Today is a holiday in the USA, when we remember that our forebears survived an arduous voyage and, with the assistance of kind strangers, learned how to set down roots and thrive in an unfamiliar land.
Of course, we then turned face and slaughtered, imprisoned, and displaced said kind strangers.
History is filled with such dark moments, and not all of which occurred in the Americas.
The Crimean War, one of the bloodiest conflicts in modern history, was caused by jealousy, avarice, and deception. Napoleon III cleverly manipulated the Russian and the Ottoman Empires into viewing the other with hostility, in an attempt to garner additional power and prestige for himself.
The Hundred (+16) Year War between England and France was a dispute for power between people who share a good number of genes. And while it ended with a decisive and interesting division of territory which in great part defines the cultural identities of both regions, it also created antipathy which persisted for centuries.
And finally, the persecution of Jews at various times dating from the late Roman Republic through the twentieth century is a tragedy of epic impact. During the late Middle Ages in particular, Jews were viewed as heretics, blamed for plagues and economic troubles. In more than one village, Jewish quarters were set afire – while residents were within.
Is it inevitable that we continue to live this way?