Let’s Be United
What is a free mind, if it has no reference to know what is freedom, and what is not?
This issue, also at the heart of free speech, helps us answer the question of whether or not “Offensive” historical artifacts should be destroyed.
Destroying a historical artifact might well remove it, and everything it represents, from the thoughts of most people.
But what does it actually achieve?
It makes us forget what actually happened.
That suits those who have an interest in making us forget, just fine.
Why would anyone wish us to forget?
If we forget how it happened before, then it could enable similar inhumanities to occur all over again.
Who would benefit from that?
To try to answer that question, let’s mention the name of Thomas Jefferson, for example.
This might immediately bring to mind thoughts of a most abhorrent practice seen at various times in human history, slavery.
But at the heart of the American Civil War, was economics, and inequality.
Mr. Jefferson until recently, was probably best known for his very strong opinion there.
Now, around 150 years later, we see the very thing he warned about becoming reality.
How many people remember that this is what he actually stood for, even having input to the US constitution, rather than slavery, which was widespread, practiced by both sides, at the time?
How many people are aware that coloured people also fought on both sides in that war?
How many people realise that what Jefferson warned about is the very thing happening in the US, and even beyond?
People are again driven by the simple need to survive, faced with money and food becoming scarce.
The people suffering most, are folks of colour.
But they are not alone.
Many white people are suffering also, maybe not yet on the scale of our brothers and sisters of colour, but very soon.
That is why we need to be aware of the real cause of the problem, to avoid any possibility that we could ever be divided again.
We need to remember who really stands to gain, by the destruction of historical monuments.
We need to remember who would benefit, from another civil war.
Certainly not we, the ordinary people.
Next time we think of whether or not that beautiful (In my simple artistic opinion) confederate flag should be burned, or any other flag for that matter, we should think about that.
Real history is a rich thing, to which we are all entitled.
Let’s not allow it to become a poor thing, benefiting only the rich.
In the news this weekend, we hear in the UK that the statue of Edward Colston, a historical slaver, instrumental in the development of Bristol around that time, was removed by protestors in a Black Lives Matter march.
Torn down slave trader statue 'was an affront'
A statue of a slave trader which was torn down during an anti-racism protest in Bristol was "an affront", the city's…
Now that statue which evidently caused so much offence is gone, the good people of Bristol of all colours including white, might be happier that they can now forget some of the real horrific historical events that resulted in Bristol becoming the culturally rich place that it is.
They can now forget that Edward Colston was one man acting in a civilisation driven by a financial system which most hansomely rewarded the most powerful, for siezing perceived wealth by whatever means they had available to them, including the use of extreme violence towards the people of not only their own, but of other countries.
Perhaps they can now be forgiven for not realising or remembering that the same financial system is now more powerful than ever, as Jefferson predicted it would be, perpetuating the power of the very wealthy, who mostly happen to be white, as they always will be in that unequal system, as long as it exists, since the system merely serves to preserve the wealth of those who were lucky enough to be first to claim ownership of it.
With no knowledge or memory of the problem, why ever do anything about it?
The Mayor of Bristol, a man of colour himself, apparently has no regrets.
Why would he?
“If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do”