In Hamlet, Claudius, having murdered his brother and stolen his crown and his wife, tries to offer a half-assed prayer of repentance, but is forced to admit that he is full of crap (which is more than can be said for anything the GOP has done):
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder’?
That cannot be; since I am still possess’d
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition and my queen.
May one be pardon’d and retain the offence?
The only line of this the GOP likes to repeat regarding our horrendous racial history is “My fault is past”.
“It was all so long ago!” say the Cult. “The Civil War was 150 years ago!” they cry, “Let it go!”–and then cling like limpets to their “Southern Heritage” and their Confederate general statues and shriek about having their “history erased”.
Yessirree, there’s nobody like somebody who “doesn’t see color” for being exquisitely color sensitive on a highly selective basis that is always ordered toward white power, as the recent Right Wing Panic du Jour about THE LITTLE MERMAID demonstrated:
And that brings us to the rest of Claudius’ speech above. Because the reality is, in the words of that most Southern of writers, William Faulkner, that “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” As Claudius could not really repent while he was still benefiting from the murder or Hamlet’s father, so our civilization remains stuck in it sin while we keep on benefiting economically from structures of sin created over the course of centuries which still keep profiting the powerful and robbing the weak.
Take it away, Phil Vischer!:
And now it’s time for history lessons with Phil, the part of the show where Phil comes out and teaches a history lesson.
Great video. I love the tone of it. It’s gentle and non-accusatory without coddling or sugar-coating. It might stand a chance at bypassing the “Are you calling me a bad person?” defense so many conservatives have when confronted with the problem. Instead of taking the “you may not think you’re racist but here’s proof you really are” approach that many leftists use, Vischer says instead, “You may not be racist, but here are all the racist policies that you still need to care about because they’re still hurting people today.”
It’s also a neat touch that he rattles off such a long list of famous black people. Those people can easily be used as an argument that racism can’t be such a big deal if there are so many black success stories. Vischer turns that on its head by pointing out how low the average is even with all these rich megastars dragging it upward.