Blotting Out the Past Doesn't Make it a Better World

They’re taking the Dukes of Hazard off of TV Land; there is talk of digitally editing the episodes so the confederate flag isn’t displayed. This is going to be as effective as a means of stopping racism as digitally editing out the smoking scenes from old Tom and Jerry cartoons was to combat smoking (this was big idea back in 2006). I’m not so sensitive that I think we should erase the word faggot from songs by Dire Straights or Guns and Roses and when I listen to them today I’m not hurt or shamed by them, it was a different time and a different place. There was a time, during the crusades, when you believed in the Christian God or you were slaughtered – but I don’t think taking down the crucifixes all over the world is going to undo the war, hate and bigotry caused by the church still today.

I was re-reading a favorite book the other day and came across one of my favorite characters talking about being too good

“It breeds intolerance, rigidity, a belief that because I am right, those who don’t believe as I do are wrong.” Fizban Dragonlance – Dragons of Spring Dawning

What’s that old nursery rhyme we used to chant – Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me… nor will symbols of ancient prejudices, cartoons smoking or cars built for transporting moonshine in the south.

Are American’s so easily offended today that we cannot look at history and still grow past the error of our ways? Are we so stuck on the image of a perfect society we’re unable to see the ugliness that creates the character and uniqueness that is us? I don’t know.

Taking that flag down isn’t going to magically change the landscape of black America, it’s an empty gesture that only serves to blot out the past. If we erase the history of our nation how are we going to learn from it and not be doomed to repeat the mistakes we made then? If we refuse to use the past mistakes as ways to grow and be better then I’m not sure it matters at all.

Maybe it’s that I’m living in a red state now and possibly influenced more and more by Fox News that is playing at every establishment I frequent… but I thought were were above all that petty nonsense. Does a flag represent hatred, death and intolerance from years past? sure, so does the Star of David if we think of how it was used during the Holocaust, so does the cross if we think about it used in the Crusades or the people who hung that imaginary guy Christians claim to believe in.

My liberal friends seem to grow more and more intolerant of everything. Nothing is safe, nothing is secure from their judgement – any day now Superman will be associated with Hitler youth and the call will ring from the rooftops to stop publishing him.. or erasing any images of him being a bully. That isn’t a place I want to see, but it’s where I fear we are headed.

One thought on “Blotting Out the Past Doesn't Make it a Better World

  1. I’m left of liberal and it is completely true that I have very little tolerance for intolerant people. The beauty of it, for me, is that I’m in AA, so at least I know I’m being wrong while I’m being it.


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