If WE’RE not allowed to forget, then neither are YOU, World. Not a single, damned one of you.
So, think back to a time when someone told you to “get over” something horrible that not only changed the course of your life, but had, continued to, and would ever after affect your life, from birth until death, and the lives of your ancestors AND your descendants. Told you to “move on” when little had been done to dismantle the social ills and prejudices that let that horrible thing happen to your family and literally HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of others for hundreds of years. Expected you to run the race as if you hadn’t been starting at a deficit of ninety miles back from the starting line. To reach the end happy and not bitter, with little or no help or consideration, knowing that for all your efforts, those who came after you would be starting from that same ninety miles back, if they were lucky. Possibly from one hundred fifty miles back if they weren’t.
And there was no end in sight. Not in your lifetime, or the lifetimes of your great, great-grandchildren. That as your ancestors, newly released from a generational horror not of their making had looked ahead for you, with hope, but no illusions, so you must look forward at your own great, great grandchildren. With hope, yes . . . but no illusions. Because you know how this world is. YOU KNOW.
You know it resists change and kills the ones who dare to make it. To not only hope for and dream of better, but try to make that happen. Not in their great-whoever’s lifetime, but in their own. Because they don’t want their children to suffer even a moment of what those who came before them have.
You KNOW this. You know this world. You live it every day.
Or maybe you don’t. Everyone’s mileage varies.
But everyone has that one sea-change situation that has the previously unimaginable effect on their lives. Occasionally for the better, but LARGELY for the worse. WORST. For some of us, that sea-change started five hundred years ago, is still going on — in stealth-mode, and far more insidiously — and will go on for another five hundred years. And our great, great-whoevers will die fighting the battles that kill us. And THEIR great-whoevers will also never know a life without that struggle, without dying in the trenches of disenfranchisement, bigotry, systemic racism, and classism that is unique in that it’s tied directly to skin color.
“Just get over it and move on. . . .”
What, like, it’s hard?
I mean, you just . . . think about the worst thing that ever happened to you. Imagine that it maybe happened to your family and everyone who looked remotely like you. And to everyone who came from a landmass that your ancestors came from. Think about never getting apologies, reparations, sympathy, empathy, the cutting of slack, understanding, acknowledgement of your suffering and the deficit at which the world keeps you. Think about all that — think REAL HARD — then just get the fuck over it. Move the fuck on.
No, really. It’s just that simple.