Meditation on Dachau doesn’t start and end with Nazis, holocaust and war. Things pop up like America’s problems with race. Then, other things work their way in like how people steal glances at or avoid me in this small town’s grocery store in 2000-freaking-9, Cliff’s amazing writing on being a black man in America, a successful rapper’s upcoming prison sentence, on and on.You’ve got to keep tugging on that thread to see where it got knotted up.
Why do we build monuments and memorials to crap when crap happens all the time? This crap will lead to some other crap, and crap scales rather nicely. It’s a continuum of crap, going all the way back to when Lucy noticed the difference between herself and the Australopithecine next door.
Which is not to say we don’t or ought not to learn from the lessons of history, own our actions and try to be better people. It is to acknowledge fully that no event occurs in contextual isolation and we are foolish to think otherwise. Behavior is much more easily learned than modified, we react more than we act and social progress is not linear and often folds back on itself like time in Quantum Leap. Don’t tell me you haven’t had one or two of those moments when you’re stuck in 1952 and Ziggy can’t get you out of the bathroom of a Tangipahoa Parish JP’s house.
We may never arrive, but we sure haven’t yet, so stop patting yourself on the back because you’re sixty-four years past Dachau and Oh My God How Could People Have Done That? They could, we can, we do all the time and that is scarier than any costume or hangover you will see this weekend.
All of this recalls a wonderful face-slapper of an essay by D. Winston Brown called Both Sides Of A Gun Barrel. He knows this tune. Please read the whole thing, it won’t take more than ten minutes. Here are some excerpts:
“But this is not about guns. This is not a celebration of violence, nor is it a refutation of guns or violence. It is not that simple. Black boys, guns, anger. No matter the economic class of the boys, no matter the education, no matter the professional position, we seldom lose that head-nod to another brother or that anger, caged and carried in spines, which skirts just below the skin, racing or prodding alongside blood. But this is not about anger either – at least not in the simple sense. There is no simple answer to how a gun in my car became a primal summons.
“… You never know exactly how one story will fit on top of another, how the brain will create its own truth to satisfy your deepest needs. Things may happen discretely, days apart, months apart, cities and decades and neighborhoods apart, but history collapses, then memory, and nothing ever remains discrete. Isolation is the lie we tell ourselves to comfort ourselves, but connections stretch the prisms we see through to allow more in, and more always changes things. Long before my father carried his gun as a weapon, history had constructed my prism, as it had for so many other young black boys. It was an unspoken history, so I didn’t truly comprehend why I instinctively bristled at the word nigger or why the white guard at the jewelry store followed my father, my brother, and me while we shopped for a Christmas gift for my mother, or what it meant when some white child, some innocent classmate at my 98 percent white private school, said he couldn’t come spend the night because his grandfather told him that he ‘didn’t need to be going to no nigger’s house in a nigger neighborhood.’ He said black, but I heard nigger even then, and I hit him. It’s that anger – history’s long and subtle voice – that, when it is misunderstood, becomes a simmering hostility.
“… These days, when I look at boys dressed in identical brand-name clothes; boys who speak perfect English in public spaces; or boys with their baseball caps tilted to the side, their jeans slung low, their teeth encased in platinum and diamonds, their heads covered in perfect cornrows or their biceps adorned with R.I.P. tattoos, I know all they want in life is to be men – and I know they are doubtful or scared they may not be given the chance. The truth about those dragons that lie in wait for them fuels a naked and aggressive and urgent ambition to compete in America’s marketplace. This need manifests as an electric vitality that permeates American culture, giving it life and allowing its consumers to come close to the void – to play in the darkness – without risk. Meanwhile, the black boys who huddle like alchemists, creating and recreating opportunity where it doesn’t exist, allow our real (and historical) anger to propel us at a furious pace toward dreams we refuse to defer. And though it is not possible, we do want to put down that anger gifted to us by a generation and a country that have yet to fulfill their obligation to show us how to prosper and evolve while dealing with and standing in the darker legacy of our manhood. Until this happens, as many ingredients shall fuel us – a deep and buried anger being one of them – as have contributed to the complex and tragic creation of these United States.”
When students write the papers assigned, they face a number of problems. First of all, they forget about structure of the paper; not pay attention to the fact that every type of paper has its own rules to be followed. Sometimes it is also very difficult to find relevant information. Probably every student has faced situation when article to be used to write the paper costs more than to buy a good paper.