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A Documentary Put America on Trial and I Have Feelings
I watched Betrayal of a Nation, and I have so much to say!
If there is one thing I am completely sober about, it is white supremacy. Some like to believe that it has no impact on their lives and that they should instead put their efforts into fighting the likes of Donald Trump. No one would argue that Trump isn’t a racist, but we would be fools to identify him as the entire problem. Instead, Trump is a symptom of a larger problem, one that is so insidious, it impacts every single part of our lives.
Unfortunately, as big of a threat as white supremacy is, most people still refuse to acknowledge it. And if white people refuse to accept their role in White Supremacy, can we really have a peaceful solution to this hundreds-year-old problem? I’m not so sure of the answer, but what I am aware of is this. If white people refuse to accept their role and be accountable, justice will be found through violence, which isn’t justice at all.
Instead, the moment we topple our oppressors with their own tools, we become conditioned, to replicate the same systems our masters oppressed us with. The best real-life example of this is the Apartheid government of Israel. The land is supposed to be a safe haven for Jewish people, a religious group that has been an unfair victim of persecution and hatred. Instead, those who escaped the oppression of antisemitism and the holocaust are now oppressing the people of Palestine through murder, dispossession, and crimes against humanity. With that in mind, how do we avoid going down the path that just leads to more harm in the future?
I don’t have the answer, but I had some time this weekend and decided to listen to some else approach to this problem. What I found was this very interesting doc. Betrayal of a Nation: An Indictment on America is a screenplay where the United States Government is brought on trial by the people of America to hold them accountable for its atrocities. It then presents a damming case against the United State government that covers everything from our theft of indigenous land to our role in the murders of Fred Hampton and Martin Luther King. In the end, America is found guilty on all counts. A decision that should have been a no-brainer, but felt like a toss-up after all of the ways we have watched this country fall short over the years.
Still, Betrayal was engaging, interesting, and made me think long and hard about our ability to end this cycle of harm. What if there is no way to move past it, what if it’s too late, and now the only path is violence. If that’s the case, will we one day be on trial for our sins?