Sanitizing History

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this situation with the statues. 

 I do know that when you start to bleach history or hide it away in a museum that few can afford to visit, what happens is the further the generations are removed from that history the less likely they are to believe that it was as bad as claimed or in some cases that it even really happened.

 They no longer recognize the signs that led up to these events and because of that they don’t act in time to stop similar events from happening.

This is one reason why visual reminders are so important. Many people think that the concentration camps in Europe are gruesome and should be destroyed. But having these places, being able to see the piles of shoes and glasses and see the chambers and the grooves clawed into the walls is a grim reminder that the holocaust wasn’t just some war related issue that was blown out of proportion. It was real and just as bad as people say it was.

 As humans we don’t like to see our failings paraded before us and so we are willing to allow our memories to fade and eventually future generations will have nothing to remind them of the monstrous events of the past. They won’t understand or recognize the attitudes that allowed it to happen. Similar events will be able to happen because we have not ensured that the events that shaped our generations, especially those events that shame us, are kept in the light of day.

Will the removal of these statues contribute to that?  I don’t have that answer.  What I know are these few thing.

  • We must preserve history in such a way that it’s not hidden away and that our future generations will understand
  • We need to work together to do this instead of fighting each other
  • History repeats itself all the time because we do not remember the mistakes of the past