History Is…..

History ain’t what it is. It’s what some writer wanted it to be.  – Will Rogers

Oh Will you sage!! How did so many wise things come from your lips?  Another way of saying this is that “history belongs to the victor. Will Rogers, like me to a lessor degree, was part native American. He grew up in Oklahoma which was where most of the native American tribes ended up by the early 1900s. So, I’m sure Will had his ancestry in mind when the wrote these words.

We native Americans have always been portrayed as those filthy savages in most of the history books. We were to be considered something, not someone, who needed to be cleared out in order for progress to happen. At best we were ignorant savages who needed to have their culture erased from our memories and replaced by their white European religions and ethics.

History belongs to the victor. The history of those on the defeated side is usually stifled in the memory of the victors. Fortunately, as the years pass a more complete version of history is usually written. Some of it is even based on victims point of view.  That is a good thing even if it is long in coming and usually after opinions on the matter are firmly established.

Being a contrarian I often seek the other side of most history accounts I read. For every story there is usually one version that is never heard. That is one of the major problems with the world today. Most of us accept the predominate view of what is happening today and don’t take the time to  see a different way to view it. We lock on to what version accommodates our current worldview and totally ignore other possibilities. Some how or another we need to always hear both versions of history. We need to listen to each other. There are lessons to be learned from both sides if only we took the time to learn them.

But what do I know….