Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Why Not Just Get Rid of Everything?

For those who have been sleeping on a different planet recently, the biggest news item to hit the fan is the current frenzy to eradicate the Confederate battle flag from everywhere and everything, from state houses to the Dukes of Hazzard. Of course I understand the emotion that drives the situation, but that's part of the problem. The reaction to the murders perpetrated upon a church in Charleston, South Carolina is all emotion, no substance. And at the end of all the emotion, little is being accomplished. What will removing an antique flag really accomplish? It will make someone feel better. That's it. No real change. Certainly no change of heart and no change in behavior either.

Where is the flag removal going to end? No one knows. First the flag, next removing monuments, then renaming multitudes of schools, highways, and - what? Family trees?

Will Georgia sandblast the monument off Stone Mountain?

Do we dismantle the Jefferson Memorial? He did own slaves, you know.

But then, Martin Luther King's statue is there, and he was a Republican.

But then, why stop there? If we are going to do away with everything that offends, every vestige of historic wrongdoing, why stop with America? There is lots of troubling history to go around and we might as well get rid of all the offenders.

We could get rid of Spain and all things Spanish. Does anyone recall how the Conquistadors put all those natives to death in Mexico and South America? Then there is the Spanish inquisition but don't get me started.

We could get rid of France. They created the guillotine. How could we possibly look at a French flag after that?

We could get rid of Germany: two world wars, Hitler, Nazis. Definitely a bad flag. Germany has to go.

We should get rid of the Far East, or wherever it was that Genghis Khan came from. And that would take care of Japan too. Too many sword bearing ninjas.

We should really consider getting rid of England. Henry VIII killed off all those wives. Lots of people lost their lives in the Tower of London, and those who weren't beheaded were burned at the stake. Do we really want to be associated with such a brutal history?

Actually, we could get rid of most of Africa. Africans were practicing slavery long before a bunch of white guys arrived and began ferrying hapless souls to the new world. Since slavery is wrong wherever it is, Africa was guilty long before America began.

In fact, we probably should get rid of whoever it was that started the Crusades. Enough said.

By now you're probably saying "But that would mean rewriting all of human history and that would be impossible."

Right. So short of complete insanity, how do we handle the problem of a distasteful past? We could do what we are attempting to do now - completely rewrite American history and redefine all American culture. No, wait. That is complete insanity, not to mention completely impossible.

Or we could do what Spain, France, Germany, Japan, England, and Africa have done. We could accept our past as a matter of historical fact and get over it.

But then, that would mean growing up and deciding not to be offended by every last thing.

Any chance of that happening in the current climate with the leadership we have in America?

Not on your life.