I find it extremely annoying and disconcerting that people want to eradicate historic people and events. History is based on facts, some good and some not so good, but none that should be erased to make us feel better about ourselves. Hopefully, we have evolved enough to avoid repeating the same politically incorrect transgressions. Selectively erasing history should not be an option.
Canadians (some) Demanding all Traces of Sir John A MacDonald be Removed
Sir John A MacDonald has been on the literal hit list in Canada lately. Schools, buildings, streets, statues, bridges, and the like are being renamed because of the belief that his federal policies were suspect when he was our Prime Minister. As our very first Prime Minister, he was instrumental in our country’s development and deserves a place in our history.
I find this obsession to erase history frustrating and ridiculous. Where do we draw the line? Who decides who was bad, really bad, bad enough to wipe them out?
What About O.J?
These feelings of disgust were re-awakened yesterday afternoon when I was watching football and O.J. Simpson’s name came up. Inducted into the football hall of fame for his prowess on the field, he is still idolized and celebrated often by commentators and fans.
I don’t know about you, but I was totally dismayed that O.J. literally got away with murder. Twice. Talk about a travesty of justice. Yes, he was convicted in a civil suit, awarding money to the families of his victims, and spent some time in the clinker, but still got away with murder in the criminal courts.
What’s the Difference?
The point of this rant? Why is there a difference between the way we are willing to acknowledge the historic actions or behaviour of Sir John A and O.J? Why does O.J. Simpson continue to be idolized and revered when Sir John A. MacDonald and other historic figures are getting toppled from our graces, shunned, with all traces of them discarded from our lives?
Life Lessons Instead of Erasing History
Learning from our mistakes should be considered valuable life lessons. We should be taught to move on and refrain (hopefully) from repeating the same mistakes. That doesn’t mean the lessons or mistakes didn’t happen and shouldn’t be acknowledged. Life lessons get chronicled in our brains, or, in some cases, our journals or diaries.
It seems to me that we are offended by everything and everyone these days. If our ideologies are threatened (??) we demand all traces of the offender removed from society. If we can accept the accomplishments and talents of one man without judging him on his lifestyle, ethics, or morals, why can we not accept the valuable contributions of others?
I believe that history is in the past; we learn about people, places, and things and decide how to incorporate the good from the past into our futures. Every country in the world can dredge up unsavory actions of their leaders and heroes. It’s how the indiscretions are dealt with that should decide the success and health of the country moving forward.
Well, I feel (somewhat) better after this rant, but I would like to hear from others. Am I wrong? Or just easily offended.