The year of forgetting

Todd Nesbitt

Chair of Communication and Mass Media Department

It was a year of forgetting.

It was a year of forgetting that countless numbers of our parents, and our grandparents, and our great-grandparents, once fled their homes due to war, persecution, and totalitarianism.

Todd Nesbitt

Chair of Communication and Mass Media 

It was a year of forgetting that beneath the skin, humans are all the same. 

It was a year of forgetting that a person fleeing war and death is not coming to take your home, or your car, or your job.

It was a year of forgetting that the legacy of imperialism is more than historical objects in museums.

It was a year of forgetting that excluding people from mainstream society and causing them to live in poverty and destitution can result in mental illness, which can transform into violence.

It was a year of saying “we didn't do anything; it was them, why should we have to help?” and forgetting that our leaders sell weapons and provide support to those waging war, making us just as complicit.

It was a year of forgetting that gloating over a tyrant’s death makes you a tyrant as well.

It was a year of forgetting that 32,000 dropped bombs won’t make the world a safer or better place.

It was a year of forgetting that a political policy of revenge instead of understanding will result in societies that value revenge over understanding.

It was a year of forgetting that the first casualty of war is truth.

It was a year of forgetting that young men throughout history have left their wives, mothers and children to travel very far in desperate circumstances seeking work to support them, and this does not mean that they are an army coming to kill you.

It was a year of forgetting that having a smartphone and little else does not make you rich, but desperate.

It was a year of forgetting that “smart bombs” and “precision-guided munitions” still kill and maim like any other weapon.

It was a year of systematically deleting our virtual friends, and forgetting that by doing this we consciously choose not to pursue discussion or seek understanding.

It was a year of forgetting that even commercial media have a responsibility not to inflame hatred and fear in the name of profit.

Above all, it was a year of forgetting how important it is not to forget. 

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