William Faulkner of Oxford, Mississippi, the inventor of Yoknapatawpha County and its many inhabitants--white and black--famously wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past."
Over the past twenty years or so, we in the media business have tried to live lives and careers that abnegated Faulkner's wisdom.
We have lived through--and accepted--myriad savants, geniuses, futurists, Shingys and others, who have assured us that "this will change everything." That the old ways--the interruption model, the relationship of brands and consumers, that marketing itself, is dead.
Last night America's "past" showed its true colors.
Our nearly 400 years of acceptable, codified racism asserted itself.
A white police officer who shot an unarmed African-American teenager a dozen times was acquitted. It's easy, if you have a sense of history, to flashback to Scottsboro, or Emmet Till, or Bull Conner.
Charles Blow, op-ed columnist for "The New York Times," believes that the antipathy that so many feel toward President Barack Obama comes from their view that "he's not one of us." He's an outsider. Read his column here.
Of course, the "that will change everything-ites," were quick to herald America as "Post-Racial" just six years ago. When in fact, it appears we're barely post-1920.
We have spent my lifetime, as a culture, putting a linoleum pan-gloss on the dark underbelly American life. I'd bet you that nine out of 10 people under 20, if not more, don't know who Lt. William Calley was, or the aforementioned Bull Conner, or Emmit Till, or Church bombings in Alabama.
There are scores of people on my various social-media feeds that protest Genetically Modified food. Not that many are protesting Historically Modified truth.
We don't like the truth.
We prefer sit-coms.