Without question, the policies and practices of the past still haunt us today. I continue to be horrified at the historical events that were left out of my history classes in my formal education. Growing up in the south, it was only after moving to the north that I realized the biases that had been presented to me as facts in my American History classes, particularly around the cause(s) of the Civil War. I don't think my teachers were coming from a place of personal prejudice, but they were also products of their upbringing. It has been a good lesson for me on the impacts of propaganda and of the importance of knowledge. It seems we have to intentionally seek information from a variety of sources in order to get close to a "full" picture, and if people don't know or care to do that, we will continue to live under systemic discriminatory practices and perhaps develop new ones in the future.
In these particular episodes, I was most impacted by the video on racism against Native Americans. My MIL was raised on a reservation and lived there until she married. My FIL openly speaks about the racism faced by the tribe from the surrounding community. However, they both act and speak in ways supportive of institutional racism against blacks. I wish they didn't feel like there was an either/or regarding who has been/is currently mistreated by our country.
This specific video also struck an emotional chord for me related to adoption. I have an adopted child, and while he is not of Native ancestry, we did review profiles of birth mothers who were Native Americans and consequently had ICWA protections. My FIL used to warn us against those because of stories he'd heard of the tribes reclaiming the children and taking them away from their adoptive families years later. Hearing about ICWA in the context of the forced and coerced Indian adoptions, I am struck at the dissonance of his support for Native populations in general but opposition to ICWA. I am now thankful for the protections that ICWA provides to tribal communities. And although not related to ICWA, I hope my adopted son does not feel that something in his life's puzzle is missing.