I’m a news junkie and an avid historian so I feel compelled to read the news. I read a variety of sources in print and on-line to get different viewpoints. Recently, I realized that the headlines are uniformly depressing.
Hate crimes are on the rise. White supremacists continue their terrorist attacks on women, Jews, immigrants, blacks, school children, and any politician who denounces their racist beliefs. Democratic governments are under threat around the world as their apathetic voters fail to vote and their elected leaders undermine their own governments for personal gain or to save their political lives. International alliances are being sabotaged by politicians with dubious agendas, breaking down the support system that has saved us for 70 years from another world war.
But then I saw a news story that broke through the gloom. Three cities just elected black mayors: Montgomery, Alabama, Danville, Virginia, and Richmond, Virginia. What’s the significance?
All three cities were capitals of the Confederate States of America. The CSA was formed to defend “states’ rights”, meaning the right to continue enslaving black people. White supremacists often wave Confederate flags to show their desire to return to a mythical past unsullied by multiculturalism.
White supremacists, corrupt politicians and haters have always been a part of history. But on some level they know they can’t win. Corrupt politicians are always replaced by reformers who strengthen democratic institutions. The CSA lost the war in 1865 and the white supremacists have been losing the battle against equality since the 1950’s. Violence is all they have left.
Then I thought of the scene in Stars Wars when Peter Cushing’s character refuses to leave the Death Star. “Evacuate in our moment of triumph”, he asks a few moments before the Death Star explodes.
The headline stories about terrorism, failing democracies, and hate are like the Death Star just before it explodes. Behind those grim headlines are a fresh batch of Luke Skywalkers, taking aim at government corruption, terrorist massacres, and the haters. They are the types of people who just elected black mayors in three cities that were a symbol of a dead past.
There’s no going back.
About Norma Shirk
My company, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor, helps employers (with up to 50 employees) to create human resources policies and employee benefit programs that are appropriate to the employer’s size and budget. The goal is to help small companies grow by creating the necessary back office administrative structure while avoiding the dead weight of a bureaucracy. To read my musings on the wacky world of human resources, see the HR Compliance Jungle (www.hrcompliancejungle.com) which alternates on Wednesday mornings with my history blog, History By Norma, (available at http://www.normashirk.com). To read my musings on a variety of topics, see my posts on Her Savvy (www.hersavvy.com).
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2 responses to “No Going Back”
Love this, Norma! Good will prevail.
Thanks! Remaining optimistic is what counts.