America seems to be re-evaluating its history of African slavery. It seems to have started with some movies, perhaps in the way westerns were popular when I was a boy. I am perhaps thinking of later westerns of the 1960s and 1970s. I can’t say much about the ones before that, although I am sure I sat through a John Wayne movie or two on TV as a boy.
This shift to a re-examination of slavery is probably generational and is happening because most of the original participants are no longer with us. What surprises me is the push back by conservatives. They seem to be admitting that much of America is a myth and that they are afraid of some sort of chaos if that myth is recognized for what it is (a myth). It seems like an argument I have heard whispered by certain religious leaders. One can’t help but think that then only chaos will be theirs personally as they lose power of the people who have bought into their fictions.
The New York Times’s new 1619 project argues fiercely for a new understanding of what it means to believe in America—and it is cracking the very foundations of conservatism.