Letter: Unity requires accountability

Published: 2/14/2021 12:01:07 AM

Bruce Springsteen’s kumbaya Superbowl Jeep ad for unity in the “Re-United States of America” left me flat.

We have 50 states not 48. Want to unify the country? Start counting all the states. The actual center of the U.S. is in South Dakota, near the Montana state line. Take it from a geographer.

The current religious make-up in America is about 35% non-Christian, non-religious. So even though the chapel is “open to everyone,” as an avowed atheist I have never set foot in it despite standing at that very spot. Do you think any other non-Christian is likely to enter that chapel?

A little history. “In 1829, the Delawares were the first Indians to sign a treaty giving them land in what was to become Kansas. After 1830, the Cherokee, Chippewa, Delaware, Iowa, Iroquois, Kaskaskia, Kickapoo, Munsee, Ottawa, Peoria, Piankashaw, Potawatomi, Quapaw, Sac and Fox, Shawnee, Stockbridge, Wea and Wyandot lived there. Although these emigrant tribes were assured by the federal government that they would not be moved again, Kansas Territory opened for settlement in 1854 and once again forced the removal of native peoples. Many more settlers moved into Kansas Territory after the Civil War, accelerating the movement of Indians off the land. This was displacement by white Christians citing a “Manifest Destiny” – Christian Nationalism. Placing a Christian chapel there has no purpose other than staking a territorial claim to a religious (white) supremacy. Instead of a white Christian chapel at that spot, why not a sweat lodge or longhouse?”

There can be no unity until there has been accountability. As of now, half of us don’t believe the other half. How does wishing for unity without recognizing a common reality work? Ignoring facts and history will only get us further from each other.

JACK SHIELDS

Penacook




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