Are We Doomed to Forget History

In Columns, Nation

In January of 2011, I wrote about how wrong it was to try and erase parts of our history and destroying great classic novels just to be politically correct and it would lead to other actions. At the time, people thought I was just ranting and nothing bad would come of it. Since then many statues have been removed or replaced, Dr. Seuss has been under attack, the chapters of neo-Nazis and KKK members have come-forth with their ugliness at an alarming rate and we have a president in office that supports these actions. Please read my past article below and ask yourself, did you see it coming like I did? Maybe you did not want to accept it?

Good-bye Huckleberry Finn

Every country has history, arts, and literature that defines them. It is often part of the cultures that distinguish them from all others, giving a sense of individuality. History has played a key part in defining who we are and where we are today, allowing us not only to learn from past mistakes but defines how we proceed with the future.Without a history we are nothing and we would not have the tools needed to build a bigger or better future. Every day that passes is one more day of history that our future generations can use to make a better world.

You can not erase the past; unfortunately, parts of that past were not kind to others but to try and erase the past or pretend like it didn’t happen is ludicrous. A great classic book “Huckleberry Finn” is on the chopping block. They are going to change some of the words to make it more “Politically Correct” and remove the dreaded “N-WORD” because it was mentioned over 200 times throughout the tale. Mark Twain has been a beloved author among many generations of children and adults alike. He wrote of a time he was a part of and fact be known he did travel the rivers and experience a lot of the adventures he spoke of, with dramatization added for effect. It was a time when African people were enslaved and sold to the rich to work on plantations. Mark Twain was a part of that era and no amount of changes will erase what happened in that part of history, so why change the pages of a classic novel.

If we allow books to be rewritten to accommodate those offended by history then where do we stop? Should we ban all books that speak of native Indians being run off the land, placed on reservations, and pretend like Hitler never created a holocaust? Let’s tear down the museums that hold memorabilia of all these wrongful acts. While we are at it, let’s just burn classic movies that depict Indians as scalping, firewater-drinking killers, blacks that are enslaved, Mexicans wearing ponchos and riding donkeys, and Jews being sent to the death chambers. Great movies like The Color Purple, Schindler’s List, Roots, and almost every John Wayne movie, then ban Pearl Harbor and The Tuskegee Airmen. This is just a few examples of a list that could circle the earth three times and still be added to. Maybe we should just ban history and everything related to it, fill the libraries with only fiction and fairytales.

I am sorry, but suck it up and face the facts that life is history in the making. Everything we do from the time we open our eyes to the time we close them for the night, we played a part in history and all we can do is embrace the past, try to understand it, learn from it and use it as a tool to shape a future. Without history, we would lose the very thing that defines our countries and our own identities leaving us lost and wandering in a world of nothing.

In the famous words of Mark Twain: “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education and I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way. Try to always do right and this will gratify some and astonish all the rest.”

October 6, 2017, I found myself tackling the same issue but with Dr.Suess and a librarian.

In August of 2017, I found myself writing about how important history is to the future.

Today I am asking, when will we stand up and fight for our History to stay and find a real solution to correct the past instead of hiding from it?

K. Waters
Writer, Blogger, Mother

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