Full Truth

I’ve learned to reject half truths. I will not accept them from myself or anyone else.

But, our culture tends to force half truths down our throat. A half truth I’m told to swallow and stomach is in the narratives spread far and wide about United States of America’s founding fathers. I’m told they sailed sailed the ocean blue. I’m told they took up arms to revolt against the tyranny. I’m told they set up institutions designed to protect and spread freedom, just to name some of their accomplishments. These people, nearly exclusively white and male, have their images on monuments, statues, and currency. Tales are told about their bravery, wisdom and strength.

These men were not gods; they were merely men. These men raped women and children, bought and sold humans, broke up families, subjugated women, and looted sacred lands, just to name some of their offenses. Our textbooks in school bask in their godlike qualities and accomplishments.

Look at how this text puts Thomas Jefferson, the slave owning author of The Declaration of Independence.

From Samuel Cohen, 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology, fifth edition. 2017.

Not one word is mentioned about terrible things he did to the ancestors enslaved people who read his work about freedom. Half truths. Their lives reveal godlike and devilish qualities. This is the whole truth which is all I will accept about this and other topics like it.

Ultimately, I look to tell the whole truth first to myself and then to others. I, you, we deserve that much.

Photo by John Bakator on Unsplash

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