The History We Need To Learn so That We Begin the Healing

I am a big fan of facing our pasts. It is the only way we will find peace and balance in our world. We have to do this at the individual, community, and national levels. In doing this work, I have learned too much about the history of our country to look the other way. This history I’ve been learning about differs very much from the history we were spoon fed in school across the United States. From how we engaged with the human beings who lived here when we founded this nation, to the human beings we enslaved to build this country, to how capitalism and racism is used to control us–we have a lot of music to face before we can get on with the healing that is needed for the United States.

There are a number of books I have used to find my way to this understanding, effectively deprogramming myself from what I learned growing up. However, three books stand out as essential reading for any in this country who is truly interested in wrestling with how this nation came to be the way it is. White Trash by Nancy Isenberg, Stamped From The Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi, and the Indigenous Continent, The Epic Contest for North America by Pekka Hämäläinen. These three books pull back the curtain on the foundation of this country to reveal the structural rot that has been here from day one. These three books rewrite the whitewashed version we received in school as youth, and should make you question the still dominant white narrative that owns the conversation in this nation.

I would never run for office, but if for some reason I found myself as President of the United States I would do four things, 1) Indigenous Land Back, 2) Reparations for Slavery, 3) Free Health Care, 4) Free Education Through University. I know how controversial it is, but it is what we need to even begin the healing this country needs. There would still be huge amounts of work, but these four things would help repair our foundation. Without this, we will never fully heal. These things aren’t in our past, and they are what keeps us separated today, and are what keeps us from truly finding American strength, not just the fabricated, white-washed, and corporate sponsored version we ended up with.