Do You Want to Know the Truth?
You won’t tell the children everything, will you? (5:07)
The public are sometimes just like children. We don’t know what the government doesn’t want us to know, or what the people in power try to conceal. If you have a chance to choose, would you choose to know the ugly truth, or let the dark, ugly history fade with time?
As the professor has pointed out in the lecture, Lumumba was assassinated in 1961. But it was not until decades after Lumumba’s death that the assassination was “officially” recognized, or more specifically, admitted. In the years when the history is “blank”, people somehow knew what had happened to Lumumba, but they didn’t seem to have the right to speak for Lumumba.
If we were the kids who Lumumba addressed to in the film, we should say, “even if you don’t want to tell us the truth, we will still dig the truth from where you bury it.” We cannot be children that are always waiting for adults (in this sense, the government) to tell us what has happened. We should have the ability and the responsibility to “dig” or “write” the history. We should also not doubt the power we have, either. If the anecdote that Lumumba had been killed was not written down, most people now (I mean in 2014) will probably not know what happened fifty years ago. If the anecdotes can never be officially published or recognized, the anecdotes will just be anecdotes, forever! (In fact, as the older generation dies, the younger generation may not even know the anecdotes!) And the justice will never be fulfilled. The victims will never have a chance to sleep soundly.
The montage of documentary film (around the 5 minute mark) in Lumumba seems to keep reminding us: never forget what was once real but ugly in history. The function of history is not just for memorization in history classes, but for condemning and warning those who are morally corrupted and harm the human race.
Now, do you understand why Lumumba in the film said, “[e]ven dead, I was still a threat to them” (3:21)? The threat is not Lumumba himself but the revelation of the history sooner or later.