Any of you that know me know that I usually address something that’s bugging me. But, out of concern for political correctness, I’ve avoided addressing something that’s torquing to many people. And that is the current and misplaced hobby of a nation’s own citizens intent on destroying its nation’s history.
Yes, I said ‘history’ as a whole, because you can’t forget/eradicate/remove certain pieces and parts of something without affecting the whole of the something. If you remove one of your arms, for whatever reason, you’ve affected your whole body for that choice.
We are all products of our history. I have a part of my own history that I’d like to have removed, but I can’t. And, it’s a good thing that I can’t remove it because what happened to me has shaped me into a better man, father, and husband.
I’m reading today about a very expensive movement to rename Dallas, Texas streets because they were named after Confederate soldiers. The people on the street didn’t even know that is what their street is named after and have lived there all of their lives.
Was the Civil War fair and right? Heck no. But it happened. Was 911 fair and right? Heck no again, but…horribly, it happened. Were the assassinations of Kennedy, Martin Luther King and the untimely death of Elvis fair and right? No, well, Elvis was his own fault. But you get my point.
BOTH THE GOOD AND BAD THINGS ARE PART OF OUR GREAT NATION’S HISTORY, WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT.
Destroying physical evidence doesn’t make the bad things go away, bring back Elvis, MLK, Kennedy or the untold lives that were taken due to slavery and the ensuing warS over slavery. Slavery was even Biblical. Are we gonna rip those slavery pages out of the Bible because it makes bad images conjure up in our minds?
If we do, can we please tear out the page about the snake turning into a staff because that one gives me the heeby-jeebieses. I fear I’ll be on a walking cane one day and this cane could just morph and wiggle into a green python and devour my old and tattered body.
Our country has to give careful thought to when we remove monuments of any age or derivation. By removing a physical part of our history, are we legalizing our own lack of direction and initiative by claiming victimization?Are we redirecting OUR problem from ourselves instead of taking responsibility for our actions today? Are we projecting our failures onto something else?
Hobby Lobby has come under fire recently for having fall decorations that consisted of cotton bolls. These same complaining people are probably wearing cotton underwear or jeans.
My mother and father were sharecroppers growing up and had it not been for those many, many painful and sweaty bags of heavy cotton they picked with sore, reddened hands and drug down blistering hot rows in Henderson County, I wouldn’t be here.
Nor would most other common people, of any race, raised in the south many years ago. Cotton was gold.
You see, when we gray an area for one cause, we have thereby set the precedent for other causes to erupt and be upset because a plant represents something bad for them.
Sadly, in 2017, we still have racism, genderism and just about any other ‘ism’ you might come up with. One of the bad things about these recent rashes of emotional reactions is that it leaves our country vulnerable when real atrocities and unfair treatment does come their way. People have cried wolf so loudly that a real case of injustice could indeed get a blind eye turned to it; thanks to many people that have found a convenient stage, grabbing a camera and a Facebook account and post about being ‘offended’ over minuscule and created problems that assures them of their 15 minutes of fame.
Recently, I had an enlightening conversation about the logic behind removing confederate statues with a fine young man that I consider a friend. He’s more than half my age, Caucasian, ‘religious’ and one of the new millennials that are forged on correcting our nation’s sins of the past, right now.
He tells me that the statues represent something bad to some people, not all of one race either. That the statues represent something that possibly holds some people back from progress and that removing these statues is a ‘step in the right direction’.
I, of course, expressed my opinion that I don’t understand why some people blame their lack of success in life on a 200-year-old chunk of concrete on the corner of a street.
At the end of the conversation, we shook hands and essentially agreed to disagree. But I did tell him this:
When you leave the parking lot today, do me a favor. Put your vehicle in reverse and look in the rearview mirror as normal. But when you put it in drive to move forward, DON’T look away from that rear view mirror. Just keep staring at the mirror. Keep looking backward, at what’s behind you and pay no attention to what you can do to maneuver through what’s in front of you.
Then tell me how far you got.
That’s what people concentrating on the ills of the past are doing; using yesterday as an emotional crutch to prevent them from their tomorrows.
He said that’s right, but we need both. (yesterday and tomorrow).
And bingo, he is right! We do need both looking backward and looking forward.
Is everything fair today? Absolutely not and it never will be. Four years ago, I was denied service at a restaurant here where I live because of the color of my skin.
If we remove the physical and emotional things lurking behind us, and not acknowledge them, not study them, not educate ourselves and our future generations about those wrongs done and grow together from these wrongs, then we will fail to prosper.
But we have to have them physically present and we have to come together and acknowledge them, good or bad, and together move forward.
Destroying history doesn’t make history go away.
Destroying history only assures that it could repeat itself because it wasn’t addressed.
So, good people, we can’t avoid all of the wrongs done to us in our life. But, together, we can learn from these wrongs and apply that knowledge towards a better life and a better tomorrow…..
for us all.
That’s the best that I can tell about it,