History lies. That is, the human interpretation of historical events is and has always been subject to change and distortion from historians. Stated more directly, people bend facts in order to substantiate whatever socio-political view they are expectorating. However photos, although subject to the same distortions as anything else, are unique in that they allow anyone access to their truths to formulate their own opinion.
We can be swayed by our leaders, bent by the media, convinced by our prejudices, but a photo is simply a snapshot of what happened during that fraction of a second. No matter how we lie about the event, the photo doesn’t change.
We can smell the stink of lies and hatred, and our brains will remember similar smells on past events. But these memories are just rumor, without substantiation. Photography gives us the weapon to convince ourselves that these memories are right. Truth is the weapon–the only weapon–we have against lies and hatred.
With truth, we can, hopefully, avoid the stink of past mistakes. Maybe truth will force us to ask, “Why do they hate us?” “Do they all hate us?” and more importantly, “For the few who hate us, what have we done, and how can we make things right?”
Truth is the weapon that protects the world. We artists, we writers, we photographers, we few, are the world’s protection from itself. Take not the job lightly, for it is a gift of lasting responsibility. Breathe, my children. Breathe, and then do. Truth awaits.