Friday, April 13, 2007


Ungrateful Guests

To the small minds of white triumphalists, showing gratitude or respect or remorse toward peoples mistreated during the five centuries of Euro-American ascendancy is a sign of weakness. In this respect, celebrated inhumanity here differs little from Northern Ireland or South Africa in the not too distant past.

What we learn from the demise of the conquering conscience, though, is that it is a fragile identity, based on fear instilled through religious doctrine and imperial mythology--a mindset that shuns the light of insight and only persists by preventing thoughtful discussion. To accomplish and maintain delusions of racial superiority, small minds require big mouths; they must make a lot of noise to keep the banter of denial lively--something akin to the delinquent child who perpetually disrupts the classroom.

The fact these small minds are being left behind by those who are creating a more wholesome society based on equality, reciprocity, and truthful reconciliation, will not necessarily cause them to alter their misbehavior. They may in fact become louder, even acting out their hostilities at perceived loss of status and privilege.

But while we must be on our guard against this habitual aggression, we mustn't be deterred or deflected from our course. If the delinquents force a response, it should be appropriate, proportionate, and remedial. In other words, not on their terms.

We have more important things to do.


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