One tragic aspect of the atonement discourse is the indoctrination of young people to experience trauma over past events they could not possibly have experienced themselves. They would find it difficult or impossible to know anybody who did experience the trauma they are asked to share in.
When people talk about intergenerational trauma they are describing the same problem as memory implantation. The same cognitive process that underpins memory implantation lies at the heart of intergenerational trauma. In memory implantation experiments, researchers have been been able to make people believe that they remember an event that actually never happened. A concern is that, in therapy, what is thought to be repressed or recovered memories, are actually false memories that are implanted in the client’s mind by the therapist. If this implantation occurs early enough, the person will remember something that never happened for the rest of his life and be affected by it.
This is a big problem with antiracism teachings and trainings. The indoctrinators take otherwise emotionally and psychologically well-adjusted children and adults and socialize them to believe they are victims of wrongdoings that occurred decades and even centuries before they were born and then point the finger at other children and adults and mark them as the perpetrators of the wrongdoings that they could not possibly have perpetrated. Manufacturing trauma around past events is a technique of control that furthers political ends. This is a rampant practice in public schools that works under cover of social and emotional learning, or SEL. It will not have escaped you whose political agenda is at work here in these teachings.
The establishment media is busy today trying to establish a National Day of Mourning (CNN, NPR). They’re telling about the “real story of Thanksgiving” (NBC). This is a day of “truth-seeking” and “accountability-building” (Anchorage Daily News). Thanksgiving is not about bringing relatives around a table to strengthen the family bond, but a ceremonial marking another year of surviving colonialism. Robert Jensen’s suggestion that Thanksgiving should be a National Day of Atonement marked by self-reflective collective fasting is just more woke virtue signaling.
Atonement means to make reparations for a wrong or injury. In its religious sense it means confession of a sin. Those who will be asked to atone will be asked to atone for things done by other people a long time ago. In other words, it will be a ritual exercise for the woke religion. They ask us to atone for an original sin, namely the founding of the United States of America. As such, a National Day of Atonement would be a gesture to supernatural thinking that has no place in a rational and secular society.
Thanksgiving is about the living. It’s not about corpses except for the recently departed we remember together. Thanksgiving is about joining with friends and family and observing the value of those associations and relations that live in our lives. Those who want everybody to dwell in a narrative of collective guilt they show off wallowing in have way too much influence in today’s world. We need to be more forceful in our insistence that they sit the fuck down.