Hiding the truth

Every shameful practice, done by individuals or governments, is generally denied, hidden, explained away, recast as something else, blamed on “leakers” and vicious disloyalty. Often the exact opposite of what actually happened is promoted as the true story. This new false story can become a galvanizing battle cry, or the last stand of personal integrity (by the liar).

“Remember the Alamo!” is a great battle cry from American history, it mobilized the nation to fight a war against tyranny. In that story two hundred brave freedom loving Americans made a valiant stand, outnumbered ten to one by the Mexican tyrant’s army, and fought to the last man (except for Davy Crockett, who surrendered and was later barbarously executed by the Mexicans). The Americans who died at the Alamo mission became martyrs for the cause of a war against Mexico to conquer and seize a giant tract of Mexican land for the United States.

The real story of what actually led up to the doomed stand-off at the Alamo is a bit different from the myth. Americans were allowed by Mexico to settle in the northern Mexican area known as Texas. Mexico liked having a buffer against hostile Indian tribes, the Americans liked free land. They brought slaves, grew cotton, grew wealthy, everything was fine. Until 1830 when Mexico outlawed slavery. Americans reacted violently to this outrage against freedom. You see how this is going?

A full-blown war with Mexico a decade or so later, to the rallying cry of “Remember the Alamo!”, territory seized for the USA, slavery continues in Texas, Texas secedes from the union 15 years later and Texans fight the US government in their glorious ongoing campaign for freedom and human dignity.

I once loaned a guy a large sum of money, a short term loan he promised to repay within days. He didn’t pay it back, as promised, and I pressed him, by then needing the money myself. Unknown to me was that he’d borrowed money from all of his friends (most soon to become former friends), including a very wealthy guy I knew well. He explained that the rich guy insisted on being paid back first, and that he was working his way down the list, to me. I told him I’d talk to the rich guy, explain that I needed to be repaid before him. I was pretty sure the wealthy guy would understand my situation (it turned out he didn’t, being a wealthy guy).

The reaction of the guy who owed me the money should have told me the whole story about him. “I can’t believe you’d be such a rat, such a fucking pussy, to embarrass me like that. You have no respect for privacy, you have no character. What a fucking whiner you are. Do not talk to him about this, it’s between you and me. If you tell him, if you betray my trust, I’ll be really pissed off.”

Years later he would max out his dead father’s credit cards for cash, bringing his wife his “pay” every week, pretending for a year to be going to work every morning when he was actually living off his dead father’s credit cards. As you can imagine, he made every attempt to hide his scam, make it look like he was actually working. When it was discovered by his wife, he had many incoherent reasons for his criminality.

A true story can be talked about, learned from. A fake story, or a buried story, is a dead end. The details of what actually happened can be discussed and the issues they raise can be resolved. The details of a myth that never remotely happened lead only to ignorant opinions and stupid decisions based on the need to keep telling the lie.

Every abuser tells his victim a story that shifts blame from himself to the person abused. “If you didn’t have such a big fucking mouth, I wouldn’t have to shut it for you.” “You want to blame me, but you should look at your own infuriating behavior, then you’ll see who’s really at fault” and so on. As long as the true details of exactly what happened are never discussed, as long as I don’t mention an inconvenient detail like you bloodied my head with a stick because you flew into a rage, we don’t have a problem. “How is it my fault that you fell down and hit yourself in the face with the ground six or seven times? Fucking grow up…”

So we have pugnacious culture warriors, the Bill Barr types (fuck that fucking bagpiping fucking windbag), who smugly insist that angry blacks have nothing to be angry or even upset about, that statistically more unarmed whites than blacks are killed every year by cops, only a small handful of unarmed blacks are killed by police anyway, and whatever other freshly pulled out of the ass talking points his type can spout. “Why talk about police violence against those murderous fucking savages when they’re killing each other like the fucking animals they are? Let’s be honest, isn’t the real problem Blacks?”

In the telling of this type, American history has been one long, unblemished march toward a more perfect nation, based on the unalienable human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of wealth. To them a simple answer suffices for all the carping, unAmerican critics of how we, as a nation, conduct, and have conducted, ourselves. The self-evident truth that “all men are created equal” should be the end of this Communist propaganda about a country that supposedly oppressed Blacks (it was the Democrats!), making racist laws for a century after the end of slavery that shamed even Mr. Hitler’s top lawyers, slaughtered indigenous people (they attacked us first!), villainized immigrants (dirty!) marginalized women (“all MEN are created equal, duh!”) fought a series of wars on the shakiest of grounds (freedom on the march!), etc.

Now we have non-profit “think tanks”, funded by a handful of right wing billionaires, who, in order to mainstream a narrative more friendly to them, write model legislation to make history denial enforceable by law. If teachers are critical of some of the counterfactual claims of America’s most powerful, well, maybe those teachers shouldn’t be working with young people. Slavery ended 156 years ago, why are we still talking about slavery? The Nazis were defeated 76 years ago, why are we still talking about Nazism? Hitler wasn’t all bad anyway, he had a great economic plan while he was getting the German war economy up and running again, he was a brilliant job creator. Sure, he may have killed a few too many Jews, but look at them… they hated Hitler without mercy…

Now we read that wealthy right wingers, who are furious that the tax records of their fellow billionaires — showing many pay virtually no income tax– were illegally “leaked.” The scandal is not the often legal tax avoidance of the very wealthy and corporations, the scandal is that some piece of shit made it public. You cannot raise taxes on the rich. You also can’t give more money to the IRS for enforcement, to catch wealthy tax cheats and put more money into the public coffers because… that’s Communism, and partisan, racist fuckery, and… uh, it’s unAmerican to start witch hunts against innocent job creators, philanthropists, the best of the best… and… uh… [1]

The main thing is, if you have a story that makes you look bad, rewrite that shit to make yourself look good. The only alternative is the things you have carefully hidden coming to light, inducing shame, and anger, even violence (not to mention accountability, God forbid!), and who needs any of that shit?

Investigators who looked into the use of federal force against peaceful protesters right before Trump’s photo op at the church didn’t interview the man who ordered the use of force.
Nothing to fucking see here!

[1] from accursed Jeff Bezos’s mouthpiece:

Over the past decade, persistent budget cuts have hurt the IRS’s ability to conduct audits, including those targeting wealthy and large corporations. Tax experts have expressed alarm that the weakening of the IRS has helped fuel the increase in U.S. income inequality, in part because the rich have more tools to dodge the increasingly weak tax collection agency . . .

. . . “Reports of increased audits, enforcement and reporting requirements raise red flags with our members,” Kuhlman said. “We would urge and encourage instead increased compliance assistance, better customer service and remedying the processing delays.” . . .

. . . The groups leading the opposition to the IRS budget increase include those that have received funds from major conservative donors, including the Mercer Family Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation and Donors Trust, a donor-advised fund that gives to conservative and libertarian causes. One signatory of the letter, Phil Kerpen of American Commitment, worked for five years at Americans for Prosperity, the main political arm of the influential Koch network.


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