LETTER: ’Don’t make me repeat myself.’ History
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it! (George Santayana-1905). In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill changed the quote slightly when he said (paraphrased), “those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”
So here we are again America, repeating the same old history:
- A black man’s death at the hands of a law enforcement officer
- Community outrage — protests (some peaceful and some riotous)
- Calls for justice (local, state, national committees formed)
- Law enforcement officers acquitted/mostly found not guilty
- Little or no laws changed, or police procedures/policies of engagement
- News Flash! Another black man’s death at the hands of a law enforcement officer … again!
What can we do to change or stop this cycle?
Americans, we "the people" have the power to change history. We have had the Constitution to guide us but for some reason we fail use it. Here are my thoughts:
A. My right to peacefully assemble (protest) goes without saying but I will say it as simply as this. As long as we gather to express our viewpoint peacefully and do not prohibit (stop or get in the way of) the movement of commerce — people making a living, we are fine.
B. My right to petition the government means I can write my grievances (complaints) to any elected official that represents me — Democrat or Republican, others. It does not even matter if I voted for him or her, they are responsible to us “the people.”
C. My right to vote for the person who represents my views. And I can also vote against that same person that received my vote but did not serve my interests.
Americans, it is as simple as the ABCs above. Otherwise, “those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”
I have learned and am applying that knowledge to change history. Remember, Americans, the power is with us, the people!
Sandra Gainey, Shalimar