south that carried that same flag into battle. The civil war wasnt about racism, slavery or any of that stuff. Abe Lincoln didnt even bring abolishion of slavery up until almost the end of the civil war he used it as a means of getting more people to help fight the south and keep them from suceeding from the united states as a whole, he wasnt really for or against slavery but he knew it would rally more people in the north to help win the war and thus keeping the united states intact and not divided into 2 countries. So your comparison of the Confederacy and Hitler doesnt really make any sense except to try to associate the Confederacy with racism or something becaus ethat even doesnt make sense seeing as Hitler wasnt a racist he just hated Jews and the Confederacy wasnt trying to do genocide or any kind of racial clensing they just want to have pretty much free labor on their plantations so like I said the two were no where near in similarities hate to be the bearer of bad news. Oh and hitler may have designed the nazi flag (he didnt even do that seriously) but the swastika was in use 5000 years before hitler and the nazi party put it onto their flag and your really not going to like hearing this but the swastika The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being." The motif (a hooked cross) appears to have first been used in Neolithic Eurasia, perhaps representing the movement of the sun through the sky. To this day it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism. It is a common sight on temples or houses in India or Indonesia. Swastikas also have an ancient history in Europe, appearing on artifacts from pre-Christian European cultures.In the beginning of the twentieth century the swastika was widely used in Europe. It had numerous meanings, the most common being a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness. However, the work of Schliemann soon was taken up by völkisch movements, for whom the swastika was a symbol of “Aryan identity” and German nationalist pride.This conjecture of Aryan cultural descent of the German people is likely one of the main reasons why the Nazi party formally adopted the swastika or Hakenkreuz (Ger., hooked cross) as its symbol in 1920. 1920 I believe Hitler was still a low ranking soldier running messages in the trenches during the first World War at that time so the Nazi flag was not even close to his idea lol. There is so much more I could saY but I'm not a teacher so I'm not here to teach history I just wanted to correct yours seeing how you pressed it so much in yourr article lol

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  2. The infamous blond/blonde haired, blue-eye Nordic Aryans praised by Hitler never existed (including the mythic Norse gods of the Valkyries who died in battle as their empire crumbled form incessant warfare). The historic Aryans were short people of dark skin and eye from the east of what is today's India, ultimately Buddhist and historical enslaved. They were never an intelligent people, as their primary goal was survival and they were never well received.

    To dig up and embellish fantasy people is in keeping with all who trump a superior race, religion, or vocation as with the miscreants in Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, Indiana, Georgia, Michigan, Louisiana, Kansas and Georgia. They need a marginalized people they can suppress (non-White, LGBTQ, handicapped, non-Christian) to cover up their pretenses and beliefs to function. It revolves back to poor education based on rote memorization of unsubstantiated belief (faith), a wrathful god, and a holy book dragged out of the Bronze Age, for fear of being disproven by critical thinking and scientific research: Rick Santorum, Jim Inhofe, (the face of illiterate men critical of Francis I who earned a degree in science), Karl Rove, Joni Ernst and Rush Limbaugh (demanding military action for those who are not their family to die is needless battles) and Canadian-born Tex Cruz, Piyush Jindal, Craig Christie, Jeb Bush and others who want to destroy labor by forcing them to work longer hours for less pay and no benefits when they, themselves, have never performed manual labor but were handed special benefits like Donald Trump.

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    1. I LOVE YOU Arthur Frederick Ide. Amen!!

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  3. Conservative argument I am sick and tired of hearing:

    "How can so many black people vote for Democrats? Don't they know that Democrats were slave owners, and Democrats founded the KKK?"

    This is akin to me telling a 45-year-old man "You shat your pants this morning, because once upon a time, you were a baby".

    My counterargument:

    *Conservative* southern Democrats owned slaves, and *liberal* northern Republicans freed them. However, after LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act, conservative southern Dems started jumping ship, feeling that the Democratic Party no longer represented their views. Then, Nixon and Reagan glomed onto those disenfranchised Dems, converting them into Republicans, turning the GOP further to the right, and never turned back. This was known as the Southern Strategy.

    If you don't believe this fact, then I have a little pop quiz for you: Which political party has the for-profit private prison industry been making campaign contributions towards for years? I'll give you a big hint: NOT THE DEMOCRATS! Private prisons usually have non-violent offenders, predominately minorities, serving 20-30 years sentences for doing something as harmless as smoking marijuana in their own houses. And they have these inmates making mattresses, license plates, etc. for pennies on the dollar. Private prisons are legalized slavery, and the Republicans are reaping the benefits from them.

    As for the KKK, David Duke, a former Grand Wizard, who changed political affiliation from Democratic to Republican in the late 1980's (part of the Southern Strategy), has been giving money to Republican candidates for the past few years, including the current House Majority Whip, Steve Scalise (R-LA), and claims he was called on by thousands of Tea Party activists to run for President in 2012. Yep, Duke is such a got-danged racist POS Demi-crat!

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    1. lol. White guilt compels you to repent for the historical sins of the Democrat Party. Shame on you for trying to ignore all of the racist antics of white Democrats prior to 1964. While you try to hide behind the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, you totally ignore the Democrat party's opposition to, and successful attempts to overturn, the Civil Rights Act of 1875. 89 years of inadequate Civil Rights for black Americans, courtesy of the Democrat Party. And why do you ignore the Democrat decision to elevate one of the 17 Senate Democrats that voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act -- former KKK member Robert Byrd -- to the position of Senate Democrat Leader a few years later? I could continue to list the sins of the Democrat Party for hours, but it is probably best for you to first have an opportunity to reconsider the wisdom of defending your party. Remember, white guilt is haunting you.

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    2. Anonymous... LOL. I get the biggest giggle whenever I hear that argument. I don't know if the person giving it actually believes that this is a good argument or if they just repeat it because they have been conditioned to. Either way, I'm always embarrassed for any 'patriot' who tries to use it. First of all, White Guilt is a pretty obvious racial slur, which is evident to anyone who isn't an actual racist. You see, White Guilt is used as a negative attribute as if feeling like slavery, 'reconstruction' era amendments and Jim Crow weren't absolutely shameful. Of course, any compassionate human being would call that American Guilt as it is, in fact, an American shame. Secondly, I LOVE the whole reminder of Democratic politics history. It again shows your blatant ignorance (or willful ignorance - which is worse, really?) about politics. The fact that the parties made a gradual change over the first half of the last century and the Civil Rights Act is the thing that actually clinched it (read a book .. Maybe start with Dr. Kings autobiography) seems to be completely lost on you. But the very best part of this argument for me (I love giggling) is the fact that in order to prove to whomever you are arguing with that the right supports tolerance and the Democrats are the ones who perpetuate the rampant racist attitudes and dismissal of people of color today is to bring up the Republican history of a President 150 years ago who demanded their freedom and KKK affiliations of 60 years ago. All of these debates are HYSTERICAL when they are prefaced with a debate that begins and ends with an insistence of 'white guilt.' Look, I understand that some people were raised to be white trash and not understand that is what they are. And I understand that it is easier to just continue your bullshit instead of have a single thought of your own and work toward being a better person. But you are old enough to have thoughts of your own and begin trying to rationalize the bullshit your talking heads tell you before you pass it on. I would, however, LOVE to go on with you for hours so I implore you to keep sending your list of our sins. I always wanted to be a teacher so I can give you an American History lesson. Out of respect, however, limit your sins to those of racism and intolerance as that is the subject which brought you here to drag your knuckles into an embarrassing debate with someone, quite obviously, well equipped to help you find your place. And I can only assume you would think anything the Dems have done over the last several decades has been a sin, and my trying to explain or defend our platform to someone who uses such tired and laughable arguments as those listed above would be a waste of my time.

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    3. Michael Siever you are 100% spot on. Thank you. :)

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    4. your right but that was back before the parties decided to switch agendas what we now know as replublicans were the democrats back before and during the civil war and vice versa. If the American people had any clue at all they would have figured out by now that both parties are ands have been playing them since way back just after truman or whoever that was that built americas infastucture i forget "the great deal" president. Since then it just been about themselves and how they can make their circles richer and more powerful look at all arguements our politicians are constantly fighting against each otherif one is for it the others against....on everything.....come on how convienient is that.....yet nothing gets resolved because they take turns winning and losing these heated issues because if your focused on the back and forth bullshit your not paying attention to all the shit they are doing that lines their bank accounts both republicans and democrats because while your listening to theirschool yard banterring your not noticing all the bailouts that are approved to bail out thei companies or those of their friends, the tax breaks and credits (people want to argue about stupid shit but they dont step back and realize that pretty much every single major corporation in the united states doesnt pay taxes yet the average citizen who makes significantyly less is paying out the ass losing their homes etc tryin g to just stay alive but these CEO's are enjoying 8 figure bonuses running companies that are not even paying into our society (Walmart, Google, Microst, Apple etc) its funny how after getting successful off the backs of the american people theyfind a country with a very low business tax and on paper show that the intellectual property rights for their product are based there the money gets shuffled through offline accounts and suddenly those american companies that sell their product here but sending their money where the tax rate is way cheaper saying they have to pay that company for the licensing for the product they are selling all to avoid paying taxes in the united states. Yet argueing about terrorists has kept americans distracted for so long that 4 presidencies have been able to keep using it as a reason for war.....which gets their friends and associates who just happen to own or run the corporations that seem to always win the government contracts to supply everything we need to fight that war, like 500 million to one company that provided the houseing and caterring to oor armed forces somethging that the military used to have their own people do it was called KP duty. wake up americca because thats not even the begginng of it im just tired of informing people who will just argue about the next thing the government comes up with to distract people more so they can continue raping us

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  4. Bull shit. Can't stand the heat?

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    1. Really? Is that the very best you've got? Grow up. Admit that the flag is a tired and disgusting relic and move on. The world is full of things you can really be passionate about. Go find one.

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    2. Gado, WHAT heat?? That people who support the confederate flag are racists who don't want anyone to call them what they are? Funny, I think that the racists are the ones feeling the heat... with social media starting to shine a light on even the incredibly minor cases and exhibition of hate, there's rapidly becoming less and less of a place for y'all to hide.

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    3. Yoahnnon ... This is HYSTERICAL. I only know the answer to this because he is a troll on a FB Page this was on. So this guy posted a comment yesterday morning. I know this because I get an email whenever someone posts a comment. Then he accidentally deleted it. Then he determined that I had deleted it and came back to ask me if I had been so intimidated by his brilliant retort (ehem LOL) that I had been the one to delete it. It is not here and I had nothing to do with it. I pointed out that my blog has had people disagree with me in the past and I didn't delete them. I actually quite enjoy putting them in their place. But he insists that I deleted it and I stopped trying to convince him otherwise because he is a waste of time. I will try to remember to copy/paste his shit in here later but Im working on another piece and am easily distracted.... Needless to say, it was a ridiculous reply from a moron.

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    4. Angie. Speaking of E-mail responses. I use to be able to communicate with commenters and it just went away somehow. All my attempts failed when I attempted to find out why. Could you e-mail me any suggestions you might have regarding this? theworkingpoet@aol.com Getting a great History lesson today. Thanks.

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  5. "As such, we have no business glorifying those who meant to enslave others and, in a cowardly fashion, tried to secede rather than give up an entitlement to continued atrocities." Perfect

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    1. I love you, Debi. Every day. Thank you :)

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  6. Most Americans don’t even know how many stars are on the American flag, but they are brainwashed to believe the American flag is a symbol for freedom. Most people don’t know the history of the Confederate flag, but they were brainwashed to believe it meant a white America or Americans who hate the government. That’s why the Confederate flag needs to be taken down.

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    1. I agree with you about the American flag. I agree that the Confederate flag needs to come down. But any insistence that it is brainwashing to believe that the Confederacy wasn't about slavery and perpetuating a 'white America' is naive, at best.

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    2. Ha its 25 stars right lol jk

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  7. Because the Swastika is verboten in Germany. The German Hate Groups proudly fly the Confederate Flag.

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    1. I didn't know that. It speaks volumes doesn't it? Thank you.

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  8. These same folks probably treasure their German import KISS records, due to the change in typeface in the band's logo.

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  9. I must say that I am very proud of those of you who have stood up for what is right and denounce what is wrong. My feeling is this is what has been missing in this country that we must live in together. I would like to tell a short story if I may.
    My story goes back to 1830 when my great, great, great, great, grand father was born in Pulaski, Giles county, ten. I can not speak on my family members before this point or I would use them. County records show, green Buford Sr. was denounced by a female slave owner whom he was willed to as a result of her husbands death, stated, I would like to sell him because I fear one day he will run away and he can pass for white. This blew my mind when I found this record. After which, as the records state, the KKK was established in Pulaski Ten. In 1866 as a way to keep ex-slaves in their place. Well they were torturing and victimizing my family. This same family of Buford's relocated to Concordia, Ms., a small town located on the wrong side of the Ms. levee outside of Gunnison, Ms. This town was wiped out when the Ms. river changed direction and they all relocated to Gunnison, Ms. of which still exist today. The town of Gunnison is not far from parch man's prison and the all black town of Mound Bayou. Green Buford Jr. killed a man, probably white, and fled without his family to Arkansas leaving his family to save his own life, point one. Second, his daughter, Fritz Ellen Buford Branch, lost her husband and his cousin to the 1927 floods when mounds landing levee broke, point two. Third, my grand father's brother was killed in Holly Springs Ms., March 28, 1936, then taken to Hernando, Ms. and lynched, point three. Fourth, My fathers father died a year later from TB as a result of the unsanitary conditions they were forced to work and live under, point four. Fifth, my mothers father whom she never met was killed on railroad tracks around Lake, Ms., point five. Sixth, my father was raised by his grand father a blind peanut peddler a mile from bill street where he learned his trade on the streets as a hustler to earn a living, short lived. Women in my family have had their men taken from them because of the reasons mentioned, so therefore, I have to tell their story for them. Politics has allowed the south to maintain the system of slavery and all of the other tactics used on African American's for far to long so tell this ignorant idiot that we don't live like he does anymore and would not have then if they were not forced to. This is the glory of living in a free country. I appreciate you all for standing up for what is logically correct. I too am a very peaceful person but ignorance is not hereditary it is what you chose to believe. Take the flag down, if the north had taken it's rightful position, these traitors and parasites would have been a thing of the pass. Grow up.

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    1. Thank you for telling this story. I fear there are many more aspects which will never be known, still the story itself is so poignant and important that no single human being would be a true American if they denied or denounced a single element therein. Because of so many tragedies, natural and deliberate, the histories of many stories like yours have been lost. I cannot imagine the strength and grace you have inherited having come from those who endured these atrocities yet acknowledge that you are a peaceful person. That is a grace I have written about because it is something I cannot understand and marvel about with awe and inspiration. I was raised in a white culture where stories of America's ugliest truths are ignored. My father grew up loving to play cowboys and Indians. When I asked him to consider the ridiculousness of the idea that the Indians were savages, my question was met with disgust. The fact that my dad would allow for his own disgust while ignoring mine tells a lot about why we find ourselves here today. Closing the profound gulf between your story and that of mine is where we must begin, I believe. Every generation of black family had been sold away from itself or worse. The whites in power not only denied the rights of those they enslaved but afforded them no education or means of keeping historical records of their truths. They have been very careful in maintaining their power and rewriting their own 'truths' to glorify their histories and create heroes out of demons. The fact that you have been able to uncover these histories is quite a feat considering how desperately history itself tried to bury those truths. It is much easier to ignore things than it is to accept what we have done and find a SINCERE means of atonement. I will never understand why all Americans cannot appreciate the grace the universal black experience has shown in continuing to peacefully coexist while seeking the most basic rights to their own lives and futures. Your story is so important. Your family history displays a truth that, although many would not like to hear, they simply must. This is a turning point in American history. It can be, anyhow. Those of us who can find shame in our history, and those of you who can find the buried pride in yours must be the ones who are afforded the opportunity to write TODAYs history for future generations. This must be the time that our descendants look back on and see a pivot toward universal grace. Every generation will have hate and ignorance, world history shows us this. But every generation also has an opportunity to overcome those who are hateful and ignorant. With stories like yours and the absolute triumph of spirit it offers those who bear witness to the history created of this era, we can do it. And we must never allow a voice to those who mean to hide or offer illegitimacy to your truth again. It will always be easier for a society to live in the darkness it creates. But that darkness will never create resolution. I haven't yet found the way to compel our society forward beyond writing in hopes that it will offer revelation to any who can listen, but as long as I am alive my objective will be to find the tools to move us forward and compel those who can help to do so. And I will continue to denounce and diminish the voices of those who will do less. All loving, true patriots will do the same. This movement we are seeing will continue. I feel it. I can see it. I can see that we are moving forward. It feels slow, I know, but I think it is happening. Thank you for your grace and beauty. You have given me and any who read this another reason to never forget our objective. And, even if those who are looking for ways to defend and ignore their own histories will not admit it, you have planted another seed in their minds which may be able to grow one day when met with an opportunity to become something more than they allow themselves to be today. Thank you.

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