Our history is what it is.

A column in our local newspaper pointed to recent events that are much more than ridiculous “political correctness”. There are efforts today to “sanitize” American history. Hitler and his vicious cronies tried that in World War 2 Germany, burning books and the like.

America’s history is its history from which we should learn. Frankly, in my view, there is not enough real American history taught these days. There is a reason the United States became the most envied governmental experiment in the world.

Slave ownership in the 1700s by those with a measure of wealth was common, not frowned upon by the general population. We know it was wrong. Shall we remove all evidence of George Washington and others because they were not as enlightened as we expect today? It is history. Right or wrong, it is what it is.

Shall we remove Franklin Delano Roosevelt from the ten-cent coin because he participated in moving patriotic Japanese-American citizens to internment camps during WW2? I have friends who suffered that episode in America’s history, business folks who lost everything. It is our history. It is what it is, and should stand as a reminder of those things to avoid in the future. One must learn from our history, including the errors of moral judgment.

Think about this: In my youth, pregnancies out of wedlock were frowned upon, taboo. Pregnant young women hidden from view, perhaps secreted out of town to stay with someone elsewhere until after the child was born. Today, high school girls who become pregnant continue their studies in school until time to deliver, and folks apparently think little of it. No matter young folks nowadays, seem to think mostly below the waist when it comes to relationships. Life is an evolution, like it or not.

Oh, there are many examples one can cite from the past two centuries. Complete removal of those things that remind us of our history is sanitizing our past just because something, some event, or someone may be an “uncomfortable” reminder of our own ignorance or folly. So be it.

Our history is what it is… warts and all. — D C ‘Dan’ Lee

History

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