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America’s cultural cleansing movement.

August 16, 2017

You may have heard that phrase before. It’s been used by such people as Tony Blair and UNESCO director Irina Bokova to describe the destruction of the history of the Middle East by ISIS.

Churches, monasteries, mosques and Islamic shrines, medieval and pre-Christian  historical sites, even museums, no longer exist, destroyed both for profit and simply because the Islamic State doesn’t want any doctrine but their own on display.

The world recoiled in shock as centuries-old buildings, many of them predating the rise of Christianity were looted, bombed, bulldozed and beaten into unrecognizable fragments.

Parchment and papyrus texts, many of them the only written record of unique moments in human history no longer exist, and thus that history no longer exists.

That’s akin to going to national monuments or onto reservations and sandblasting Native American or pre-Columbian petroglyphs, or smashing 18th century  pottery or burning the earliest Tlingit carvings.

Some of those cultural records in the Old World and the New told the story of some pretty bloody moments in time.

Let us not forget that Assyrians, Egyptians, Aztecs,  Mayans, Incas, even early African and Native American tribes enslaved others.  Some cultures even killed and consumed people or parts of them as a part of religious rituals.

That’s macabre and revolting. Does that mean we should blow up the pyramids or bomb Chichen Itza, or level the Nazca ruins so we can pretend it never happened?

That’s exactly what is happening in 21st century America today.

Perhaps, since so many secularists now seem to see religion as more evil than empirical data, we should burn all the Torahs, Bibles, Tripitakas (an important Buddhist text) and Qurans.

Part of our history is no prettier than the sacrificial altars of the Mayan Empire. European colonists slaughtered early native populations just because they were in the way, and yes, they carried slavery here from across the Old World.

That doesn’t mean we can make our history prettier by destroying Confederate monuments. That not only doesn’t change the truth, it endows the statues with a sort of cultural martyrdom.

One of the true ironies of our time is that certain groups call the secessionist South traitors, while on the West Coast another group embraces secession as the vehicle to begin establishing the Socialist States of America.

You can entertain whatever political viewpoint you want to, but this wholesale blood lust to destroy  whole swaths of our history is barbaric. There have even been calls to disinter Confederate soldiers from Arlington Cemetery.

Perhaps, since Arlington was created from land belonging to Confederate General Robert E. Lee, we should just level it and build low-income housing there. Then we could pretend that soldiers don’t die, especially in war.

The  soldier’s statue in Durham, North Carolina wasn’t glorifying Robert E. Lee.  In fact it was a generic composite of the average rank-and-file soldiers who served in the Confederate Army.

The people who pulled it over have a pretty checkered history of their own, if  the composition of the mob described in an article originally attributed to the Durham News and Observer is accurate.

We can and should debate and decry the racist rhetoric of the KKK and the anti-Semitism of the Neo-Nazi’s, but destroying our collective history simply proves that perhaps too many of us are brothers and sisters under the skin with ISIS and other revisionist history re-constructors.

That’s not a union to which we should aspire to belong.

From → op-ed

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