Once upon a time, I was the recipient of a wacky Canadian email forward. I am not usually fortunate enough to get email forwards about all the things that are wrong with Canada from the caps lock perspective, so this was pretty exciting for me. It reminded me that we’re actually very similar in a lot of ways, and that it is so important to Get Educated!
Of course, folks are probably familiar with American-themed messages of the caps lock tune – “keep out the immigrants,” “make America strong again,” “return to this glorified past where we hadn’t invented penicillin yet but everything else was so awesome because there was still child labo(u)r and polio and mustard gas … oh wait.”
It’s not that we (and really, who is “we”?) haven’t got new diseases (and old ones, since people aren’t getting vaccinated, in a cunning move to protest the state’s control over their bodies and cause early, preventable deaths) and weapons of warfare to deal with, but it’s also not like we invented violence out of a peaceful history, or adopted capitalism yesterday, or needed to invent environmental legislation because the people who went before us did such a good job of conserving natural resources like trees and fish. Reading history backwards can leave you with a very rosy picture of how things went down.
In conclusion, there’s plenty of work to be done dispelling the myths people make up to alienate, marginalize, and ostracize others. Be prepared for Encounters With Ignorance, a new reality show that is actually just on reruns since forever.