Birth of a Nation

Birth of a Nation

OK…I just saw the film “Birth of a Nation”.  It tells the story of Nat Turner who led a revolt against the evil men who kept them and his people in bondage right here in America.  If you’re not familiar with his story it’s an important American story that all of us should be familiar with.  When I walked into the theater I noticed only one other person, an elderly white man.  I also noticed that at some point during the film he was gone, so I watched most of the film by myself.  Hmmmmm… Briefly, the story is about Nat Turner who was a literate slave (which was exceptionally unusual).  As Nat grew older he began preaching to other slaves, and got a bit of a reputation among a number of slave owners as being a great speaker.  In fact he was so good that other slave owners (it hurts to even say those words) began to hire him to speak to their slaves.  The intention was for Nat to basically lie to the slaves that all was good, and calm any thoughts they might have about a rebellion.  Eventually Nat changed from being a lying surrogate for the slave owners to being a truth teller to the slaves. I won’t give any more of the story away. What always sticks with me when I see a movie about slavery is a couple of things.  One is the depth of how wicked and inhumane the institution of slavery was.  The other thing that hits me is the magnificence of those people who endured being stolen away from their...
Never Forget

Never Forget

“Never Forget”, is a political saying that was popularized by the Jews to commemorate the atrocities they suffered at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. Some Jews feel that if those tragedies are forgotten then perhaps they may be repeated. With that in mind, ceremonies are held regularly to remember those lost and how they were lost. There is power in saying ‘I will never forget’, and in effect say that ‘I will stand vigil over my people to insure that the evil that was done, will never happen again.’ I personally respect and honor the determination of the Jews to stand up for their people. Oddly enough, there is another tragedy connected to America that one rarely if ever hears the words “Never Forget” connected to, and that’s the American Slave Trade. Often times if slavery is brought up, that person is discouraged from continuing to talk about it, and sometimes even being told in so many words to just get over it. Many Americans would rather push aside the ugly history of these United States. These people will say, “We have come so far”. They’ll say that slavery is a thing of the past, and it’s best left right there in the past. It seems to me that it’s easy for some Americans to empathize with and embrace the determination of the Jews to “Never Forget”, because the Holocaust happened in another country, at the hands of non-Americans. It’s easy to see wrong doing when it’s not in your own backyard. Personally I respect the courage and determination of the Jewish people to honor...