Interest on the sums awarded pursuant to this subsection shall accrue at the legal rate from the date on which suit was filed. If you have not done so already, you must surrender immediately to the insert name of local law enforcement agency all firearms and ammunition that you own in your custody, control, or possession and any license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued to you under s.
You may not have in your custody or control, or purchase, possess, receive, or attempt to purchase or receive, a firearm or ammunition while this order is in effect. You have the right to request one hearing to vacate this order, starting after the date of the issuance of this order, and to request another hearing after every extension of the order, if any. You may seek the advice of an attorney as to any matter connected with this order. You are required to surrender all firearms and ammunition that you own in your custody, control, or possession.
You must surrender immediately to the insert name of local law enforcement agency all firearms and ammunition in your custody, control, or possession and any license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued to you under s. A hearing will be held on the date and at the time noted above to determine if a risk protection order should be issued. Failure to appear at that hearing may result in a court issuing an order against you which is valid for 1 year.
The process established by s. The 48 hours may be extended by an order issued by the Governor. A self-defense chemical spray. A nonlethal stun gun or dart-firing stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon or device that is designed solely for defensive purposes. However, nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the right of a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer to carry a concealed firearm off duty as a private citizen under the exemption provided in s.
The appointing or employing agency or department of an officer carrying a concealed firearm as a private citizen under s. Nothing herein limits the authority of the appointing or employing agency or department from establishing policies limiting law enforcement officers or correctional officers from carrying concealed firearms during off-duty hours in their capacity as appointees or employees of the agency or department. It is not a violation of this section for a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. Each such license must bear a color photograph of the licensee.
For the purposes of this section, concealed weapons or concealed firearms are defined as a handgun, electronic weapon or device, tear gas gun, knife, or billie, but the term does not include a machine gun as defined in s. Such licenses shall be valid throughout the state for a period of 7 years from the date of issuance. Any person in compliance with the terms of such license may carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm notwithstanding the provisions of s. The licensee must carry the license, together with valid identification, at all times in which the licensee is in actual possession of a concealed weapon or firearm and must display both the license and proper identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer.
Found guilty of a crime under the provisions of chapter or similar laws of any other state relating to controlled substances within a 3-year period immediately preceding the date on which the application is submitted; or. Committed for the abuse of a controlled substance under chapter or under the provisions of former chapter or similar laws of any other state. An applicant who has been granted relief from firearms disabilities pursuant to s.
It shall be presumed that an applicant chronically and habitually uses alcoholic beverages or other substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired if the applicant has been convicted under s. Completion of any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or a similar agency of another state;. Completion of any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course;. Completion of any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement agency, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school, using instructors certified by the National Rifle Association, Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;.
Completion of any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of a law enforcement agency or security enforcement;. Presents evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or military service;. Is licensed or has been licensed to carry a firearm in this state or a county or municipality of this state, unless such license has been revoked for cause; or.
Completion of any firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor;. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall revoke a license if the licensee has been found guilty of, had adjudication of guilt withheld for, or had imposition of sentence suspended for one or more crimes of violence within the preceding 3 years.
The department shall, upon notification by a law enforcement agency, a court, or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and subsequent written verification, suspend a license or the processing of an application for a license if the licensee or applicant is arrested or formally charged with a crime that would disqualify such person from having a license under this section, until final disposition of the case.
The department shall suspend a license or the processing of an application for a license if the licensee or applicant is issued an injunction that restrains the licensee or applicant from committing acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violence. The cost of processing fingerprints as required in paragraph c shall be borne by the applicant. However, an individual holding an active certification from the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission as a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer as defined in s.
If such individual wishes to receive a concealed weapon or firearm license, he or she is exempt from the background investigation and all background investigation fees but must pay the current license fees regularly required to be paid by nonexempt applicants. Further, a law enforcement officer, a correctional officer, or a correctional probation officer as defined in s.
Charges for fingerprint services under this paragraph are not subject to the sales tax on fingerprint services imposed in s. The cost of processing such fingerprints shall be payable to the Department of Law Enforcement by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Issue the license; or. Deny the application based solely on the ground that the applicant fails to qualify under the criteria listed in subsection 2 or subsection 3. If the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services denies the application, it shall notify the applicant in writing, stating the ground for denial and informing the applicant of any right to a hearing pursuant to chapter In the event the department receives criminal history information with no final disposition on a crime which may disqualify the applicant, the time limitation prescribed by this paragraph may be suspended until receipt of the final disposition or proof of restoration of civil and firearm rights.
Consular security official licenses shall be valid for 1 year and may be renewed upon completion of the application process as provided in this section. The licensee must renew his or her license on or before the expiration date by filing with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the renewal form containing an affidavit submitted under oath and under penalty of perjury stating that the licensee remains qualified pursuant to the criteria specified in subsections 2 and 3 , a color photograph as specified in paragraph 5 e , and the required renewal fee.
Out-of-state residents must also submit a complete set of fingerprints and fingerprint processing fee. The license shall be renewed upon receipt of the completed renewal form, color photograph, appropriate payment of fees, and, if applicable, fingerprints. A license may not be renewed days or more after its expiration date, and such a license is deemed to be permanently expired. A person whose license has been permanently expired may reapply for licensure; however, an application for licensure and fees under subsection 5 must be submitted, and a background investigation shall be conducted pursuant to this section.
A person who knowingly files false information under this subsection is subject to criminal prosecution under s. If the license renewal requirements in paragraph a are met within the day extension period, the servicemember may not be charged any additional costs, such as, but not limited to, late fees or delinquency fees, above the normal license fees.
Any place of nuisance as defined in s. Any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station;. Any detention facility, prison, or jail;. Any courthouse;. Any courtroom, except that nothing in this section would preclude a judge from carrying a concealed weapon or determining who will carry a concealed weapon in his or her courtroom;. Any polling place;. Any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district;.
Prayer of Protection- The Full Armor of God
Any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof;. Any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms;. Any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building;. Any career center;. Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose;. Any college or university facility unless the licensee is a registered student, employee, or faculty member of such college or university and the weapon is a stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon or device designed solely for defensive purposes and the weapon does not fire a dart or projectile;.
The inside of the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport, provided that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal, which firearm is encased for shipment for purposes of checking such firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft; or.
Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law. All revenues collected, less those costs determined by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to be nonrecurring or one-time costs, shall be deferred over the 7-year licensure period. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall implement and administer the provisions of this section. The Legislature does not delegate to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the authority to regulate or restrict the issuing of licenses provided for in this section, beyond those provisions contained in this section.
Subjective or arbitrary actions or rules which encumber the issuing process by placing burdens on the applicant beyond those sworn statements and specified documents detailed in this section or which create restrictions beyond those specified in this section are in conflict with the intent of this section and are prohibited. This section shall be liberally construed to carry out the constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense.
This section is supplemental and additional to existing rights to bear arms, and nothing in this section shall impair or diminish such rights. I of the State Constitution. This exemption applies to such information held by the division before, on, or after the effective date of this section. This exemption applies to such information held by the tax collector before, on, or after the effective date of this subsection. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall issue a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm to any such justice or judge upon demonstration of competence of the justice or judge pursuant to s.
Charges for fingerprint services under this subsection are not subject to the sales tax on fingerprint services imposed in s. VIII of the State Constitution, to accept applications on behalf of the division for concealed weapon or firearm licenses. Such appointment shall be for specified locations that will best serve the public interest and convenience in applying for these licenses. A violation of this paragraph is subject to s. Obtained a completed form from the potential buyer or transferee, which form shall have been promulgated by the Department of Law Enforcement and provided by the licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer, which shall include the name, date of birth, gender, race, and social security number or other identification number of such potential buyer or transferee and has inspected proper identification including an identification containing a photograph of the potential buyer or transferee.
Collected a fee from the potential buyer for processing the criminal history check of the potential buyer. The Department of Law Enforcement may reduce, or suspend collection of, the fee to reflect payment received from the Federal Government applied to the cost of maintaining the criminal history check system established by this section as a means of facilitating or supplementing the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress
The Department of Law Enforcement shall, by rule, establish procedures for the fees to be transmitted by the licensee to the Department of Law Enforcement. Such procedures must provide that fees may be paid or transmitted by electronic means, including, but not limited to, debit cards, credit cards, or electronic funds transfers. All such fees shall be deposited into the Department of Law Enforcement Operating Trust Fund, but shall be segregated from all other funds deposited into such trust fund and must be accounted for separately. Such segregated funds must not be used for any purpose other than the operation of the criminal history checks required by this section.
The Department of Law Enforcement, each year before February 1, shall make a full accounting of all receipts and expenditures of such funds to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the majority and minority leaders of each house of the Legislature, and the chairs of the appropriations committees of each house of the Legislature.
Requested, by means of a toll-free telephone call or other electronic means, the Department of Law Enforcement to conduct a check of the information as reported and reflected in the Florida Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center systems as of the date of the request. Received a unique approval number for that inquiry from the Department of Law Enforcement, and recorded the date and such number on the consent form. Has been convicted of a felony and is prohibited from receipt or possession of a firearm pursuant to s. Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, and therefore is prohibited from purchasing a firearm;.
Has had adjudication of guilt withheld or imposition of sentence suspended on any felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence unless 3 years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled or expunction has occurred; or. Has been adjudicated mentally defective or has been committed to a mental institution by a court or as provided in sub-sub-subparagraph b.
II , and as a result is prohibited by state or federal law from purchasing a firearm. The phrase includes a judicial finding of incapacity under s. The phrase includes involuntary inpatient placement as defined in s. II , reviewed the record of the finding, certification, notice, and written acknowledgment classifying the person as an imminent danger to himself or herself or others, and ordered that such record be submitted to the department.
In order to check for these conditions, the department shall compile and maintain an automated database of persons who are prohibited from purchasing a firearm based on court records of adjudications of mental defectiveness or commitments to mental institutions. Reports shall be submitted in an automated format. The reports must, at a minimum, include the name, along with any known alias or former name, the sex, and the date of birth of the subject.
No fee shall be charged for the filing under this sub-sub-subparagraph. The clerk must present the records to a judge or magistrate within 24 hours after receipt of the records. A judge or magistrate is required and has the lawful authority to review the records ex parte and, if the judge or magistrate determines that the record supports the classifying of the person as an imminent danger to himself or herself or others, to order that the record be submitted to the department. If a judge or magistrate orders the submittal of the record to the department, the record must be submitted to the department within 24 hours.
A person who has been adjudicated mentally defective or committed to a mental institution, as those terms are defined in this paragraph, may petition the court that made the adjudication or commitment, or the court that ordered that the record be submitted to the department pursuant to sub-sub-subparagraph c. II , for relief from the firearm disabilities imposed by such adjudication or commitment.
A copy of the petition shall be served on the state attorney for the county in which the person was adjudicated or committed. The state attorney may object to and present evidence relevant to the relief sought by the petition. The hearing on the petition may be open or closed as the petitioner may choose. The petitioner may present evidence and subpoena witnesses to appear at the hearing on the petition. The petitioner may confront and cross-examine witnesses called by the state attorney. A record of the hearing shall be made by a certified court reporter or by court-approved electronic means.
The court shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law on the issues before it and issue a final order. If the final order denies relief, the petitioner may not petition again for relief from firearm disabilities until 1 year after the date of the final order. The petitioner may seek judicial review of a final order denying relief in the district court of appeal having jurisdiction over the court that issued the order.
The review shall be conducted de novo. Relief from a firearm disability granted under this sub-subparagraph has no effect on the loss of civil rights, including firearm rights, for any reason other than the particular adjudication of mental defectiveness or commitment to a mental institution from which relief is granted. Upon receipt of proper notice of relief from firearm disabilities granted under sub-subparagraph d. The department is authorized to disclose data collected pursuant to this subparagraph to agencies of the Federal Government and other states for use exclusively in determining the lawfulness of a firearm sale or transfer.
The department is also authorized to disclose this data to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for purposes of determining eligibility for issuance of a concealed weapons or concealed firearms license and for determining whether a basis exists for revoking or suspending a previously issued license pursuant to s. When a potential buyer or transferee appeals a nonapproval based on these records, the clerks of court and mental institutions shall, upon request by the department, provide information to help determine whether the potential buyer or transferee is the same person as the subject of the record.
Photographs and any other data that could confirm or negate identity must be made available to the department for such purposes, notwithstanding any other provision of state law to the contrary. Any such information that is made confidential or exempt from disclosure by law shall retain such confidential or exempt status when transferred to the department. Review any records available to it to determine whether the potential buyer or transferee has been indicted or has had an information filed against her or him for an offense that is a felony under either state or federal law, or, as mandated by federal law, has had an injunction for protection against domestic violence entered against the potential buyer or transferee under s.
Criminal anarchy under ss. Extortion under s. Explosives violations under s. Controlled substances violations under chapter Resisting an officer with violence under s. Weapons and firearms violations under this chapter. Treason under s. Columbus's report to the Court in Madrid was extravagant. He insisted he had reached Asia it was Cuba and an island off the coast of China Hispaniola. His descriptions were part fact, part fiction:. The Indians, Columbus reported, "are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it.
When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone Because of Columbus's exaggerated report and promises, his second expedition was given seventeen ships and more than twelve hundred men. The aim was clear: slaves and gold. They went from island to island in the Caribbean, taking Indians as captives. But as word spread of the Europeans' intent they found more and more empty villages. On Haiti, they found that the sailors left behind at Fort Navidad had been killed in a battle with the Indians, after they had roamed the island in gangs looking for gold, taking women and children as slaves for sex and labor.
Now, from his base on Haiti, Columbus sent expedition after expedition into the interior. They found no gold fields, but had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividend. In the year , they went on a great slave raid, rounded up fifteen hundred Arawak men, women, and children, put them in pens guarded by Spaniards and dogs, then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships. Of those five hundred, two hundred died en route.
The rest arrived alive in Spain and were put up for sale by the archdeacon of the town, who reported that, although the slaves were "naked as the day they were born," they showed "no more embarrassment than animals. But too many of the slaves died in captivity. And so Columbus, desperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months.
When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death. The Indians had been given an impossible task. The only gold around was bits of dust garnered from the streams. So they fled, were hunted down with dogs, and were killed.
Trying to put together an army of resistance, the Arawaks faced Spaniards who had armor, muskets, swords, horses. When the Spaniards took prisoners they hanged them or burned them to death. Among the Arawaks, mass suicides began, with cassava poison. Infants were killed to save them from the Spaniards. In two years, through murder, mutilation, or suicide, half of the , Indians on Haiti were dead. When it became clear that there was no gold left, the Indians were taken as slave labor on huge estates, known later as encomiendas.
They were worked at a ferocious pace, and died by the thousands. By the year , there were perhaps fifty thousand Indians left. By , there were five hundred.
A report of the year shows none of the original Arawaks or their descendants left on the island. The chief source-and, on many matters the only source-of information about what happened on the islands after Columbus came is Bartolome de las Casas, who, as a young priest, participated in the conquest of Cuba. For a time he owned a plantation on which Indian slaves worked, but he gave that up and became a vehement critic of Spanish cruelty. Las Casas transcribed Columbus's journal and, in his fifties, began a multivolume History of the Indies.
In it, he describes the Indians. They are agile, he says, and can swim long distances, especially the women. They are not completely peaceful, because they do battle from time to time with other tribes, but their casualties seem small, and they fight when they are individually moved to do so because of some grievance, not on the orders of captains or kings. Women in Indian society were treated so well as to startle the Spaniards. Las Casas describes sex relations:. The Indians, Las Casas says, have no religion, at least no temples.
They live in. In Book Two of his History of the Indies , Las Casas who at first urged replacing Indians by black slaves, thinking they were stronger and would survive, but later relented when he saw the effects on blacks tells about the treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards.
It is a unique account and deserves to be quoted at length:. Las Casas tells how the Spaniards "grew more conceited every day" and after a while refused to walk any distance. They "rode the backs of Indians if they were in a hurry" or were carried on hammocks by Indians running in relays. Total control led to total cruelty. The Spaniards "thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades.
The Indians' attempts to defend themselves failed. And when they ran off into the hills they were found and killed. So, Las Casas reports, "they suffered and died in the mines and other labors in desperate silence, knowing not a soul in the world to whom they could turn for help. After each six or eight months' work in the mines, which was the time required of each crew to dig enough gold for melting, up to a third of the men died. While the men were sent many miles away to the mines, the wives remained to work the soil, forced into the excruciating job of digging and making thousands of hills for cassava plants.
When he arrived on Hispaniola in , Las Casas says, "there were 60, people living on this island, including the Indians; so that from to , over three million people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it Thus began the history, five hundred years ago, of the European invasion of the Indian settlements in the Americas.
That beginning, when you read Las Casas-even if his figures are exaggerations were there 3 million Indians to begin with, as he says, or less than a million, as some historians have calculated, or 8 million as others now believe? When we read the history books given to children in the United States, it all starts with heroic adventure-there is no bloodshed-and Columbus Day is a celebration.
Past the elementary and high schools, there are only occasional hints of something else. Samuel Eliot Morison, the Harvard historian, was the most distinguished writer on Columbus, the author of a multivolume biography, and was himself a sailor who retraced Columbus's route across the Atlantic. In his popular book Christopher Columbus, Mariner, written in , he tells about the enslavement and the killing: "The cruel policy initiated by Columbus and pursued by his successors resulted in complete genocide.
That is on one page, buried halfway into the telling of a grand romance. In the book's last paragraph, Morison sums up his view of Columbus:. One can lie outright about the past. Or one can omit facts which might lead to unacceptable conclusions. Morison does neither. He refuses to lie about Columbus. He does not omit the story of mass murder; indeed he describes it with the harshest word one can use: genocide.
But he does something else-he mentions the truth quickly and goes on to other things more important to him. Outright lying or quiet omission takes the risk of discovery which, when made, might arouse the reader to rebel against the writer. To state the facts, however, and then to bury them in a mass of other information is to say to the reader with a certain infectious calm: yes, mass murder took place, but it's not that important-it should weigh very little in our final judgments; it should affect very little what we do in the world.
It is not that the historian can avoid emphasis of some facts and not of others. This is as natural to him as to the mapmaker, who, in order to produce a usable drawing for practical purposes, must first flatten and distort the shape of the earth, then choose out of the bewildering mass of geographic information those things needed for the purpose of this or that particular map. My argument cannot be against selection, simplification, emphasis, which are inevitable for both cartographers and historians. But the map-maker's distortion is a technical necessity for a common purpose shared by all people who need maps.
The historian's distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports whether the historian means to or not some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual.
Furthermore, this ideological interest is not openly expressed in the way a mapmaker's technical interest is obvious "This is a Mercator projection for long-range navigation-for short-range, you'd better use a different projection". No, it is presented as if all readers of history had a common interest which historians serve to the best of their ability. This is not intentional deception; the historian has been trained in a society in which education and knowledge are put forward as technical problems of excellence and not as tools for contending social classes, races, nations.
To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all -that is still with us.
One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth. We have learned to give them exactly the same proportion of attention that teachers and writers often give them in the most respectable of classrooms and textbooks.
This learned sense of moral proportion, coming from the apparent objectivity of the scholar, is accepted more easily than when it comes from politicians at press conferences. It is therefore more deadly. The treatment of heroes Columbus and their victims the Arawaks -the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders.
It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they-the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court-represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as "the United States," subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a "national interest" represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.
From his standpoint, the "peace" that Europe had before the French Revolution was "restored" by the diplomacy of a few national leaders. But for factory workers in England, farmers in France, colored people in Asia and Africa, women and children everywhere except in the upper classes, it was a world of conquest, violence, hunger, exploitation-a world not restored but disintegrated.
My viewpoint, in telling the history of the United States, is different: that we must not accept the memory of states as our own. Nations are not communities and never have been, The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest sometimes exploding, most often repressed between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex.
And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners. Thus, in that inevitable taking of sides which comes from selection and emphasis in history, I prefer to try to tell the story of the discovery of America from the viewpoint of the Arawaks, of the Constitution from the standpoint of the slaves, of Andrew Jackson as seen by the Cherokees, of the Civil War as seen by the New York Irish, of the Mexican war as seen by the deserting soldiers of Scott's army, of the rise of industrialism as seen by the young women in the Lowell textile mills, of the Spanish-American war as seen by the Cubans, the conquest of the Philippines as seen by black soldiers on Luzon, the Gilded Age as seen by southern farmers, the First World War as seen by socialists, the Second World War as seen by pacifists, the New Deal as seen by blacks in Harlem, the postwar American empire as seen by peons in Latin America.
And so on, to the limited extent that any one person, however he or she strains, can "see" history from the standpoint of others. My point is not to grieve for the victims and denounce the executioners. Those tears, that anger, cast into the past, deplete our moral energy for the present. And the lines are not always clear. In the long run, the oppressor is also a victim.
In the short run and so far, human history has consisted only of short runs , the victims, themselves desperate and tainted with the culture that oppresses them, turn on other victims. Still, understanding the complexities, this book will be skeptical of governments and their attempts, through politics and culture, to ensnare ordinary people in a giant web of nationhood pretending to a common interest.
I will try not to overlook the cruelties that victims inflict on one another as they are jammed together in the boxcars of the system. I don't want to romanticize them. But I do remember in rough paraphrase a statement I once read: "The cry of the poor is not always just, but if you don't listen to it, you will never know what justice is. I don't want to invent victories for people's movements. But to think that history-writing must aim simply to recapitulate the failures that dominate the past is to make historians collaborators in an endless cycle of defeat.
If history is to be creative, to anticipate a possible future without denying the past, it should, I believe, emphasize new possibilities by disclosing those hidden episodes of the past when, even if in brief flashes, people showed their ability to resist, to join together, occasionally to win. I am supposing, or perhaps only hoping, that our future may be found in the past's fugitive moments of compassion rather than in its solid centuries of warfare.
That, being as blunt as I can, is my approach to the history of the United States. The reader may as well know that before going on. It built enormous constructions from stone tools and human labor, developed a writing system and a priesthood. It also engaged in let us not overlook this the ritual killing of thousands of people as sacrifices to the gods. The cruelty of the Aztecs, however, did not erase a certain innocence, and when a Spanish armada appeared at Vera Cruz, and a bearded white man came ashore, with strange beasts horses , clad in iron, it was thought that he was the legendary Aztec man-god who had died three hundred years before, with the promise to return-the mysterious Quetzalcoatl.
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