Estimated reading time: 8 minutes, 33 seconds

I don’t know how to gauge the impact of historical oppression over generations. And there is a lot of context lost when we generalize to a group like Germans. Some were complicit with Nazis, Manny were coerced, and some resisted. I am not confortable generalizing that oppression over a country that to outsiders like us when to Germans, there are many internal cultural differences (I shared an experience I had in a small German town that he could not relate with).

As a (white) American I’m ashamed of my ignorance of what has shown it’s ugly head since Ferguson. We elected a black Presudent, it seemed like more blacks were reaching middle class, more acceptance in pop culture. But that was a veneer; it feels to me that for many Americans racism runs as deep and strong as a time when we had segregation and hangings. And to me it’s not only the relatively recentNess of slavery as a “normal thing” (within the passing down of family stories) but the more heinous nature of that oppression- to treat other people as property. That means we have an incredible long ways to go, way beyond civil rights.

I can only directly (and not really fully) relate to being Jewish. My family escaped persecution in Europe in the early 1900s. There were, I was told, family of my grand parents generation who did not make it, were never heard of. I know this history, and it’s more recent in time than slavery, but the impact is to me not even close.

And I’m not one to roll out all of history, but for Jews it goes way way back farther than Nazi Germany, go back to the Spanish Inquisition, and back back — there’s been a lot. The rabid defense of Israel might be too simplistically summarized as the first time they were not living in someone else’s country for 1000s of years.

Yet I cannot condone the situation there for Palestinian people by Israel; the once oppressed now oppressing? That’s been on repeats back to ancient history.

I think it’s difficult to parse a lot of history and detail to a general statement of oppression impact. I totally agree it’s part of the empathy building stage to understand it better. But each time you peel a layer back to explore there are more nuanced layers revealed.

But I do appreciate your thinking this out in words. We need more of that.