I have been avoiding posting anything about the radical (no, that’s not a typo) divide in this country for several reasons. Mostly because I am a white, Christian, lower-middle class woman and for those reasons alone, many will already have made their judgments about me. Sound familiar? People should not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, I agree.
But here’s the point I want to drive home.
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A**HOLES!
You can de-fund police and leave your citizens at the mercy at the vigilantes…the a**holes.
You can burn offensive books, you can take offense movies off the air, take statues down…all of which are forms of art. “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” – Banksy
But it won’t stop the jerks.
Even the misguided Rev. Moore in the movie “Footloose” understood when he told the townspeople that “Satan is not in these books, he’s in our hearts.” (I’m paraphrasing).
Heck, why stop at statues and books, let’s take it ALL down! Anything that offends anyone, take it down. So we will be left with stark white walls, empty museums, empty libraries, no one will be allowed to speak on the off chance it offends an on-looker. Sounds like a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
My point is not to antagonize. My point is to say, “Where do we stop?” And “Who gets to decide what’s offensive?”
Even the creators of the Holocaust Museum, as unthinkable as that point in history was, knew that if we didn’t remember the people in the atrocities, that we would be doomed to repeat them. A quote from their website: The Museum’s primary mission is to advance and disseminate knowledge about this unprecedented tragedy; to preserve the memory of those who suffered; and to encourage its visitors to reflect upon the moral and spiritual questions raised by the events of the Holocaust as well as their own responsibilities as citizens of a democracy.
So what if instead of erasing our horrible history and destroying our offensive statues, we add a plaque depicting the atrocities that occurred under the person’s command so we don’t do them again?
What if, instead of banning books and movies, we add a placard at the end of the book or a footnote in the beginning of the movie denouncing such treatment, but that it was a depiction of our history at that time, however wrong it was?
We’ve been taking statues down from our public squares and banning books from our school systems for some time now, and yet the problems continue. So, this approach is obviously not working.
There will ALWAYS be a**holes.
Sorry, for cursing, “jerk” just didn’t seem strong enough. I hope you weren’t offended.