The motto of the Dominican Order is veritas…truth. We are truth-seekers.

This week could be called a week of veritas, of truth-seeking. June 14 is Flag Day, a day celebrating the first flag resolution passed by the Second Continental Congress, made official later in 1949; a day regarded as one way to teach children about history. June 19, also known as Juneteenth, is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States, the day when the Civil War ended and slaves were ‘set free’, even though people of color are still fighting for equality and justice.

The problem I see is that our history has most often been taught through the lens of those holding power, through the perspective of white people. In our pursuit of truth, we must ask what history is not being taught? Who/what people are invisible in our telling of ‘history’? Whose very real and painful stories are not being told? 

I wasn’t taught about white supremacy (except in relationship to Hitler and the Nazis) or white privilege – about my own privilege – or its impact on non-whites until the last decade. Maps of the United States (North America for that matter) have always shown our country as being one large land mass that we ‘own’, rather than depicting it has the Swiss cheese it is with the holes being the land to which Native peoples have been relegated.

There are too many examples in our schools and in hearts of skewed history-making. As Dominicans, as human beings created in the image and likeness of God, we are all obligated to ask questions, to challenge the status quo, and to speak out for justice as we continuously seek the truth. In that respect, we are all Dominicans.