Seeing the increasing attack upon history by overly-sensitive know-nothings, I am dismayed at the level of ignorance being displayed by those wishing to erase history. They have been convinced that 17th, 18th, 19th, and early/mid 20th century historical figures must be held to 21st century ‘standards’ and ‘sensibilities’. (I am not going to say ‘morals’ because this old curmudgeon is seeing a particular lack of morals from some of the more vocal and active, i.e. destructive history deconstructors.)
Many of these folks decrying the “unwokeness” of historical figures seem to believe the only remedy for the lack of wokeness of those long dead is to erase them from history. The problem is that if we are to continuously hold those in the past to the standards of today, history will continue to be erased and the lessons of history will be lost. Erasing history because someone is offended by an action, or worse, because of a lack of action by historical figures is insane. How is it they believe they can demand modern day ideological purity from people who have been dead for decades or centuries?
Do they really think tearing down statues and defacing or destroying historical monuments will in some way punish the dead and change history? That they may subconsciously believe such things proves to me that they really do not understand history, that advances in human knowledge, morality, and ethics doesn’t happen all at once. It is something that takes place in steady steps, fits and starts, and profound leaps. Sometimes it is evolutionary and other times it’s revolutionary. Sometimes there were missteps, side trips, and blind alleys before history played out as it did. But the deconstructionists don’t seem to care.
Please don’t misunderstand – the ‘deconstructionists’ aren’t numerous, but they are vocal and active. Whether it is from poor education, willful ignorance, or as part of ploy to forward their political agendas makes no difference to me. I just want to see the erasure of history because “someone” is offended to end. It serves no good purpose.
Like Heinlein once said, “Those who ignore history have no past – and no future.” I am amending that to “Those who erase history have no past – and no future.”