It’s almost as if we’re living in George Orwell’s “1984.” The world has turned upside down and it seems the inmates are running the asylum! Even to suggest such a thought is anathema in this day and age when everything must be “politically correct.” There are no criminals, there are people with “’problems”; insurrectionists are “freedom fighters,” and in “1984” this was called “newspeak” and there was a department dedicated to revising history to make it more palatable. History is history. Instead of trying to change what was, why not learn from our mistakes and change what is to come? Robert Penn Warren said, “The lack of a sense of history is the damnation of the modern world.”
Thomas Jefferson, one of our founding fathers, wrote the most important and beautiful documents ever conceived. He is now being vilified for owning slaves. Every ethnic group has experienced slavery at one time or another in history. The biblical Egyptians enslaved the Israelites and set them to build the pyramids. Should we demolish the Pyramids because they were built by slaves?
Africans were sold by tribal leaders for profit to Americans and Europeans who continued their exploitation. It is horrifying and shameful that even today in the 21st century, this exploitation is ongoing in some sections of our own country.
More recently slavery morphed into discrimination and name-calling. Italians, emigrating to the New World, were demeaned when they were called “WOPS” (Without Passports), a play on an Italian word meaning “bully” (guappo). The Irish were abused and labeled inferior by those who had already settled in America, and were greeted by signs in shop windows that read “Irish need not apply.”
There are always people who degrade others because of race, religion and even political preferences.
We will not alleviate this stupidity by revising what was but by changing what is to come. The Bible says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” We are all, collectively, responsible for man’s inhumanity to man and should realize we cannot change the past but MUST understand our faults and not bring them into the future.
We have been given the gift of free speech in our country, and have the right to express our beliefs as long as we respect the opposition’s right to do the same. Labels and name-calling are childish and it’s time for us as a country, and as a world, to begin to accept each other with equanimity while reaching out to achieve what this Seasoned Citizen likes to call “Childhood’s End.”
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