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The Politics of Erasing Historical Memory


Among the most insidious factors of group identity politics is the dogged determination of proponents of this perversion to erase the historical record of individuals failing to measure up to their “exalted” standards of personal and political behavior.  This has happened many times nationally and internationally in recent years.  When the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, they destroyed historically significant Buddhist temples at Banyan drawing international condemnation.  Earlier this year, ISIS thugs in Syria destroyed historic Roman temples at Palmyra (a UNESCO world heritage site) and killed the curator of this site, because their presence was an abomination to their evil Islamist worldview.

Sadly, this phenomenon is not confined to far away countries.  In the U.S., we have seen leftist social justice warriors demand the removal of Confederate memorials from southern cities such as New Orleans, demand the removal of the Confederate flag, demand Woodrow Wilson’s historic role at Princeton University being withdrawn because of his “racism”, and demanded subservience to their bleatings about systemic institutionalized racism.   In the United Kingdom, an insidious movement called “Take Rhodes Down” is demanding that Oxford University remove a monument to Cecil Rhodes the British industrialist entrepreneur who earned immense wealth in South Africa’s natural resources industry and endowed the Rhodes Scholarships which still educate first-rate students from around the world at Oxford today.   Rhodes’ “offense” is that he is seen as an agent of British “imperialism” and “colonialism” which is allegedly responsible for the supposedly deprived status of former British colonial countries decades after British colonial rule ended.

Another example of censoring the historical record occurred in the former Soviet Union just after Stalin’s death in 1953.  Stalin’s head of what became the KGB, Lavrenti Beria, made an unsuccessful attempt to seize power and was arrested, tried, and executed for his multiple crimes during the Stalin era.  Sometime after this, subscribers to the monumental reference work, the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, received instructions to use scissors to remove this encyclopedia’s article about Beria and replace it with an article on the Bering Strait.

History must be accurate in all respects for future generations to understand human accomplishments and failures.  The brutal fact of the matter is that our ancestors, contemporaries, and future generations will say and do things we do not approve of.  Future generations will undoubtedly see us as being  totally misplaced in many ways.  We must acknowledge these realities even if they are discomforting to us.  Removing the physical presence of individuals from the historical record and public square is barbarism of the worst sort.  Nothing we can say or do today can overcome the sins and crimes committed by our historical predecessors.  We must learn from their mistakes and recognize that God has rendered the final judgment on them and their lives.  No ex post facto evaluation by histrionic social justice warriors and group identity politics proponents can change the inescapable and irrefutable reality of divine judgment.

For those social justice warriors, hellbent on removing “racist” vestiges of the past from public view, I have a suggestion.  If we can remove confederate monuments, Woodrow Wilson, and Cecil Rhodes from the public square and historical record, why not remove  Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement, Stonewall riot, Black Lives Matter , Thurgood Marshall, and Barack Obama, and your petulant ululating existences from the historical record?  After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

The ultimate reality is that we’re about to commemorate the event that resolves all human agonies.  This is the birth of the baby Jesus is a Bethlehem manger, and his subsequent life, the gospel he preached, his death by crucifixion, and resurrection.  Accepting and living His redemptive message is the only way to advance personally and collectively to make this world a better place.

Consequently, Merry Christmas to all who accept the Christian reality now and will eventually have to accept it in the years to come.







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