I’ve heard it before:
“Move on, Barbara.”
“He’s dead. Get over it.”
I have another little neurotic obsession. When people challenge me, I get more bold. These same people don’t have the guts to come face to face with their own obsession – negating Ronald Reagan’s genocide against Indigenous people in the 1980s and his disastrous policies that have led us to climate change and collapse of our own middle class. So, why should we care today?
Ronald Reagan is still alive.
A living generation today enabled The Reagan Era to commit crimes against humanity, including slaughtering of indigenous people in Central America, the Mayans of Guatemala less than 40 years ago. Today both the GOP and Democrats continue to hail Reagan. And our society refuses to acknowledge the responsibility while it enables propaganda and hides truth.
I wrote a memoir “Redemption, How Ronald Reagan Nearly Ruined My Life” to share the forgotten story of the 1981 National Strike against Reagan, another bit of history that is part of the dark shadow of our collective memory, when I was a 13 year old child waiting for the FBI to arrest my father, a union member, with absolute fear. A union of air traffic controllers and their families stood for honesty and fair wages, risking everything. I can understand the fear immigrants live with daily, those who have run from the horror we actually created in their own countries.
Four years ago I handed Nancy Pelosi a copy of my book and her face turned white as she said “Oh, my god.” She ran quickly away from me, disappearing into the crowd. I didn’t understand her reaction until I returned home and did some research, discovering to my shock that Pelosi actually and willingly put up the President Ronald Reagan statue in Washington DC to represent my very state of California. She had removed the coveted abolitionist Starr King without any opportunity for public comments. Should it be a surprise that Junipera Serra is the other statue that represents California? What’s more, Governor Newsom created a Ronald Reagan Day on February 5, an act that essentially endorses the crimes Reagan committed against Indigenous people.
It is high time to talk about Central America and our war crimes in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan. It’s time for reconciliation and to recognize their plight today is directly related to our stand with their 1% oligharcy during the uprising of the Mayans, those who wanted to stand their ground for dignity and respect after being treated like agricultural slaves. We had supported Guatemalan President Rios Montt who was later charged with genocide after slaughtering men, women and children. That’s blood on our hands today.
We don’t have to look back at 100 years ago to witness the grotesque atrocities against Indigenous people. We are likely walking past a people of a generation each and every day, those who allowed Reagan to commit the crimes of some of the most vulneralbe people, less than 40 years ago.
Our country has an opportunity to give back to the people of Central America and to ensure the people receive the dignity they are entitled to. And it is high time for a generation in our country to apologize for the most grotesque lies and propaganda that the rest of us have been fed ignoring this vital history, which influenced today’s with immigration, crime and poverty.