As intellectuals confronting holocaust, our duty is therefore to uncover the ways in which quotidian sources of human evil are papered over, obscured, and kept from troubling daily consciousness. We must also consider the ways in which we ourselves collude in practices of evil, in the present. Perhaps we do have some moral responsibility to attend the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and similar exhibits. But if we want to truly comprehend the meaning of “holocaust,” the unspeakable suffering of it; if we furthermore desire to bear witness to extreme violence in such a way that we might actually prevent it, rather than merely aestheticize it post factum; then paying a visit to our own neighborhood slaughterhouse may be the more logical and morally urgent place to start.
If you would like to read the full article, you may download it here. I received permission from John Sanbonmatsu to distribute it.