I saw this over at Facebook:
“Being human means reckoning with a history rich in heroic achievement and moral progress, while at the same time fraught with violence and injustice. Ignoring that reality in favor of mythology is not only wrong but also dangerous, but mythology has a place. The noble chapters of human history have just as much to teach us, if not more, than the shameful ones, and the two are almost always intertwined.”
The injustice and violence and all the bad stuff is the normal baseline. It’s the 90% of the iceberg below the surface. The achievements and heroism are the 10% sticking up in the sun. We don’t talk about the bad stuff much because it’s so damned common. The good stuff is, by definition, extraordinary.
It’s like asking “Why are so many people poor?” because poor is the normal condition. The question that should be asked is “How do we get more people rich?”
As to mythology, I like Terry Pratchett’s take on it. Human beings need to believe in things that are not true. How else can they become?
My point is HUMANITY does sucky things. Americans are not exempt, but we’re treated as though we are supposed to be and failed and should be ashamed of that failure. What we’ve actually done on the side of good is extraordinary. What we’ve done on the side of evil is at worst, ordinary.