Saturday Morning Links

1. Via New Yorker’s Hilton Als, this article is about so much, but these two sentences on what racism is and how it intends on hurting the intended recipient.

The truth is that nothing is impersonal when it comes to racism, or the will to subjugate. Every act of racism is a deeply personal act with an end result: the unmooring diminishment of the person who is its target. If you have suffered that kind of erasure, you are less likely to know who you are or where you live.

2. Via The Guardian, this is somewhat insane, huge neolithic shafts were found about 2 miles away from Stonehenge, these shafts were are in a circle and go around the Durrington Walls. This was all built 4,500 years ago. Sometimes when you think that every square inch of this world has been kicked or viewed and then you discover 15′ shafts around Stonehenge that were dug with stone and bone. As an aside, did you know that the word “henge” is a thing? A henge is a prehistoric monument consisting of a circle of stone or wooden uprights.

3. Via the Bitter Southerner, two residents of Richmond and history professors, one African-American and one white, opine on the removal of confederate statues.

The proposed removal of Lee’s statue is an opportunity. It’s a chance for freedom to break through the dark clouds of oppression that the statues on Monument Avenue cast over us every day. But to get to that better freedom – a freedom that reflects our historical and contemporary diversity – I hope that after the Lee statue is removed we can pause, stand together, and look at those empty pedestals.

Empty pedestals are powerful symbols. In Prague during the Cold War, an empty pedestal that once supported a statue to Czechoslavak president Tomas Masaryk reminded people living under Soviet rule that they would one day emerge from the oppressiveness of an authoritarian regime.

Empty pedestals can serve a similar function in Richmond, and around the country. History won’t be erased after Lee’s statue joins the recently toppled statues of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis and the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus. For centuries, these structures supported white supremacy and obscured historical truths. Empty pedestals represent opportunities for us to grapple with history’s light and darkness. They are invitations to empathize with the perspectives of people previously marginalized from the interpretation of the past. As Edward Ayers, the Tucker-Boatwright Professor of Humanities at the University of Richmond told me, “What matters now is what we all do with what remains. We don’t have a blank slate or a clean sheet of paper on which to draw our plans, but history never does.”

4. I wish I could find this video, but a year or so ago, I ran across this New Zealander, who was living in Florida, and pointing out all of the differences between New Zealand and the U.S. One of the differences was that people get really worked up about politics. That’s not to say that people don’t care about things in New Zealand, but maybe here in the U.S. people are so much more zealous about the politics. I’m not using “zeal” in a good way here. Maybe we could just sort of chill the damn hell out.

He also wondered why there were not more roundabouts and clotheslines in the U.S. I put up a clothesline this spring and now I’m doing my laundry on cold wash and drying my clothes, and well, yeah, we need more clotheslines. I have no control over roundabouts.

5. It’ll all work out in the end.

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