Voices on the Wind Voices of Protest
A sluggish truth by Mark Vogel It has been estimated that at least a thousand Indians were sold into slavery during King Philip’s War, with over half the slaves coming from Plymouth Colony alone. Nathaniel Philbrick in Mayflower. The history of any land layers stories like sediment for contemporary eyes blinking open or shut, even when the original actors hid behind words, until descendants see through fog how desire channeled expediency, how never admitted butchery is not new at all. How an oozing saga could seem real and true, while remaining mostly very wrong. Like when the tableau so concrete cannot be denied— how profit-fueled New England leaders loaded humans as merchandise to sell, to rid the bloody land of prisoners. How the stench of evil drifts, revealing how New World conquerors lived a hundred year pattern with no noble justification, as the evidence of slaughter lingered alongside never admitted rape and murder, the ravages of cruel European disease. In our contemporary warp we can be convinced we are enlightened when we watch the documentary about Indians stumbling into death. When we hint to third graders that ancestors’ pious pilgrim presence poisoned the land. We can be twisted when we still believe the best, and sing over and over about mythic freedom, even as we are reluctant to admit how religion has given permission to wound and defile even women and children. In the struggle to reconcile blood-soaked trails and explain how stories can be beautiful and soiled, we dance forward and back, fast and slow— still confused and violent as hell.