2020 brought an onslaught of changes: The pandemic Corona Virus swept across the world and ravaged states, the subsequent economic collapse as businesses closed to limit the spread of the virus, and Black Lives Matter reigniting awareness of racial injustice across America and the world.
Civilizations have been changing since the beginning of time. There have been rulers and those who were ruled. There have been revolutions, wars, and uprisings in every generation. In the Bible, Moses freed the Jews who had been enslaved for 400 years. Adolph Hitler murdered millions of Jews when he attempted to exterminate their race during the Holocaust of World War Two (Photo insert: From the Auschwitz Album: Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz II in German-occupied Poland, May 1944). On February 3, 1960, United Kingdom Prime Minister Harold Macmillan spoke out against Apartheid to the Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town and his speech was later referenced as, "The Wind of Change,
"The wind of change is blowing through this continent.
Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact."
Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid). America went through its' own desegregation during the fight for Civil Rights in the 1950s and 1960s.
Racial trauma, or race-based traumatic stress (RBTS), is not considered a mental health disorder, but has similar symptoms to PTSD. As a Mental Health provider, I am responsible to help my clients move past their trauma to a place where they can both remember their past but not be controlled by it. To look forward to a place of healing, where their pain can be used for a purpose that elevates them above their circumstances. This cannot be done without first exploring their past and contrasting it with new experiences, new paradigms, and learning new skills.
Instead of destroying history and trying to rewrite the teachings of the past, we should analyze the causes and effects and the success of progress we've made. If we fail to remember how it was, how will we know we've "changed"? When you cannot contrast and compare you only have a limited singular perspective. If we continue to accept that our definition of historical facts are considered failures by today's norms, will our changed standards that we establish today also be destroyed by the next generation, and each subsequent generation to follow?
We cannot undo history, but we can learn from it. Remember, today is tomorrow's history. How are you going to write it?