The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Land Of OZ And The Horror Of Racism

The power of the (communication) message doesn't go unnoticed as we watch America's social and political Right work to shape a nation in its likeness. Communication is a innate and incredible gift to human beings. The gift is often an influencing a propaganda tool of people skilled in delivering messages of fear, indifference intolerance and messages that do great harm. While you may think our society is well beyond that you are about to read, slow-down and think about how tragedy need not end in the ultimate act of death. Tragedy also has reality in deprivation. And, deprivation erodes the human spirit such that it can actually place people in states of servitude that is deleterious and dangerous to the greater society.   

The lovely and heart-warming story of Dorothy, her clinging troupe (The Lion, The Tin-Man and The Scare Crow) and the Kansas tornado has roots in evil with fissures that point to the gifted communicator as a Shepard of the evil. A communicator who may have manipulated like a skilled marionette.

The Land of Oz

L. Frank Baum
A beautiful memory for us all. An image of and from our childhood and a reminders of the awe of movie-making and television. When accompanied by the fanciful innocence of youth and the enormous youthful power of imagery, the creative work from the mind of L. Frank Baum and his gift of writing prose affected us all. 

I doubt there is a person in the nation who was not in some way influenced by exposure to Baum's Land of Oz. Furthermore, I am confident we can extrapolate knowledge of the Land of Oz to people across the globe.

How about a circa 2014  high definition image of the road to Oz? A road that becomes a 'yellow brick" road as Oz draws near. 
Oz: Great and Powerful

The beauty and imagery of OZ may have a basis in pure horror and shame. We offer an intriguing perspective. A perspective heard many years ago and simply filed into the old gray matter. Upon seeing a broadcast of MSNBC earlier today, the gray matter regurgitated the information.

There was a side of my brain that refused to accept what you are about to read. The information was compartmentalized in a "forget me" file, never to be reenacted via recall. Baum may have provided facilitating written treatises about genocide against a band of Original Native Americans. He wrote with fiery hatred and racism about the remnants of the great Lakota Sioux Nation. His writings also may have salted the minds of people willing to listen to the railings of a racist to send the Lakota to a final resting place for hundreds of women and children. The Wounded Knee Massacre 
occurred on 
December 29, 1890,[4] near Wounded Knee Creek (Lakota: Čhaŋkpé Ópi Wakpála) on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the U.S. state of South Dakota. It  is well known scourge of US History and became known to millions based on movies through our recent past. ( Lakota Woman, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee-HBO Films, The Tragedy At Wounded Knee 17 minute documentary). 

Many have written about Baum's deep racist writings, which for some in Manifest Destiny America may have helped to rationalize unrestrained killing of men, women and children.

We certainly cannot confidently report that Baum's racist writings and blood thirst was the deciding factor in the Wounded Knee Massacre. On the other hand, we can confidently say his writings may very well have been a contributing factor.

Communication to sympathetic ears has major impact. 
Do you recall the disparaging phrases broadcast across radio waves and loud speakers as the genocide in Rwanda was perpetrated, "Cockroaches, kill the Cockroaches."  Need I remind you of how Joseph Goebbels portrayed the Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and minorities as the Third Reich conquered greater Europe? 

“Why Not Annihilation?" L. Frank Baum.

Before the Massacre

The Sitting Bull editorial (Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, December 20, 1890) 

L. Frank Baum's (Wizard of OZ Author) Editorial on the Sioux (Lakota) Nation
About a week prior to the slaughter at Wounded Knee (1890), L.Frank Baum, editor of South Dakota's Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer in an editorial wrote: 
" The nobility of the Redskin is extinquished and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The whites by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians.(WHY NOT ANNIHILATION?)Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced, better they should die than live the miserable wretches that they are." .L. FRANK BAUM (author of THE WIZARD OF OZ )

After the Massacre

The Wounded Knee editorial (Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, January 3, 1891)

JUNE 26-28, 2004
L. Frank Baum: Racist
Indian-Hating in “The Wizard of Oz”

August 17, 2006
'Oz' Family Apologizes for Racist Editorials

If you visited the NPR link just above, you either heard or read the descendant family of Baum apologizing for his racism.  Well, as I often state the (act of) apology is nothing more than words offered far too late when proper behavior would have eliminated the need to go there. Apologies from Baum's relatives can do nothing to reconnect the DNA and bloodline of the slaughtered. Their words cannot reach back in time to stop the senseless killing of Lakota generations from children through the elderly.  

The American people must carefully watch, scrutinize and question growing plutocracy from the Right. It is a fact the nation is probably resilient enough to deal with far-right leaning governance. While our past reflects on the horrors of such governance, we weathered the storm. Nonetheless, we have to stay diligent in recognizing the social and the political Right of today; it is not the Right of Ronald Reagan. It is not a Right that respects people with opposing views. It is the Right of Fox News and AM Radio with daily feedings of hatred and fear broadcast primarily to older white listeners and viewers. It is a Right backed my uber wealthy plutocrats who spend billions working to establish and instill a form of US oligarchy. A form of government where you and I may not face genocide, but we could very well become mindless "Stockholm Syndrome" droning hordes divided into economic wherewithal, races, gender and sexual orientation class groupings. Groupings that could stand rigid until the passing of time completes inevitable erosion. Groupings and society controlled by people that occupy one racial demographic: the Paleozoic Era conservative white male. A demographic that refuses to step outside of his aquatic (comfortable) paradigm for life on the shore. Life with much more opportunity for thriving and passing-on a better life to those who will follow.

Increasing exhibitions of bigotry and racism tend to draw the mind back to Baum and his careless and horrific writings. And, as I think of Baum and his over-the-top exaltation of "the whites", I am reminded of my often quoted "House of OZ."

No comments :

Post a Comment