Looking at Our History And Asking…

The US really doesn’t have a common history. Each sector has its own. The States making up the original thirteen colonies look back at their history with pride, but they often varnish over the dark times to do that. The southern States, until recently proudly clung to their Confederate flags and that way of life. That is now ever so slowly changing. The Western States cling to the idea of independent nature. They rebel against any concept of control beyond their immediate clan. Since original history is often tainted by myth or is a one-sided view, it is actually worth fighting over, and that is a good thing.

Revisiting our history from time to time is a very worthy thing.

The old saying that “history is written by the victors” is true and therefore is usually very incomplete. It varnishes over many dreadful facts of those times.

 Mississippi finally retired the last State flag in the U.S. with the Confederate battle emblem, more than a century after white supremacist legislators adopted the design a generation after the South lost the Civil War. The western barely populated States enjoy a representation in US congress that is way out of proportion to their population. They fight to keep that advantage even if the original purpose has long since expired. The Midwest varnishes over the fact that they mercilessly drove out millions of native-Americans who had lived on those lands for centuries.

I admire America’s ability to re-invent itself to correct previous varnished over darkness. Owning another human being is just WRONG, but we allowed our country to do just that for almost 200 years. Killing millions of native-American because they wouldn’t turn over the land they had lived on for centuries without a fight. That was just WRONG. There have been so many inequities in history that have needed correction. I am proud of our ability to do that.

I admire Germany for how they handle their history. They don’t deny that Hitler existed and did some extremely horrid things. They are embarrassed that so many German citizens turned their backs on the atrocities instead of facing them. They use that history to teach them lessons for the future. We need to learn those lessons also.

It is important to constantly look at ourselves and ask

“Is this where we want to go?”

It’s easy to just lay back and let things happen, but when we do that we fail to control our destiny. We let lazy-minds by their ignorant rantings move our country in an embarrassing direction. Studying history to understand how that has happened in the past is crucial to where we will go into the future. As someone wise once said, we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. That is, if we face them instead of burying them in false history.

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