Short Notes: No Country For Most Men - The Jose Vilson

Short Notes: No Country For Most Men

by Jose Vilson on April 27, 2008

in Jose

Holocaust

Visiting the nation’s capital this weekend really gave me a lot of perspective on some current events as well as world history as a whole. Let me address those as succinctly as possible, should I write a longer post about some of the issues that arose.

1. Yes, I heard about the Sean Bell trial. I heard about it as soon as it happened. I’m still seething from the events that happened. I’ll be wearing black tomorrow for certain. More importantly, though, I’ll continue to voice my dissident opinions about the injustices that occur daily on the part of this (lack of) justice system. When will the genocide and police brutality end? If we can’t have justice for the few, imagine what they’ll do to the many. No justice, no peace …

2. I visited the Holocaust Museum, and I’ve visited the Holocaust Museum in Detroit, MI, but this experience was different. The experience was a little more interactive. Not to give everything away, but once you go in there, you pick up a “passport” detailing the life of an actual Holocaust survivor. You start from the top and spiral your way down, reading about European and world history during that time period along the way. My first thought was really how excellent the exhibit was. It was really well thought out, and accessible to both children and adults. I read most of what I saw at the exhibit, but more than anything, it just made the material I read come alive. (more on this tomorrow)

4. We went to the Vietnam War Memorial, too, and noticed first, how the structure itself is constructed in a wedge, almost like a ditch, even. Hmm …

5. We went to the Lincoln Memorial, and the scene was packed with all types of people wanting to get their picture taken with Mr. Lincoln’s edifice. Yet, a fraction of those people really read the inscriptions on the inner walls of the structure, and a smaller fraction of those went downstairs and inside, where many of his quotes about slavery and the union are highlighted. At first, we see a man who could care less whether he ends slavery or not, so long as they preserve the Union. Then, we see a progression from that point of view to seeing that slavery is the key to true human freedom. (As to whether or not that’s been resolved is a whole ‘nother matter.)

6. In there, and almost in direct juxtaposition, is a section dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr., who recalls Lincoln in his seminal speech, “I Have a Dream.” Also highlighted was Marian Anderson, who performed on the steps in 1939, a momentous occasion in a time when overt segregation and racism were law.

7. Speaking of mass murder, on Saturday night, we stayed at the Washington Hilton Hotel, a pretty nice hotel near Embassy Row. We went out for some food, when we see tons of police and Secret Service men all over. Then we hear people on a bullhorn screaming something indiscernible. We saw a banner that read “Arrest Bush.” For some reason, I booked my hotel at the same time as the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, whose guest of honor was none other than Dubya! Wow! I haven’t been that close to a president since the 90s when Bill Clinton drove by my hood. I’m not scared of the president, but that night, my girl and I had some terrible nightmares. I’m about 99% convinced that it was because the devil himself was downstairs, singing his cowboy songs.

jose, who thinks we need to reconsider reclining chairs on buses and planes …

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Josh April 27, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Secret service, that’s life in DC. How dare you walk a couple of feat away from your box of cookies near the White House!

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Joel April 27, 2008 at 7:45 pm

I went to DC for the first (and only so far) time a couple of summers ago. I wish I would have been able to go to the Holocaust Museum. If you get a chance, you really ought to go to the memorial for the bombing victims at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. That was one of the most incredible experiences.

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Jose April 27, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Joel, when I drop by Oklahoma, I’ll be on it. Thanks for the heads up.

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m dot April 28, 2008 at 11:11 am

I’ll be in D.C. the weekend of May 8-May 10, mostly for a conference: http://www.abetterdealconference.com, but also for a little sight seeing. You know me, I’ll be at the national gardens for a bit, but also, I’ve been told the Spy Museum is not to be missed.

Glad to have you back in NYC.

m dot.

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Frumteacher April 28, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Today I commented on a comment at Miss Teacha’s blog, and this is what I wrote: “I understand that re-inacting the trenches can add something to the understanding of your students of the despair and the senselessness of this war, but I am not sure if I agree with the way you make students pretend to be a soldier and have them throw ammunition at each other. I don’t like the Holocaust museum for the same reason: it puts people in a historical situation, which not only might be a frightening experience for some of your students, but which also gives them the (wrong) impression that they now know ‘what it was like’.”

I can’t wait to read your upcoming post and hear what you thought about the museum. I’ve only read about it, and I must say the description of the museum kind of startled me.

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Miss Dimples April 28, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Soooo…you come to DC and don’t tell nobody? I was so looking forward to meeting the Mrs. You’re lucky I wasn’t in town. :-) How you do?

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