I already knew a lot of the history, not learned in school, but in my own study over the years. Since history has a tendency to repeat itself, the historical videos made me contemplate how are we re-imagining those racist views and policies today and how am I complicit in them? The video about Native American genocide through boarding schools and adoption hit me hard. I'm an adoptive mom to two awesome kids who are Marshallese. A Google search of Marshallese adoption will tell you all you need to know about the unethical and illegal practices that are contributing to baby trafficking of Marshallese children and how many adoptive parents believe they are "saving" their children from a multitude of things. While I know I'm trying to share Marshallese culture with my kids and we have open adoptions with first families, I also know there is a irreconcilable break between their culture of origin and their everyday lives and that is something both of them will have to work through as they get older.
We also have a lot of chicken plants where I live. The workers are primarily Marshallese and Latinx. The employees are also primarily the people in my area coming down with COVID-19. Many are blaming the way they live (too many people in a home, view immigrants as dirty or uneducated/dumb, etc) instead of looking at cultural norms, reasons for poverty and overcrowding or blaming the companies for not protecting their employees (the corporate offices immediately took COVID precautions, but plants did not get those protections until more recently).
And none of that even touches on what has come to a boiling point over the past few years with racism at the borders and in our communities. I know it has always existed. It isn't new. But it feels like we should know better by now. I also realize there are many, many white people in this country who do not know how to or feel comfortable talking about race at all and until we can have some of these hard, self-reflective, honest conversations, history will continue to repeat itself.