As any long-time reader of this column knows, we routinely draw from historical lessons to highlight that this time is not different.
Throughout the 18th century, for example, France was the greatest superpower in Europe, if not the world.
But they became complacent, believing that they had some sort of ‘divine right’ to reign supreme, and that they could be as fiscally irresponsible as they liked.
Racism is deeply embedded in our culture. Slavery of African people, ethnic cleansing of Native Americans and colonialist imperialism are seeds that intertwine to create racism that still has impacts today. One example of the sad human history of racism — of colonizers seeing themselves as superior to others — is the long history of human zoos that featured Africans and conquered indigenous peoples, putting them on display in much the same way as animals. People would be kidnapped and brought to be exhibited in human zoos. It was not uncommon for these people to die quickly, even within a year of their captivity. This history is long and deep and continued into the 1950s. Several articles below with lots of photos so we can see the reality of this terrible legacy. KZ
The black clergymen who had been summoned to Harlem’s Mount Olivet Baptist Church for an emergency meeting on the morning of Monday 10 September 1906, arrived in a state of outrage. A day earlier, the New York Times had reported that a young African man – a so-called “pygmy” – had been put on display in the monkey house of the city’s largest zoo. Under the headline “Bushman Shares a Cage With Bronx Park Apes”, the paper reported that crowds of up to 500 people at a time had gathered around the cage to gawk at the diminutive Ota Benga – just under 5ft tall, weighing 103lb – while he preoccupied himself with a pet parrot, deftly shot his bow and arrow, or wove a mat and hammock from bundles of twine placed in the cage. Children giggled and hooted with delight while adults laughed, many uneasily, at the sight.
Since 9/11, no bogeyman has loomed quite as large in the Western psyche as the specter of terrorism. According to Gallup, over half of all Americans worry “a great deal” about a terror attack while nearly one-third believe the government is incapable of protecting them from one. Hardly a day goes by without a reference to extremism on the news.
Yet for all of this, the mental picture we have of terrorism might not be completely accurate. In fact, many of us harbor serious misconceptions about what modern terrorism really looks like.
John Tateishi was incarcerated at Manzanar internment camp in California from age 3 until he was 6.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream for a more equal America. But there’s another anniversary looming: 25 years ago this week, the Japanese-American community celebrated a landmark victory in its own struggle for civil rights.
In 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act to compensate more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II. The legislation offered a formal apology and paid out $20,000 in compensation to each surviving victim. The law won congressional approval only after a decade-long campaign by the Japanese-American community.
The second World War (WWII) was the most widespread and lethal war in history. More than 30 countries were involved, resulting in more than 50 million military and civilian deaths (some estimates range in the 85 million range). So severe were the atrocities committed by the Nazis that most other aspects of this war have been nearly forgotten — first and foremost, the actions of the U.S. government and the events that led to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Donald Rumsfeld annouced that more than $2 trillion in Pentagon funds had gone missing. He made this astonishing statement on September 10th, perfect timing to keep the story from making any news.