History. It is something that we as Americans like to think we have gone so far from. I would like to believe that too, but in my day to day life I realize more and more things happening that we think we have “left in the past.” I think that by writing this I can inform and educate on how we need to change as a city, state, country, and world.
1.Blood and Soil
Blood and Soil is a concept that was constructed in the 19th century. What it means is that they would look at your blood to see where you came from and who your ancestors were. It also looks at the soil your ancestors were working on. They used that idea to make and influence you to go back to that place where your ancestors were. So basically it’s telling you to go back to your own country. Now obviously they don’t do ancestry test and blood test to determine this. And by they, I mean the racist people saying this. They assume this by looking at the color of your skin. Now that you have background knowledge you’ll be able to realize what I’m getting at. At the Charlottesville Riot, in Charlottesville VA, one of the MANY racist slurs they said was “Blood and Soil.” Like I stated earlier, this was a concept constructed in the 19th CENTURY. And the rioters went and rioted and said “Blood and Soil.” What they were implying here is telling all different people of all different ethnicities to go back to their “homeland.” The fact that people are bringing this back from the 19th CENTURY to say this to people in 2017 is heartbreaking. We want to think that we've come so far as Americans, but when we bring back horrible things like this, we can’t have gone that far.
2. Religious Persecution
Religious Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of a person based on their preferred religion. An example of this was started in the 1640’s. When we look at it, religious persecution here started with Christians. This was at the hands of a small number of Jews and Romans because Romans owned a lot of the land that Christianity was spreading on, and the Romans were not ok with that. And now in our most recent American society, we are STILL prosecuting people for their religion. From the days January 27, 2017, to March 16, 2017, Donald Trump and Mike Pence put a travel ban (Executive Order 13769) on MUSLIMS, to prevent TERRORISTS from getting into America. Donald Trump stereotyped ALL MUSLIMS assuming they were all terrorist and did not let them travel to the United States. So many people couldn’t get home to their families because our president of the United States was so scared that we were going to be attacked. Because he assumed all Muslims are bad. Keep in mind this dates back to 1640 and before, and we’re doing it in 2017.
3. Sexual Harassment
I am aware that sexual assault comes in many horrible shapes and forms and spans throughout history. Right now I am only going to focus on one case. The Anita Hill case. In 1991 Hill came out and accused Clarence Thomas of sexual assault. She said that he would make very vulgar and sexual remarks when they were working together. He also asked her out many, MANY times and she refused all of them. She spoke out and said she didn’t leave because “civil rights” was her ambition. So all and all she went to trial and she took the lie detector test and everything she was saying was true. But Thomas still got selected to be on the Supreme Court. 52-48 one of the most narrow margins.
All of Thomas’ supporters supported and believed him. But soon after President George H.W. Bush put a law in place where harassment victims have the right to seek federal damage awards. After this rule was put into place 50% of the public's view shifted in Antia's favor. Today right now, a similar thing is happening with Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. Brett Kavanaugh (Former White House Staff Secretary) was nominated for the supreme court, a nomination he was honored with. Everything was going right but then earlier in the summer Christine wrote a letter accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school. Apparently what had happened was at a “drunken high school party” where Brett exposed himself and pushed her toward his private area. There has been a lot of controversy over this case. Is she lying? Why is she coming forward now? “But Brett is such a nice guy! He would never!” A lot of people are on different sides. But a lot of people are standing with Christine. All and all, the fact that this case is happening right now, and how similar it is to Anita Hill’s is insane to me. And I’m very curious as to what will happen next.
Now I know all of these are nowhere near identical. In fact, there are key differences between every one of these different pieces. But, there are obvious similarities. Like I previously stated we want to believe that we’ve come so far but truth is, we have a long way to go as Americans. We also have a lot of learning to do. So we don’t go in this deadly cycle of repeating history over and over again.
Story by Tia Irby