I feel privileged to have lived to see some remarkable changes happening in the UK, Europe and the United States. It’s really quite amazing to be writing this so soon after my recent depressing thoughts about the United States.
Some places in the U.S. are beginning to explore genuine alternatives to the traditional police forces — outsiders have for years been fairly stunned by how often we hear of wild west type violent acts by U.S. police. The stories have become hideously depressingly routine.
I understand that much of the change has been a consequence of the power of the video capture. The Vietnam war was said to be the first war telecast live into living rooms on the invading nation. That helped add momentum to the protests. But it takes time, years, for sanity to spread widely and deeply enough so that there is finally a critical mass of activists demanding change and being heard in some quarters so that at last change is actually beginning to happen. Small steps, but that’s how we all learn to walk.
Our nations have been built on racism, including various forms of genocide, sins that have been sublimated beneath the imperial “greatness” and national prosperity that were their fruits. It’s amazing to see how far we have finally come now that we can contemplate on an international scale the tearing down of monuments glorifying white supremacist imperialist histories.
This surely is a cultural and ethical turning point, or at least a signpost that times have indeed been changing.
The news item that was the final straw that prompted me to write this post was downgrading of Little Britain by the BBC. The few times I tried to watch it I simply couldn’t. I failed to understand how certain groups that were being satirized could generally find it funny. Punching down is not funny. I’m relieved to now learn that my problem was that I was ahead of my time.
It’s a very different world from a few decades ago. Some things really are far, far better and promising than ever before. Now, if only we can make it through climate change as organized societies. . .
. . .
(I wonder what the future holds for all of that stolen loot in the British Museum?)