Turn history on its head?
Now there’s a sobering eye opening potentially game changing exercise for all! And it’s exactly what Bernardine Evaristo has done in her novel Blonde Roots.
What would history look like if the perpetrator became victim, the violent meek, the abuser abusee, the hostile peace loving….?
All the hate would shift to another; still – hate it would be.
The potential for all humankind to be (to varying degrees) both monster and angel has always existed and is “in your face” alive and well still today. This in itself a great leveler for those high up looking way down.
Although not always easy to stomach, depending on your level of imagination and sensitivity, the author does a great job of swapping out the role of slave and that of lord & master in a transference of all the horrific minutae.
And what an (macabre in a way) honor and luxury it is for those of us not exposed to such experiences to be allowed to participate from a safe distance and learn learn learn on the pain and horrors of many.
I chewed and choked on the carcasses of others and their unspeakable truths during this read. How could I not?
Switching historical positions also suggests that it is the action and not the word that should be analyzed (unlike the current rabid attack on language from all sides happening today).
Modify behaviour and you eliminate the associated negative designations or apply positive designations to a word. It is what you breath into the word that gives that word it’s life. And as Bernardine Evaristo has shown, had history gone a different route, so too would have, the associated denigratory words and stereotypes we all, unfortunately, know so well.
This story is not to be read a s a vendetta, rather as a “what if ” to open minds and hearts and to stare cold hard facts in the face. To take responsibility and to learn.
We can, in my personal opinion, all benefit and be richer for it.