I was aware of the risk of some people misinterpreting my recent post about getting stuck in stories about the past – but that is the risk one takes In attempting to challenge deeply held assumptions.
I had no intention of diminishing the pain and distress inflicted on people of colour every day around the world. Now. Quite the opposite.
Nor do I negate the pain and distress caused to people in the past. Standing on the steps at the entrance to the industrial scale gas chambers in Birkenau is a memory that will never leave me.
But that felt sense of mankind’s ability to inflict pain and suffering is a different thing from getting stuck in the stories about it, the differing interpretations of the what and the why, which trigger the tit for tat that keep the endless cycle of suffering going.
Yes, make the effort to understand man’s inhumanity to man, definitely change laws and policies to protect the vulnerable, but don’t let pulling down statues distract you from facing up to your own capacity to cause hurt and distress the next time you meet someone whose stories about the past are at odds with your own.