Out of all of the relics of the American past, the most misunderstood is the plantation. In a symbolic way, plantations represent the institution of slavery and race in a contemporary sense. Plantations still exist-not just in the mind, but as physical landscapes. Not too many people see them, and when viewed they are ignored or serve some self-interest. A situation the descendants of those who worked on those plantations can relate to.

For the most part we gloss over what happened on those plantations. Massive human rights violations: torture, rape, and murder were routinely committed in the name of the god Mammon. After a bloody war to free the slaves a historical narrative emerged that portrayed plantation life as a vacation paradise. The culture went a step further by making movies glamorizing the southern redeemer cause, thus revising history. It should come as no surprise that differing opinions on what really happened because of conflicting stories about the past.

What are plantations used for today? They are used for weddings, poetry summits, and other entertainment purposes. Since the land is just sitting there it should be used as some profit making venture. In fact, why not bring back those vagrancy laws that put people in jail for minor crimes? We can take law and order a step further and bring back chain gangs. This would teach those people the value of work. Just think of the economic opportunities; we can have cheap labor, turnover will not be a problem due to vagrancy laws, and privatization will make everything more efficient. This is a plan that will truly make America great again.

When talking about the holocaust people often say never again. In dealing with America’s racial past we say; forget about it or get over it. Symbolically, in one way or another the status quo has been preserved. This is because we ignore the past and pretend it has no relevancy to today. If we act now, we can reconcile history to make a better future for everyone.


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