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Dannielle Blumenthal PhD @DrDannielle
, 38 tweets, 13 min read Read on Twitter
1) Should we alter the historical narrative to make its victims feel better?

It’s #coffeetime
#ColumbusDay
Monday, October 8, 2018
2) I remember when the local school changed Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day.

In-di-gen-ous.

Hard to spell.
3) So I guess this is how you have to teach it now.
4) To many people, Columbus Day is immoral because it essentially celebrates a greed that led to mass murder.
5) To many people, it is incredibly morally offensive that we celebrate herding the Native Americans into reservations where they live in squalor.
6) But then the obvious question comes up.
7) If you feel bad about doing something wrong, why don’t you fix it?
8) The people who are offended by “Columbus Day” would like to make reparations...of some kind.
npr.org/templates/stor…
9) 10/12/2009, @NPR — Rep. John McCoy (D-Wash.) on the a “resolution” to “formally apologize”—

“It’s an acknowledgement of what happened during all those years.”
“In essence, we're correcting history.”
Does the apology actually do anything concrete though? How about money?

“there is no money tied to this, but the apology is important.”
12) (sorry, the above Tweets were 10 and 11) —

Of course, the question then becomes...how much is an apology alone worth?
13) I mean, it’s easy to say you’re sorry.
14) I have a better idea.
15) If we truly feel sorry that we rampaged across another man’s land...why don’t we just give it back?

Oh wait. We don’t want to go that far. NOBODY EVER SUGGESTED THAT. Don’t quote me.
16) You see, the “big debate” over Columbus Day as a holiday is not about an actual thing.

Only its representation.

It’s a grossly offensive gesture aimed only at assuaging White guilt, while constantly retaining its privilege.

Eg, we always remain heroes.
17) Rep. McCoy acknowledges the limited value of an apology for his Native American constituents.

“Well, among most of the tribes that I work with, we don't put any emphasis on today. It's kind of like just another day.”

Right? Everybody has to eat.
18) But what about the atrocities, Sir?

What about the “Indian boarding schools?”
19) “The students were punished if they spoke their own language....they were beaten...abused. The girls were sexually abused. And it was just a horrible life.”

Here is a picture of students at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, PA, around 1900.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_…
20) You see, the people who introduce these “resolutions” are politicians.
21) A warrior would say, more honestly: We came here and conquered the land, and it wasn’t pretty, but history is the story of conquering land.”
22) That isn’t to justify atrocities, at all.

It is to argue that honesty is more respectful to the conquered than a patronizing pat on the back.
23) As you all know, my family suffered badly in the Holocaust.
24) This is my Bubbie, Mathilda Stroli (née Mandel) (RIP) giving video testimony about what happened to her during the Holocaust.
25) Her sister Vicky did not live to testify.

She got murdered.

yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.ht…
26) Vicky was a Gemini.
27) Every year, growing up, I went to my grandparents’ house in Toronto.

My Zayde (grandfather, RIP) had a kosher supermarket there.

dbs.bh.org.il/image/-strolis…
28) Today it’s known by another name.

But when my Zayde was alive, his store, and the liver knishes he sold there, were pretty well-known.

(Knish: a pastry filled with something.)

koshersamurai.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/the…
dannielleblumenthal.com/2011/12/medita…
homeindisarray.com/2013/03/chicke…
29) When I was growing up, and we visited my grandparents in Toronto, the topic of the Holocaust was 100% off-limits.
30) When I was in my late teens, Zayde told me very vaguely, but frighteningly, about what had happened to him.
31) He didn’t lie. But he didn’t tell me everything either.

It was many years after his death that I watched the tapes and found out the truth. medium.com/@DrDannielle/a…
32) The story is pretty bad. It involves a brutal gang rape.

motlc.wiesenthal.com/site/pp.asp?c=…
33) To this day I cannot watch my grandmother’s tapes.
34) To this day I can’t deal with what may have happened to my grandmother in Auschwitz. cnn.com/2011/WORLD/eur…
35) My father prefers to say that she escaped death miraculously 4 times; that she worked as a “bookkeeper” for the Nazis in the camp; that she was “contemptuous” of them.
36) But if you press him, he will also say that my grandmother met Mengele (pictured here with George H. Bush? not sure of that) on the way out.

And that Mengele mocked her and said she would be barren.

That my Zayde married her knowing what had happened.
37) What we need is not an apology.

What we need is to find out the real, historical truth.

And to make sure that the perpetrators of atrocities never have that power again.

(End.)
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