I am absolutely thrilled to participate in Sunday Scribblings this week! The prompt this time is message. What message do you have to share? What message have you gotten? What message is life giving you? Did you listen? Did someone else? What's the message here?
Mr. Zinn, with a message so loud and clear, revered and loved by many, passed away recently. Articulate and earnest, he left behind volumes of language, reflections, and messages intended to stimulate critical thought and to promote autonomous ideas and analysis.
As a historian, for the people, an activist, an author, an intellect, and an Air Force bombardier in World War II, he was an advocate for civil rights and a voice for labor unions. In his time he gave much thought to the injustices of the legal system and helped organize anti-war efforts. His accomplishments exposed the true struggles of Native Americans against European defeat and expansion. He explored the accounts of slaves, women, and unionist. All of which he included in his influential and widely-acclaimed book, A People's History of the United States. With this history textbook, he allowed readers to recognize the flaws in historical narrative and he inched open a doorway to thought-provoking departures from the common history books. His messages provoked many to question a superior history of omission.
“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”
— Howard Zinn
Salutations and a goodbye to a man that devoted his life to acknowledging the whole of our social structure, to representing true accounts of life and action, and to recognizing submission as our greatest weakness. Thank you, Mr. Zinn, for your message and your greatest feat: fostering individual inquiry and activism.