Monday, April 12, 2010

Don't Mean Diddly

I would like to commend Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour for having the guts to say that the complaints against Virginia’s Confederate History Month being insensitive to African Americans because it fails to mention slavery “doesn’t amount to diddly.” He’s right! Slavery was a minor part of the southern life, and most slaves were happy to get free passage to America, and free room and board when they got here. Nobody in their right mind thinks that the American Civil War was fought over slavery. The real issue was economic: the South built its economy on the enslavement of black human beings, and the North opposed that. See, isn't that simple?

I hope Virginia’s Confederate History Month celebrates life in the Confederacy in all its glory, and I hope they create reenactments of Southern life in cities across the state. I myself have never seen a slave auction, and might benefit from watching a reenactment.

While we're at it, I suggest we have a Catholic History Month and ignore the Inquisition, Crusades, witch trials, anti-Semitism, and Priestly Pedophilia; and a US History Month that ignores treatment of Native Americans, African Americans, Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, etc; and a Nazi History Month that celebrates the creation of the Volkswagen rather than getting bogged down in the murder of six million Jews; and a Jewish History month that ignores the genocide of the Hittites, Jebusites, and all other biblical ites, as well as the plight of the Palestinian people.

Why blemish our histories with piddling things such as slavery, racism, xenophobia, genocide, anti-Semitism, and the like? Why not paint everything nice and rosy? Maybe if we didn't remind ourselves what a f#cked up species we are, we wouldn't be so f#cked up. You think?

7 comments:

TheNote said...

Welcome Back

dtedac said...

Rabbi Rami,
I heard the statement you mentioned on the radio this morning and I could hardly believe that anyone in a position of public office could be so ignorant of history. Well, on the other hand, maybe I could.
David

Liberty: Libby Maxey said...

The state of Texas is going to try the experiment with their school children, changing history to fit an agenda...we'll just have to wait and see how unf#@^ked that population becomes!Surely it will be a miracle, all nice and rosy, just like you say, and the history they don't repeat will certainly never be repeated...

Barry said...

There's a beautiful historic house north of Baltimore, near where I grew up. It's well restored and looks like it could be in the English countryside. The last time I toured there, I asked where the slave quarters were. The guide was able to tell me where they had been, but there was no trace of that to mar the gentility of the place.

American/Jewish/Catholic/Southern history are all already sanitized for public consumption. The problem with the Confederacy is that those of us who are older and grew up in the South remember segregation and how many whites back in the day felt that it was a valid response to the Civil War.

Karen said...

Since we live in the "greatest country in the world," we must sanitize our history for our future generations. Otherwise, remembering and examining the dark underbelly historical truth (Indians, slaves, witch trials, Japanese camps, etc.) of our country would take away from our "greatness." The sooner we forget about our country's history, the sooner we forget the true costs of becoming a "free" country. How sad that people are afraid to face the truth. But, then again, we've become afraid of a lot of things, and the polarization within our political system demonstrates that.

AaronHerschel said...

Jeez. What's all this hubbub about history? I don't think we should be held responsible for what happened way back then. I mean,there weren't even real Americans then, just some country called "The United States." Americans should only be held responsible for what America has done. That means we're responsible for nothing before Ronald Reagan founded this nation in the 1980's. Just fogeddabowdit.

Raksha said...

Aaron: LOL!