Absolution & Pretending We Don’t Know

Tysonkissing pigeon

Last night I saw the documentary “Tyson” and this morning I have read an op-ed piece, “The Disease of Permanent War” by Chris Hedges. Both are disturbing for what they so plainly say about our values. I suppose that I am not unusual; my memory of the injustices of 2000-08 is fading.
As a viewer, an American viewer, a nagging connection kept rearing its head during the film and in the following hours. Mike Tyson is teaching us something. Surprisingly, the one-sided film – complete with glowing sunsets and an older, wiser Tyson strolling along the beach – may not do him any favors but it may do something for the country. Tyson, in spite of everything that has been hung around his neck, has the chance to move beyond the past. The United States, unfortunately, has not. Dick Cheney doesn’t have to do anything except growl at all of us and the media gives him air time to make his case for the legitimization of torture and other crimes. We, of course, pretend to have a legitmate debate about what counts as torture. As if we didn’t know. Ask a couple of Vietnam vets; ask Abu Gharab prisoners; ask the folks in our Super Max prisons. We certainly find it worthwhile to hold Tyson accountable but, as it usually goes for black men in the US, that may be because their lawyers fall asleep during trial – or, in Tyson’s case, were studying tax code revisions.
If we do not value injustice enough to account for it, it will be erased from our memories unnourished by empathy. And we will be unable to look forward.

~ by Thom on June 19, 2009.

3 Responses to “Absolution & Pretending We Don’t Know”

  1. Hi Thom,

    I’m feral geographer and along with Mae Callen of Driving Fast on Loose Gravel, I’m working on creating an active blogroll of queer blogs from Canada and/or by Canadians. The project is called Queer Canada Blogs, and we’ve added your blog!

    Please check it out and let us know if you have any suggestions for blogs we can add.

    feral geographer

    (Feel free to delete this comment… I just wanted to contact you, and couldn’t find an email address!)

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