One of the worst things I have ever seen or heard of in our recent history is the rising tide of campus war against free speech and opposing vews. Ignorant students are tearing down statues at a record pace as though they are accomplishing something of great magnitude. Most of them cannot even pass our very basic citizenship test which all immigrants must pass to become citizens. These so called students have only accomplished a horrible decline in historic and civic knowledge. Of course they had the help of college professors to not learn anything about our history. I cannot claim to be a “learned” historian or a respected professor, However, I can claim to love our American history, and be proud of the development, and evolution of the country. Sadly, many of the deepest wounds now being done to this country seem to continually come from ignorant politicians, our oblivious press and America hating college educators who should know better, but obviously don’t. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard about how bad we are because of the wars we’ve been in, or that we had slavery, or how unjust we are because women couldn’t vote years ago, and how badly we treated the Indians. There have been so many “vicious” barbs thrown at our country over the years, as if in 1776 we should have known everything we know now, and should have had all of the customs, social ties, experiences, sciences, inventions and education of today already in place for the start of the new country. Slavery was an abomination. However, if any of us were white and living anywhere in the U.S. in the late 1700’s or the early 1800’s prior to the Civil War, and you are not a Puritan, you are absolutely lying to yourself if you think you would have opposed it. That includes all of our “enlightened” college professors, journalists and politicians. How misguided and ugly it is to make our foolish little judgments today on things which were done, wars which were fought, and mistakes which we say were made, using our current level of education, experiences` and knowledge as the “measuring stick”. It will be very interesting in the year 2169, which is 150 years from today, to see how ignorant we will be judged by our future critics for all the things we didn’t know. What is it that we now accept as “normal”, for which in 150 years we will be called “stupid, foolish or ignorant”. What statues, etc. will those young ignorant students be tearing down? What is it that we do not yet understand, or that science has not yet discovered, or has not yet been invented that will be held against us in the future? Will they actually apologize for us and our ignorance in the future as we have done for those in our past? Will they continue to tear down symbols of our trip through history as we are doing?
History is a record of evolution, good and bad, up and down, success and failure. It marks and records our growth through major events, as well as our daily lives. It is not something we the living should be constantly embarrassed about nor should we ever allow our history to be used as a political weapon against us. Our past history “is what it is” and lessons should be learned from it. Those who created it were doing the best they knew how at the time – no different than all of us right now. It is certainly open to honest, knowledgeable study, and you may be proud of part of it or you may be ashamed of part of it. When it comes to the history of every country and its peoples, it is probably healthy to be some of each. However, we as a young country are still evolving and continually growing. The world is always changing and we will adjust with it. Our country will never be perfect, and the world will never be perfect because mankind will never be perfect. Slavery, unfortunately, has existed as long as man has been on earth. From the cavemen, to Egypt, to Europe, to the American Plains Indians, and, of course, early America, and on every continent in the world, slavery exisited. There is no place on earth it did not appear. Unfortunately and regrettably it is still alive today in various forms and in several nations.
It is a wise person who will celebrate our country and the ideals we strive for, knowing full well we do not always achieve the best that is in us, but we do keep trying. It is those great ideals, and the effort as well as the real accomplishments and progress we have made over the years of our existence that we should all be proud of. There simply has never been a better country, with a more generous population, or a better system of government and life for its people, on this planet than The United States of America.