The fourth of July in indeed an "interesting" time intellectually, morally and spiritually for those who don't give into bling nationalistic forms of so called patriotism. When you read the following, think about where the voice is coming from-those who have actually put their lives on the lines to defend the freedom everyone in the U.S.A. enjoys. "We" know that not everyone is free, and while we should give respectful thanks to the fact that we do have the right to speak up and foster dissent, ignorance is truly not bliss.
This article was written by VFP member, Dr. Gary G. Kohls, MD. Dr. Kohls is a member of VFP Chapter 80 in Duluth MN.
Since the assassinations of Jack Kennedy and Martin Luther King (and the Vietnam War that had much to do with both), it has been hard for historically-literate and open-minded Americans to generate much patriotic fervor on the Fourth of July. But they should have been skeptical long before those idealism-shattering events. My own seriously deficient high school education in world and American history has necessitated decades of catch-up reading and research in order to find the truth about the dark underbelly of America.
My high school textbooks totally ignored the real histories of the conquistadores, the genocide of Native Americans and their cultures, and the truth about the actual brutality of the enslavement of Black Africans. My history books glorified America’s wars, and never mentioned America’s use of propaganda or how it was involved in fascist movements world-wide. The cold realities of sexism, militarism, poverty, corporate abuse, the banking system, etc. were glossed over. Sadly, my relative ignorance about the (obviously censored out of our consciousness) painful and unwelcome truths about what really happened in history is probably the norm. I have tried to do some of the catching-up by reading the relatively hidden alternative literature, starting with books like Howard Zinn’s The People’s History of the United States and also the writings of historically-literate truth-tellers like Martin Luther King, Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges.
Anyone who honestly reads those author’s books can’t help but become disillusioned with America’s history and the massive propaganda by which the vast majority of us Americans have been duped into sometimes very sincerely believing that the US is the new shining light of the world, working courageously and endlessly for justice and peace. <<