9th Circuit Court American Idol A People's History of the United States Barack Obama Beacon Broadside Beacon Press Belvie Rooks Bill Clinton Bill O'Reilly Brown University Bruce Springsteen Cape Coast Center for Justice & Peacebuilding Center for Justice and Peacebuilding Children's Defense Fund Civil Rights CNN Coming to the Table Dr. Martin Luther King Eastern Mennonite University Facebook Gather at the Table Ghana Goodwin Liu Inheriting the Trade James DeWolf Perry Jim Crow Jon Stewart Jr. Melissa Harris-Perry Michelle Obama MSNBC NPR Our Black Ancestry PBS President Obama Sharon Leslie Morgan Sharon Morgan STAR Summer Peacebuilding Institute Susan Hutchison The Daily Show Thomas Jefferson Traces of the Trade Trayvon Martin
Most recent posts
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
Yes, Bill O’Reilly, there IS such a thing as White Privilege
Satisfaction from Physical Things
Remembering Wiletta Woodson with a big smile on my face
My Salinger Year – a book review
Hangin’ out with Robin Williams at the Springsteen gig
A Message for Peace
Sometimes my life gets in the way of my life
Most recent comments
Yes, Bill O’Reilly, there IS such a thing as White Privilege (2)
robbyn swinton: If theres one thing the African American community wants the world to...
iain mclennon: People have forgotten the ability to distinguish between entertainers...
Satisfaction from Physical Things (3)
Faith Gilpin: Hey, Tom, I GET what you're saying! I, too, get great satisfaction...
William Terrall: Building things … that I can see the lasting impression, of...
Rose: I 'm a writer too, that prefer not to read fiction. Which i consider is a...
Appearances by Tom
Author Stuff, Writing
Coming to the Table
Gather at the Table
Inheriting the Trade
Race, Oppression, Privilege
Traces of the Trade
Trauma and Healing
Blog: Here's what Tom says about that!
The Immeasurable Distance Between UsPosted July 5th, 2012 by Tom
Gloria Steinem once said, “the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” She is certainly correct.
I’ve researched my books, traveled my country and overseas, and pondered the United States as a beacon of hope and freedom in the world. How does this image jive with our history of annihilating indigenous people and enslaving African people? In more recent times, how does this image jive with our last President invading another country under false pretenses and our current President having a “secret kill list”? I am certain that drone attacks, which have killed many civilians in addition to their intended targets, create more enemies than they destroy; that they help foster sympathy for, and increase membership in, terrorist organizations. It seems to me that the most effective way to stop terrorism is to stop causing harm in other countries.
I want to believe that my country always stands for freedom and justice, but it too often hasn’t and doesn’t. So the 4th of July is problematic for me. When I responded to a request from my publisher’s blog to write about what I would be celebrating on the 4th, my answer was not the same as it was 12 years ago.
The truth has pissed me off. It has saddened me. It has strengthened my resolve to write more, speak out more, and try to make a positive difference in a violent world.
You can read what I wrote, as well as what my writing partner in Gather at the Table, Sharon Morgan, wrote in July 4th and “The Immeasurable Distance Between Us”.