Authentic American History

I am a big enthusiast of history and personal stories of the past from various perspectives. Why you ask? Because they allow ME to choose where more of the truth and reality of events can be deciphered rather than hearing or reading only one version of those stories and events. This enigma and anomaly of singularity is no better symbolized than by two very different American memorials.

The fact that there are two dissimilar memorials, two divergent storylines about the same events in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, with Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, I find intriguing, peculiar, and refreshing. The two exemplify humanity’s resilience, national cannibalism and expansionism, and behavioral complexity, while still having some level of equity, even if it takes over a century to acquire and disclose.

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If you go to the National Park Service’s website of Mount Rushmore, you’ll read the header, American History, Alive in Stone…” The introduction goes on to say:

Majestic figures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, surrounded by the beauty of the Black Hills of South Dakota, tell the story of the birth, growth, development and preservation of this country. From the history of the first inhabitants to the diversity of America today, Mount Rushmore brings visitors face to face with the rich heritage we all share.

If you click the “Read More” link following, it takes you to a page to assist you with making plans for your trip to visit the memorial and helpful tips. If you’d like to know the history behind the creation of Mount Rushmore, you are going to have to dig further.

Learn About the Parkthe NPS
Scrolling down this menu tab following the Plan Your Visit tab, you find a number of subjects related to the memorial. However, out of the eight choices you will only find one about the history (and creation) of Mount Rushmore under the heading of History & Culture. There you will find three more sub-menus, two of which are about the history:  1) People, and 2) Stories.

Under this People header you can read brief backgrounds of the important men of the project who contributed in various methods to the legal proceedings to begin the construction, fund-raising, its blueprints, development, and finishing with particular attention to Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Of more interest are the speeches of these two presidents at Mount Rushmore. Coolidge’s speech beginning the official construction he made on August 10, 1927 and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech dedicating Jefferson’s unveiling on August 30, 1936. I recommend reading both speeches if you can.

Under the Stories header you will find ten (10) sub-menus. Of those ten, you will find maybe 2-4 topics relating to the contextual history of Mount Rushmore. Back to the main menu of Learn About the Park, toward the bottom is the sub-header Education. That tab has Parks as Classrooms which divides into four more sub-sub-menus, two of which might lead one to a contextual history of this National Park:  Curriculum Materials and Other Resources. After examining completely both of those topics, including every single offerings of history/social studies curriculums, nowhere is there found any mention at all, not even the support(?) by one or any of the original inhabitants of the Black Hills where the monument was built. Reading the popular majority of information available on Mount Rushmore you will or should come away with a purely Euro-American white-man narrative of people and events. The lopsidedness is unavoidable.

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Gold Discovered in the Black Hills

In the early 1860’s while on missionary duties to several Native American tribes in Montana, Idaho, and Dakota territories, Jesuit Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, reported to American settlers and expansionist he saw Sioux indians carrying gold they said came from the sacred grounds of the Black Hills. Meanwhile, since the mid-1700’s several tribes like the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Pawnee were being pushed out of their native lands westward by American settlers and mercantile, forcefully and by habitat degradation of living resources. Due to the rich buffalo hunting grounds of the northern plains, many refugee tribes settled in and around the Black Hills.

1868-Treaty-Ft-Laramie

Due to constant skirmishes between American settlers-commerce moving West and Native tribes defending their lands, sovereignty, and way of life, the U.S. Government began studying and considering methods of “obtaining peace” with the “hostile peoples.” In the spring of 1868 a conference was held between the white-man U.S. Government and the Sioux indians in Fort Laramie, Wyoming. This became the Treaty of Fort Laramie. It proposed four primary accords signed by both parties:

  • Set aside a 25 million acre tract of land for the Lakota and Dakota encompassing all the land in South Dakota west of the Missouri River, to be known as the Great Sioux Reservation
  • Permit the Dakota and Lakota to hunt in areas of Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota until the buffalo were gone (yet white-man hunters were already wiping out the bison)
  • Provide for an agency, grist mill, and schools to be located on the Great Sioux Reservation
  • Provide for land allotments to be made to individual Indians; and provide clothing, blankets, and rations of food to be distributed to all Dakotas and Lakotas living within the bounds of the Great Sioux Reservation

Sadly, however, neither the U.S. Government nor the Sioux indians and the other tribes had gotten wind of rising rumors about discovered gold and its implications. In November 1875, American prospectors found a large deposit in the Deadwood Gulch. This would be the death-pick for the Native American tribes and the start of the Black Hills Gold Rush. By 1872 the constant violation of the Ft. Laramie Treaty by white settlers, miners, and mercantilist — e.g. the Northern Pacific Railroad traversing straight through their buffalo hunting grounds — were so rampant and not stopped by the U.S. Government and President Ulysses Grant that inevitably on the grounds of utter disrespect and continued degradation of sacred Ogala-Hunkpapa Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho lands and living resources (declining buffalo), and broken promises by White Americans, the angered tribes led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse wanted no more forked-tongue talk from the white-men.

As many nationalistic, overly patriotic American politicians and their constituents today would do to protect their own homes, family, and living resources, the Native American Indians did exactly what any human would do in the face of hostile takeovers:  standup and fight!  And so began the Great Sioux War.

Most Americans today know the popular history stories about General George Custer’s valiant last stand at the battle of Little Big Horn and maybe related surrounding battles, but what most Americans do not really know or understand in-depth are the racist, discriminatory treatment and persistently broken U.S. treaties with Western and Great Plains Indians from the late 18th and entire 19th century. When Mount Rushmore was first imagined, drafted, and construction began in 1927, the story of the Black Hills Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho, along with many other tribes were essentially omitted and written out of authentic American history.

sd-crazy-horse-model-monument

The Crazy Horse Memorial is the deserved symbol and story of a people and a way of life intentionally removed from their lands to foreign lands (reservations) undesirable by their conquerors, and through either militant extermination or oppression, their way of life — ironically not protected under the U.S. Constitution, DoI, or legally by state and federal courts — is only survived today by lucky survivors of ruthless, heartless American expansionism and commerce that defines most of U.S. history into the world empire it is today; the “other” side of the little told story of this nation.

Instead of the more popular patriotic slogans most Euro-Americans enjoy tossing around loosely, here’s another…

“God Forgive White America, Its Greed, Racism, and the Blood on its Hands!”

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Games of Unknowledging – Conclusion

A Closing Preface

I must confess that four months ago when I chose to tackle this subject and new field of study for a blog-post or two — that turned out to be four — I had little idea it would be so laborious and challenging for me. Not only was it formidable over time, but it was equally demanding of quality representation, of which I feel I have failed or sacrificed in some ways. For that I apologize. I likely bit-off much more than I could chew. And though my current personal situation has made my time reading, researching, blog drafting, blog writing, and publishing difficult and quite limited, I do hope this conclusion is sufficient enough to glean from the whole, some expansion on a little known, little taught or discussed subject:  ignorance. If nothing else, I hope these four parts have invoked a deep curiosity to learn and know more about what we don’t know, for it is great, it is endless, and paradoxically attainable.

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Previously in Part III, I examined the colorful ways we fabricate facts, or our conscious intentional lying, and how to discern and reveal their motives and utilization. I also covered how North and South American indigenous fossil knowledge and their worlds became lost or entirely omitted from Euro-American archaeological records. Then finished with how to understand the benefits and advantages of historical-interdisciplinary hindsight that offers an enlarged intellectualism and necessary reversal of or counter to explicit and implicit ignorance in the U.S.

In this conclusion I want to very briefly touch on white, or Anglo/Caucasian ignorance, explore the social theorems of ignorance, and then ask Where are America’s public intellectuals, who might they be, and why today are they few and far between? and provide plausible answers. Let’s jump right in.
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Anglo/Caucasian Ignorance

A few summers back as my two kids, my Mom, and my sister and I were seated around the dinner table, the discussion turned to American history, a subject that mostly interested my 15-year old son, but usually made my 22-year old daughter, Mom, and sister roll their eyes. When I made my point that our nation’s White House, Capitol building, and some other government buildings were built by African-American slaves, I got facial expressions of pause, silence, and astonishment. As a state certified educator in Texas, I was not surprised by their responses. This tidbit of historical fact and its implications generally does not make it into state-approved classroom textbooks nor is it required by the state’s core-curriculum as critical learning. Thus, we have a classic case of anglo-caucasian (white) ignorance. I rather like this introduction…

White ignorance…
It’s a big subject. How much time do you have?
It’s not enough.
Ignorance is usually thought of as the passive obverse to knowledge,
the darkness retreating before the spread of Enlightenment.
But…
Imagine an ignorance that resists.
Imagine an ignorance that fights back.
Imagine an ignorance militant, aggressive, not to be intimidated,
an ignorance that is active, dynamic, that refuses to go quietly—
not at all confined to the illiterate and uneducated but propagated
at the highest levels of the land, indeed presenting itself unblushingly
as knowledge.
Charles W. Mills

Professor of philosophy at the City University of New York, Dr. Charles W. Mills believes by clarifying and demarcating historical white domination and its ramifications, as well as examining the individual and social processes of cognition with regard to race, we can start to understand how best to achieve multiracial enlightenment that garners short-, mid-, and long-term benefits not just for a few, but for all humanity.

White Domination & Ramifications
Dr. Mills finds ten components to clarification and demarcation. I will point out four I find particularly important.

  1. Race as a cognitive phenomena historized — white domination has been and still is a social-structure, not a physio-biological structure. “Whites” did not exist in the ancient world.
  2. Leaving white paradigms — “White” in white ignorance doesn’t need to be confined to just white people. To a greater or lesser extent this has existed due to power relations and patterns of ideological hegemony.
  3. Male ignorance — ignorance of the male gender must be analyzed equally as it is far more ancient, going back to the very origins of patriarchy.
  4. Avoiding false beliefs — gaining a broader understanding of white ignorance is not only sociological, but normative too. Flawed patterns of cognition are promoted or propagandized by certain social models and group membership as are truthful-moral ones.

Individual & Social Processes of Cognition
Before getting into Dr. Mills’ work below, watch this 6-minute video. It is a prime example of Memory and Testimony discussed below and how to incorporate it into social cognition:

An examination of white supremacy and its historical dominance, injustice, and ignorance cannot be done without understanding the influences of individual and social processes of cognition. Separating out these various components can be demanding for they are in perpetual interaction with each other. For example, when an individual discerns, they do so with sensors that have been socialized. Keeping this in mind, Dr. Mills analyzes five dynamics that I will summarize:

Mercator Projection map

Mercator projection without “human” imposed borders

  1. Perception — in general, perceptions and conceptions are practically one in the same, so tightly related that often they’re indistinguishable. Individuals do not create these categories, we absorb them from our cultural contexts. Two prime examples are the world’s continents, they’re sizes, and the term savages and its origin and context. They beg the questions, Why is Europe a continent and say India or Eurasia are not? And savage originated from Anglo-French cultures in the 13th century, the Age of Exploration and Colonization by European superpowers, and implies a person/people of uncivilized, primitive, dumb behavior and inferior to the designator(s). Why is this context assigned to savage? Does it justify imperialism, conquest, and domination? The context of savage continued into the 18th century and found its way into one of our most enduring U.S. documents:

    When Thomas Jefferson excoriates the “merciless Indian Savages” in the Declaration of Independence, then, neither he nor his readers will experience any cognitive dissonance with the earlier claims about the equality of all “men,” since savages are not “men” in the full sense. Locked in a different temporality, incapable of self-regulation by morality and law, they are humanoid but not human.
    Charles W. Mills

  2. Conception — this aligns us to our known world. The unknown world, however, is assessed and judged not with the discreetly detached concept, but viewed and judged through the concept. Very rarely does an individual resist this societal bias. And here is the baffling irony of this egocentric, white-centric condition which surrounds the word savage:

    In the classic period of European expansionism, it then becomes possible to speak with no sense of absurdity of “empty” lands that are actually teeming with millions of people, of “discovering” countries whose inhabitants already exist, because the non-white Other is so located in the guiding conceptual array that different rules apply. Even seemingly straightforward empirical perception will be affected—the myth of a nation of hunters in contradiction to widespread Native American agriculture that saved the English [e.g. Jamestown] colonists’ lives, the myth of stateless savages in contradiction to forms of government from which the white Founders arguably learned, the myth of a pristine wilderness in contradiction to a humanized landscape transformed by thousands of years of labor (Jennings 1976). In all of these cases, the concept is driving the perception, with whites aprioristically intent on denying what is before them.
    Charles W. Mills

  3. Memory — it is sadly ironic that as I get to memory of the individual and/or social cognitive process that events such as those in Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12th occurred. It reiterates just how crucial it is to understand the fluid interconnectedness of these five components, including memory, and how it relates to white knowing and unknowing due to denial of requisite facts. While understanding collective memory, we must also understand collective amnesia. They always go hand-in-hand. We remember the Holocaust primarily because Hitler and Nazi Germany lost the war. But what about the Pequots, the Nama, the Tasmanians, the Beothuks, the Congolese, the Hereros, or the Armenians? What about the Native American Cherokees or any of the over 200 tribes on the continent? What about 19th century antebellum slavery, killing rebellions such as Nat Turner’s, and the atrocities throughout the American Civil War? Today, over seven generations later, Americans still confront their historical identity and memory over the Standing Rock Reservation oil-pipeline and Charlottesville, VA over a Robert E. Lee statue and what it means.

    As the individual represses unhappy or embarrassing memories, that may also reveal a great deal about [their] identity, about who [they are], so in all societies, especially those structured by domination, the socially recollecting “we” will be divided, and the selection will be guided by different identities, with one group suppressing precisely what another wishes to commemorate. Thus there will be both official and counter-memory, with conflicting judgments about what is important in the past and what is unimportant, what happened and does matter, what happened and does not matter, and what did not happen at all.
    — Charles W. Mills

  4. Testimony — How do you know your exact birth date? Your knowledge of your birthday is most certainly told to you by those there in the delivery room, your mother and father, and perhaps doctors and/or nurses there at the time. Hence, your beliefs about your birth time, place, month, and year are through testimony. We are quite dependent on others for what we know and this most certainly involves elaborations of social epistemology. Those elaborations also come from other previous individual and social epistemic elaborations and so on. In cases of veracity and neutrality, it bears significant impact to ask ‘testimony by whom and for what (possible) interests gained or lost?
  5. Motivational Group Interests — these can be found in varying strengths with any political, religious, economic, and/or sports groups with common interests. What these sorts of groups demonstrate are what is commonly known in cognitive, developmental, social, clinical, and neuropsychology as hot cognition (as opposed to cold/unemotional) associated with physiological arousal responding more to environmental stimuli. Peer-assimilation is another aspect of hot cognition. This certainly applies to racial grouping and “color-blindness” as well.

Though he speaks primarily on the African-American plight in the U.S., in this following video-clip Harvard University Fellow and MIT Professor Noam Chomsky talks about white domination and racism from the historical record. This really applies to all non-whites in America and the world, does it not?

Social Theorems of Ignorance

Is ignorance simply the absence of knowledge? The sum of society’s ignorance is much greater than the sum of our knowledge. Yet, how much do we really know about social or collective ignorance? Where does social-collective ignorance come from? How much do we impose it upon someone or upon ourselves? What role does social-collective ignorance play in interactions, group relations, in institutions, in civil, business, and criminal law, and managing risks? Typically our societal norms give negative connotations to ignorance, but when might it be preferrable not to know something? Can it be a virtue?

Dr. Michael Smithson, Professor of Psychology at the Australian National University, has been working in the area of uncertainty and ignorance for many years. He takes an interdisciplinary approach to socially produced uncertainty and ignorance and believes one must begin with defining what social ignorance is and is not.

Socially Produced Ignorance: What It Is and Isn’t
Social ignorance is 1) emerging, it is 2) partially constructed by society, and it is 3) imposed. It is manipulated deliberately or as a by-product of some social movement or process. It is also typically at a macro-level of large groups within power relations. As far as how kinetic ignorance is managed (4) it is typically at the micro-level with individuals and how those individuals conceptualize, represent, negotiate, and respond to ignorance. Thus, the managing agent is often indirect or as a spectator concerning the thinking and behavior of ignorance. These are four theorems of social ignorance.

Social ignorance is not the external world and how it arises in non-social settings. For example, the non-social settings would be science and the limits of science. It also includes epistemological and religious frameworks that make assertions about non-knowledge or meta-knowledge in exogenous non-social terms. It is not a managing under kinetic ignorance either. In other words, how people/groups think and act in uncertain environments, and not artificially generated under theory.

Negotiated Ignorances
There are at least five different negotiated ignorances between social (or at least interpersonal) arrangements of ignorance. A sixth could be time, or the lack of time, to adequately understand dynamics of an event, place, or person, but for the sake of time (no pun intended), I will very briefly cover these five:

Specialization — is simply an admittance there is too much for any one person to learn everything exhaustively. Hence, spreading the perceived risks can be achieved in three ways:  1) diversified learning rather than direct or narrowed learning, 2) therefore, concurrently diversified ignorance is created, and 3) acquired knowledge is also diversified via social collaboration.

Privacy — another social ignorance arrangement which is not necessarily controlled access to information by others about self, but can also be consensual with trusted persons or experts. Secrecy is imposed unilaterally, but privacy involves levels of risk. And trust is interconnected within organized specialization.

Trust — is a state of perceived vulnerability or risk. Dr. Smithson (on Yamagishi) elaborates:

[Toshio] Yamagishi and his colleagues argue that trust and “commitment formation” are alternative ways of reducing the risk of being exploited in social interactions. Commitment formation involves the development of mutual monitoring and powers to sanction and reward each other’s behavior. However, the reduction of transaction costs in commitment formation via uncertainty reduction comes at a price, namely the difficulty and costliness in exiting from the relationship and foregoing opportunities to form other relationships. Trust, on the other hand, entails running the risk of being exploited but increases opportunities by rendering the truster more mobile and able to establish cooperative relations more quickly. Trust, therefore, is both an example of a social relation that requires tolerance of ignorance and also trades undesired uncertainty (the risk of being exploited) against desired uncertainty (freedom to seize opportunities for new relations).”

Politeness — is another example of how social relations trade on ignorance. Within formal public conversations people typically don’t expect to first place their hand on a bible and state “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” The strategies a talker may utilize are varied in creating disinformation, e.g. promoting a false impression of approval, or agreement, or offer tactful brevity, vagueness, or ambiguity. However, this latter strategy is not always negative because it could nurture healthy adaptability or change due to diverse interpretations.

Legitimation — social ignorance is also used in a number of facades to vindicate inaction, keeping the status quo (also known as business as usual), opportunism, evasion of responsibility or liability, and risk management strategies. Our American legal differences between civil cases versus criminal cases, as one example, are where a verdict in the former can be given on probabilities and in the latter it must be given “beyond reasonable doubt.

“Licit” actions and choices done on the basis of social ignorance are abundant in our mundane life as well. As previously discussed in this series, legitimizing high-level federal policy change, or non-change, use (abuse?) the precautionary principle, e.g. climate change counter-measures.

Is Social Ignorance Always An Insight-Deficit?
Contrary to popular belief, ignoramuses are not always at a disadvantage. There are cases where they are better off than very knowledgeable people. Case and point, if you could be told exactly when and how you were going to die, would you want to know? Why or why not? Would you want your spouse and children to know the details of your death? Why or why not? Often in the field of counseling where doctor-patient confidentiality existed, I found myself in the position of aiding social ignorance between spouses, family members, employers or a circle of friends for legitimate reasons, e.g. one spouse’s history of unfaithfulness, in order to maintain necessary therapeutic stability. Many spouses/partners don’t care to know intimate details of former lovers/spouses. Dr. Lael Schooler and Ralph Hertwig, both of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, assert from their research that forgetting facilitates the use of inferential heuristics that also trade on environmental structures.

What I hope has been adequately conveyed here is that ignorance, particularly social ignorance, is quite prevalent. It exists practically everywhere, including with yourself.  It is predominantly socially structured. Accordingly, it deserves as much attention, monitoring, and updating as one’s repository of knowledge. This, our social and individual human ignorance-condition, I hope would conflate wise, cunning humility and not inflated arrogance. Therefore, how might we as social parts of a whole get regular checkups, quarterly or annual appraisals of our cunning humility and/or inflated arrogance? Glad you asked!

America’s Public Intellectuals – Questions

What does intellectualism mean? After this four-part series, is it possible for intellectualism to thrive and coexist with ignorance? Should that even be questioned? Can intellectualism guide ignorance and ignorance guide intellectualism offering more balance, more tolerance? In our modern age of technology and data-overload, are we too knowledgeable, too informed?

Today, we are not necessarily uninformed, but so over-informed it forces our cognitive capacities to seek out preferrable trigger-topics and information that bolster our own perspective. That is most certainly a self-imposed ignorance and to degrees social ignorance. On the aforementioned section of social ignorance, sociologists define that as a neo-tribalism tagged with near-fanatical insistence on cohesion and monism in a world, its Nature and fauna that is anything but monistic or binary. Within this neo-tribalism, humans — perhaps just advanced primates at this point? — historically have resorted to bullying and moral castigation to keep their own status quo. But at what cost? Many public intellectuals agree:  the egghead is dead, replaced by chest-beating activists. That may be true.

public-intellectuals-starmap

click here to enlarge

If our nation’s Founding Fathers were alive today, they would almost certainly be distraught and aghast at the loud polarity and lack of common interests. This isn’t to say those members of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, lasting a miserable 116 steamy days and nights, did not have their heated differences. Indeed they did. However, those resilient intellectuals mixed daily with their communities and adversaries; they had no choice really but to learn basic etiquette, tolerance, compromise, and mutual understanding and do it face-to-face. Those differences, conflicts, and resolutions took enormous amounts of highly skilled dialogue, negotiation, candor, and listening as they did expressing.

Fortunately, our modern intellectuals are still around, as seen in the Stargazer’s Guide image, as well as several of their interdisciplinary colleagues I’ve included throughout this four-part series. They too could easily be included on the map in their respective fields. Perhaps they are not as recognizable or accessible today because technology is increasingly finding intrusive ways to get in front of our faces and into our schedules, not weekly or daily, but hourly! Too much information-knowledge is just as bad for us individually — and potentially within a social framework of influence — as ignorance is because covertly hyper-knowledge fosters more risks that would otherwise be spread-out, diversified to minimize risks or learning-bankruptcy.

The difference between intellectualism (knowledge) then in 1787 and now (over-knowledge), as I personally see it, is that whether opposing sides embrace it or not, we know a lot less than we think we do (ignorance). Arrogance with power is the chief combatant of agnotology and collaborative progress. To remain stagnant in current knowledge without diversifying and going into the darkness of ignorance and where it leads is to risk terminal illness at the hands of Nature, predatory Nature to be specific. That assured apathy (that all is known) will be especially lethal if we do not recognize, with no exceptions, that ignorance is an equal or greater dichotomy. An egalitarian dichotomy not to be feared, but merely appreciated, explored further, confronted if necessary, and thus made more commonly defined, inclusive of both individual and social frameworks.

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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A Wider Lens

For the sake of higher, broader awareness and education…
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* * * * * * * * * * * *

Though I am a history fanatic and quite familiar with the two world wars (politically and militarily), I watched an excellent 3-part series recently about events surrounding the World War I conflict, but it was NOT from the typical Western European perspective. It was from the “conscripted” perspective, or rather from the nations who were promised much from the principle Allied nations but in the end were grossly betrayed by them despite the enormous cost in life and blood of their own fathers and sons-in-arms.

As a 20th century born American, this was a perspective I knew very little about from my secondary schooling, collegiate years, or mainstream U.S. media. Today, out of necessity, I have completely relearned the events on my own accord.  It wasn’t too long into the study that I learned my naïvety was larger than I had expected. Humbled, I pursued a more broadly educated view for the sake of my right to vote, taxpayer-responsibility, and my now refined middle-aged American

AOBJ-FrontCoverFLATcitizenship and wisdom. Furthermore, it mattered because my own children could one day be faced with international conflicts and wars, or more disturbing, serve in my nation’s armed forces in conflicts abroad that were created in 1917-18 and later 1947-48, or be casualties of future 9/11 attacks, and clueless about why! How is that possible you may ask!?

Naive is the democratic citizen who does not think their nation’s foreign affairs influence or dictate their present economy, employment, and taxes, even their own family — whom could very well serve giving the “ultimate sacrifice” for that same nation’s armed forces abroad. Very foolish is the same citizen who hasn’t a firm grasp of the full history behind their nation’s foreign affairs which led to and/or fuels conflicts abroad, and therefore perpetually binds and chains their national foreign policy, economy, employment, and taxes for near seventy years, seven decades, i.e. almost a century, with no end in sight. What has been the cost, both realized and still unrealized? The answer is likely much more than you and most could ever imagine.

I am currently reading (actually it is further reading) Alison Weir’s acclaimed book, “Against Our Better Judgement: The hidden history of how the U.S. was used to create Israel.” Some reviews on Weir’s hard work:

“This provocative book documents a history that is essential in understanding today’s world.  Scholarly, yet readable, it is a must for all Americans.  We all need to know what we have spent by coddling Israel and its aggressions, and why the cost has become more than we have bargained for.”
— James Abourezk, former U.S. Senator

“The main messages from Weir’s history are that the Jewish community has not legitimately needed a homeland-refuge from anti-Semitism and that Americans must take back their country by insisting that their elected officials place the interests of the United States before those of Israel.”
— Karin Brothers, freelance writer for RINF.com

“The United States has a moral prestige in the Near and Middle East unequalled by that of any other great power. We would lose that prestige and would be likely for many years to be considered as a betrayer of the high principles which we ourselves have enunciated…”
Loy Henderson, U.S. Senate Department

“Prodigiously documented… Alison Weir must be highly commended for throwing such a brilliantly hard light on the relationship between the United States and Israel. I hope this marvelous book gets all the attention it deserves.”
Ambassador Andrew Killgore, Publisher, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

If you are like me — a voting, taxpayer-responsible, loving parent, middle-aged (or not) American citizen who deeply cares about my local, state, and federal economy, jobs, tax-rates, and family members who serve, or could serve, in our armed forces — and you’re EXHAUSTED about the U.S. constantly getting dragged into Near and Middle Eastern conflicts, then you will want, NO… you are vehemently required to learn the real roots of the blood-ridden region and history! Broaden your lens, broaden your perspective.

If you truly care about humanity and this life-giving and sustaining planet, by re-examining this history and its bridle on current affairs in the region, then you will discover just how much our nation’s past is controlling our present and possibly your future generations! And hopefully, you can find the determination do something about it!

So it seems quite proper to close with this,

الله يكون معك

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For starters, more information:

IfAmericansKnew.org
Behind the Balfour Declaration of 1917 – Institute for Historical Review

And my own references/blog-posts and their links:

Canaanites Killed & Removed From Native Lands
Religious Imperialism Alive Still

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