Christchurch: What’s It Got to Do With Me?

History is more or less bunk.
— Henry Ford, Chicago Tribune, 1916

Stark violence is still the sire of all the world’s values.
— Robinson Jeffers, “The Bloody Sire”, 1941

America is Henry Ford country.
There’s nothing to “get” from history.
We don’t get the cycles of
History holding us hostage,
The cycles of conquest and decline,
Of rebellion and suppression.
How can you expect us
To understand and confront
Man’s intoxication with power.
The power to hate and harm,
Compelling us to do evil that
Incites evil in return?
From the bloody trenches of Verdun
To the bloody floor of Christchurch’s mosque,
During this century of relentless harm
Man has inflicted upon fellow man,
We have choked back the scream
Of humanist traditions within
Our civilization. Instead, we
Retreated into ourselves.

George Salamon lives in St. Louis, MO, where he did not grow up. Read other articles by George.