In Canada, we are trying to come to terms with one of the ugliest parts of our history. In the United States, the problem was slavery. Joe Biden went to Tulsa this week and dealt with the problem head-on. Max Boot writes:
With his speech in Tulsa on Tuesday — on the 100th anniversary of a pogrom that killed as many as 300 African Americans and left 10,000 “destitute and homeless” — President Biden offered a highly effective rebuke to the “love it or leave it” school of conservative historiography. In the process he delivered what is probably the most thoughtful presidential statement on race since President Barack Obama spoke in Charleston, S.C., in 2015 after the murder of nine African Americans by a white supremacist. Every American — and, in particular, every Republican — should listen to Biden’s entire speech, but, to my mind, this was the most important part:
“For much too long the history of what took place here was told in silence, cloaked in darkness. But just because history is silent, it doesn’t mean that it did not take place. And while darkness can hide much, it erases nothing, it erases nothing. Some injustices are so heinous, so horrific, so grievous they can’t be buried no matter how hard people try …. Only with truth can come healing, and justice, and repair, only with truth, facing it. … We can’t just choose to learn what we want to know and not what we should know. We should know the good, the bad, everything. That’s what great nations do. They come to terms with their dark sides.
That is what we must do. In our town, there is a statue of John A. Macdonald on Main Street. Last week, a vigil was held in front of it. Many pairs of shoes were left in front of it -- in memory of the children who were buried in Kamloops. And, once again, there was a cry to take down the statue. Macdonald's role in building residential schools is an indelible stain on the man. He has blood on his hands. But without him, there would be no nation.
We must come to terms with everything -- everything -- he did.
Image: Quinte News