That old long arc OR short-term vs long-term memory

I find it hilarious to hear heavy-jowled wise men explaining to us how the retreating colonial powers left a senseless patchwork of national borders that cut across tribal, national, religious, linguistic, and ethnic identities and those divisions don’t go away simply because some entity called Iraq, or Syria, or Tunisia sprang into existence a mere 80 or a hundred years ago. Yet Blacks in this country whose existence in de jure segregation ended within living memory of persons my age i.e. we experienced it and whose status as slaves ended just a century and a half ago are supposed to spring forth as foot-loose and fancy-free citizens as if they were Iraqis or Lebanese or Syrians or Jordanians, completely free of those “ancient” associations and customs.
As we watch Middle-Eastern refugees in the millions stream into the former colonial powers onto a bed of prior settlers from the colonies in the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (e.g. curry is now the most popular food in merry olde England. Whatever happened to boiled beef? Yum yum.) we must put it in some historical context, as long as it doesn’t touch our own social arrangements here in the U.S.A. The curry example reminds me of those indigenous American foods: tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, burritos, quesadillas………. funny, I couldn’t find mention of those in my Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. In a stroke of true justice, it hasn’t been just the states won as spoils of the war with Mexico but the entire country that has been retaken, after a fashion. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward delicious justice. Hasta luego.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *