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Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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Archive for August, 2017

Making History Invisible

By on August 15, 2017 in See It Here

The Charlottesville, Virginia violence began when a group of far right folks, some dressed in the required camouflage, some bringing guns because Virginia is a right-to-carry state and all bothered by efforts to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, decided to make their feelings known.

Lee, a former superintendent at West Point, commanded the Confederate Army and, as we all know, surrendered to General Grant in 1865, ending the Civil War.

To many, he was The Voice supporting slavery and as a result of this, efforts are underway to get rid of Lee and other Confederate statues in Virginia and elsewhere. If you want examples, here they are:

*New Orleans removed four statues, including Robert E. Lee.

*Durham, North Carolina protesters toppled a Confederate statue, shortly after the Charlottesville event.

*Baltimore wants to remove four Confederate statues and one in Gainesville, Florida is gone.

Anyone see a trend here?

Two points to be made:

(1) Without a statue, one erases what took place. If you don’t know about bad moments in our history, then you won’t understand who we were–and are. 

(2) While we like to do things quickly, there is an important lesson if one takes all of one-minute away from being “outraged,” and go a little deeper in history. We forget some words from Robert E. Lee after his defeat about those he fought: I have never cherished toward them bitter or vindictive feelings, and I have never seen the day when I did not pray for them.

Anyone see what could be a much-needed trend here?

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