In The Name Of Remembrance

Often I don’t speak about serious topics on here that are unrelated to mental health, but this topic, this topic is a disgusting exception.

As every good story starts, I was browsing Facebook this morning and came across an NPR article on the current Pope visiting Auschwitz concentration camp memorial museum. The article is here if you would also like to read it: click.

I have always been aware that the former concentration camps like Dachau and Auschwitz were open to tours. I went on Google Earth to creepily ride past in my virtual google car to see buses upon buses upon buses of school children and regular people walking into the Auschwitz entrance. It looked as if the whole of the Polish education system was there.

Across the street were some Restaurants and a Hotel. Cool bro.

After reading about the way both former concentration camps choose to educate those who come to mourn, to remember, and to learn, I came to the understanding that “tour” wasn’t really an appropriate word. It’s a memorial experience. It’s a “path of remembrance” (that’s the name of a specific route you can walk through at Dachau).

grafik20weg20des20erinnerns20copy
They Have Historical Information Signs Along The Path, Hence The Name.

I respect these people for that. They take what has happened in their past and to make sure it will never happen again, they teach people about it. They have survivors share their story, and it’s part of their children’s education–extensively. A lot of Germany and Poland has healed as a result, they have been for the last 50 years. Say what you will about Germans, they’re not so ashamed of their own history that they hide it under the rug or play it down.

Reading all of this got me thinking about the United States. I wondered how many of the old slavery plantations are still resurrected today, and if we have any similar programs. There was a portion of my heart that hoped, with naivete, that America would have the scant amount of decency needed to partake in something as healing as the aforementioned. The other portion of my heart knew better.

The other portion of my heart knew with the amount of race-related turmoil going on in the United States today, there was no way in hell any amount of healing from the trauma of the south has happened.

race-mix
August 12, 1959

VS

web1_us_news_trump_9_mct_1
February 19, 2016 Source

The first plantation that popped up in my search was Pebble Hill. I’ve heard of it, but don’t know much about the history of the slaves. According to research, the land for Pebble hill was bought from the Creek Indians. Fraud and scandal was used later to steal the rest of the land and leave many Creek homeless.

I read this information on a Southern University website, particularly this one: click here. I admire them for adding the Indians into their history, many people do not. However, I critique their title of “African-American’s at pebble hill”. I critique their explanation that “African American’s helped build pebble hill”.

2ca93b8179eba7eda6dfa21fe601b8327b556c1e
Pebble Hill As It Stands Today

Those were slaves. Not “African-Americans”. Say what it is. Not what you wish it was.

That website also contains a list of families who lived there and took over the plantation, if you’re interested.

Continuing my search, I came across a website with an article where you could “Tour the South’s Best Historic Homes”. Pebble Hill was listed.

In fact, under the “Inspiring Ideas” category, it described the house as: “This classic plantation [with] breezy, colorful interiors with chic chinoiserie elements that feel au courant.”

721px-martin_luther_king_jr_nywts_6

Now.

Let’s think about this for a moment.

Plantations did not kill as many as Hitler’s and Stalin’s concentration camps. Unless you include the generations to come after that. Particularly if you include the Native Americans . . . in which case, we’re at about the same level of indecency and murder as both Hitler and Stalin. So I suppose the only difference is ours was systematic and generational, and their was all at once.

To describe an area where people’s lives were shattered, where people served and got whipped and hanged and had to pick cotton and run your fucking house for you because you were too lazy of a piece of shit to do your own house work and take care of your own kids or pick your own cotton, as “breezy, [with] colorful interiors . . . that feel au courant” is a disgrace. Whoever has done this needs to feel the shame they deserve.

My anger fueled me to go onto their website. That’s where I learned weddings are held there.

800x800_1429726738528-caitlynjimmywedding-89

“I’d love to get married in a concentration camp one day” said no one ever. Why? Because that would be fucking DISRESPECTFUL, that’s why.

“I’d love to get married on your mother’s grave” said no one ever.

Would you do this shit at a concentration camp?

(#ConcentrationCampSelfie)

awschwitz-for-web-copy-1435697591
No, Because You’re Not An Insensitive Prick.

Than don’t do it at a plantation.

Their “history” section on their plantation webpage talks only about the owners, and never the slaves.

Google reviews reiterated that the house was beautiful. A few commented on how they never mention any history of the slaves or give any types of remembrance for them. One individual who wished to at least see the grave sites had to ASK DIRECTIONS to find them, because it’s not included in the tour.

Texan textbooks described the slave trade as people bringing “millions of workers”.

The publishing company offered to send stickers to cover up the word “workers” in the printed books while they worked on more accurately depicting the slave trade.

The author of the article I read said it perfectly: “It will take more than that to fix the way slavery is taught in Texas textbooks”. You can read more about that here: click. It’s worth the read, I promise.

raf220x200075ffafafaca443f4786It’s not about political correctness. I’m not being PC principal here. It’s not even about bashing the South. I just want the truth. Don’t cover up the truth with a slightly, less severe way of telling it because then it becomes a lie. And if you want your country to be built on lies, than don’t act surprised or disgusted when citizens start rising up against you.

We need to give these people remembrance so their spirits can rest and ours can be healed. Stop beating around the bush, stopping putting stickers over the things you don’t want to read: we all know what happened, we might as well talk about it.

The goal isn’t to forget. It’s to remember. 

final-quote

512558e7066de44db97ea123d00fffa4

Let’s Talk About It

Afternoon, all. It’s afternoon for me.

I just finished an article over at MyTrendingStories about Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter and whether any of it matters. Check it out here. Feel free to bash a comment over my head about it.

click-it-large-extra_large

In other news, this just in:

An article that must have gotten lost in the 1920’s just released new, striking information about recent research into psychoactive medication: it’s not good for long term treatment.

Another article that must have been living under a rock for the last two hundred years has just made headlines with: Locking doors in hospital doesn’t lower suicide rates.

Can we all just give these people a huge round of applause, please. I mean, think about all the brain power it took to come to these realizations, to find this research, and to use common sense to rationalize that people who feel suicidal really just need someone to talk with them.

tumblr_mtzmeqc16z1qcga5ro1_500

Thanks to those people for catching up with the rest of the world. There may be hope for us after all.

Especially if we speak out more like the woman who wrote this article “My Depression Is Part of My Slave Ancestry”. 

It’s a sad fact that Historical Trauma exists. It’s passed down from generation to generation, and can only be healed from generation to generation. It’s not just about brain chemistry. It’s not just about genes. It’s not just about environment. It’s not just about being “ill”. It’s about realizing life is a generational experience, it’s a continuum. That things happen and they effect you, your children, and your children’s children.

Call it paranoia if you like. Call it delusional, call it what you will, that won’t excuse its existence in one form or another.

routesI think about the ancestors I have which were most likely forced along the Trail of Tears. I think about the ancestors I have who were brought over on boats from their homeland in Africa, given different names, bought and sold like property, whipped and hanged, and forced to fight constantly for survival. I constantly wonder how far I could go back into my ancestry until names just stop because 1) they refused to put their name on a census or 2) they were given a different name.

Some people can go on Ancestry.com and trace their history all the way back to England. Or France. Mine will inevitably stop in America. The last name I hold now isn’t even the name of my paternal grandfather.

And I’ve wondered all my life why I felt I had an identity crisis. Some people could call that a “Borderline Personality” symptom: the consistent lack and shifting of identity. I call it a result of my history.

I always feel I’m being watched. Some people call that paranoia. I call that a result of my history: there are many cultures that believe their ancestors watch over them during the after life, and I feel I’m specially, spiritually inclined, I’ve felt that way since I was a child, and I believe I will continue to feel that way.

Sometimes my brain can take all of that too far. I won’t be able to sleep or feel comfortable or get up to step outside of my room because I feel like something on the other side of the door will attack me.

My entire ancestry has been attacked in the most brutal mental and physical ways. Is it any wonder I feel that way often? Is it any wonder my social anxiety has been with me since before I learned how to spell either word?

The other side of my family is Polish. Do we really need to go into their fight? I think we’re all very aware of it.

There are many sides to Mental Health besides the characteristics of disorders. It’s something we forget all too often, I feel.