The Black Commentator: An independent weekly internet magazine dedicated to the movement for economic justice, social justice and peace - Providing commentary, analysis and investigations on issues affecting African Americans and the African world.
September 10 , 2009 - Issue 341

Historical Revisionism and
Selective Memory in ‘America’
Keeping It Real
By Larry Pinkney
B Editorial Board



To revise history is to distort it, which is precisely what the corporate media and so-called ‘educational’ institutions consistently practice in this nation.

One of the fundamental reasons why serious progressive political struggle is so difficult in the United States is the never-ending historical revisionism carried out on a daily basis by the media and institutions of mislearning, nation wide. ‘Americans’ are barraged with a litany of distortion, omission, and misinformation which is meant to manipulate the masses of people, and serves to do exactly that.

It has been correctly noted that “those who do not know their history are bound to repeat it.” In this nation however, being ignorant of our collective histories is practically a national past time, aided and abetted by the corporate media, including Hollywood mythology.

In the 21st century for example, the corporate media promotes the insidious myth that outspoken political activists such as Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were loved by the masses of people and supported by the U.S. Government, when in point of fact they were mocked, hated, and despised by the corporate media and a very huge segment of the U.S. citizenry, in addition to being the constant targets for discreditation and murder by the U.S. Government itself. Nonetheless, the media today engages in historical revisionism, i.e. outright lying about reality of what Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and many other such political and human rights activists (of all colors) endured due to their activism and political views. Thus, the U.S. public continues to bathe itself in a spurious selective memory that continues to perpetuate comfortable myth, versus reality or truth.

So it is today that political and human rights activists such as Reverend Edward Pinkney (no relation) of Benton Harbor, Michigan, Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney, etc. are despised by many, largely ignored or marginalized by the corporate media, and are the targets for mockery, derision, discreditation, imprisonment and/or worse by local, state, and national U.S. Government authorities and its corporate allies. This is why empire ‘America’ unendingly repeats the cycle of imperialistic wars abroad and corporate bloodsucking at home. This cycle can and must be broken, but this will not be done by the vampiric corporate elite (both White and Black) who in fact perpetuate it. It will only be done by everyday people who are fed up with being corporate chattel and political / military cannon fodder, and who are uncompromisingly organized to break this cycle once and for all.

It must be with determination and a deep sense of justice that we involve ourselves in this dialectical and protracted struggle to break this cycle. We cannot expect to be loved or even respected by those against whom we struggle or their mindless minions. We can however expect to fiercely fight for the ideals of a truly free society, unfettered by corporate domination, disinformation, and control.

Indeed, the only so-called “change we can believe in” is that which we bring about ourselves!

Onward my sisters and brothers! Onward….. Editorial Board Member, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book). Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.



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