I’m a bit confused by those who wish to sanitize history. Not confused really, this has been happening since the earliest days of ink and papyrus–those scribes with their hieroglyphics documented events as they were told to by their kings and priests. History had a spin even along the Nile. But the mad rush today to pick and choose model figures based on how they appeal to us, if their message resonates with our worldview, and if it’s politically palatable feels, well, false. There’s not much from world history that can hold up to the scrutiny of a modern age that allows the whims and rage of a technology-connected population to dictate what is worthy. And it’s not just the liberals that have reduced our historical context to a sound bite, the right does it too. We don’t talk about the Founding Fathers, Biblical characters, or military victors unless their stance and outcome validates our point of view. So, what’s a thinker supposed to do? Sift.
Truth is truth whether we like it or not. History has warts. People have had a mean-streak for a very long time. And the irony is, not much–short of our sophistication, travel and technology–has changed.
I want everyone to unplug from technology for a long while. Walk in nature, unwind. Breathe clean air, and then once we’ve all had a good sleep, come back together and remember that we don’t get to write our history either. The folks who come behind us will do that, and how they choose to remember us will be through their filter. God be with us. We may get a dose of our own medicine.