In the pursuit of political correctness and “safe spaces,” the Left wants to remove anything that could even remotely be considered offensive, even if it means changing history.
Some extreme cases have called for the statues of US presidents–who happened to be former slave owners–to be removed. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says sanitizing our history does a great disservice to our present and future.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 8, 2017
The Left’s campaign to censor America’s past has gotten out of hand. Important reminders of our American history, such as statues of former presidents and even the teaching of American history has been affected by this demand for political correctness.
Some have embraced this forgetting of history and seek to let important historical figures fade from public knowledge. According to Breitbart, students at the University of Missouri wanted to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson, one of our most important founding fathers, because of his past as a slave owner.
The petition claimed it wanted to remove the statue because “it will help cure the emotional and psychological strain of history.”
Ian Paris, president of Mizzou’s Young Americans for Liberty at the University, criticized the effort to remove the statue. He said, “we find it fallacious to require that all historical figures be judged by contemporary standards. By this, we mean that the fact that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves does not discredit him as an advocate for liberty in early America.”
Chairman of the Mizzou College Republicans, Skyler Roundtree, was similarly critical of the idea that Jefferson’s slave ownership overrode all of his achievements for good. “I feel like we’re forgetting important moral and political values that Thomas Jefferson stood for,” he said.
Roundtree also bashed the liberal push for removing anything deemed offensive from our society. “When someone takes offense at something,” he said, “then it should be removed? We are living in a time where our society has begun to sacrifice morals and traditions only to be politically correct.”
Even the education system has been affected by this political correctness, according to the New York Post. A study conducted in 2014 showed that only 18 percent of high school students were proficient in US History.
Part of this is attributed to teacher’s hesitancy to teach sensitive matters for risk of angering parents. According to one Brooklyn teacher, “The more vocal and involved the parents are, the more likely the teacher will feel uncomfortable to teach certain things or say something that might create a problem.”
In an interview with Fox & Friends, Rice said the push by the Left to blot out parts of our history is doing more harm than good.
Brian Kilmeade asked her, “Do you think that, when we look at nine of our first twelve presidents as slave owners, should we start taking their statues down and say, we’re embarrassed by you?”
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says sanitizing our history does a great disservice to our present and future. Do you think we should remove monuments that are offensive to some?
Rice responded boldly that we shouldn’t. “I’m a firm believer in ‘keep your history before you’” Secretary Rice said. “And so, I don’t actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners. I want us to have to look at the names and recognize what they did, and be able to tell our kids what they did and for them to have a sense of their own history.”
Ignoring the dark periods of the past doesn’t benefit America’s future. While the perpetration of evil shouldn’t be celebrated, it’s important to remember the context and situations those people were in, and that they do not compare to situations today. While Thomas Jefferson did own slaves, as many did at that time, he also drafted a Declaration of Independence that would facilitate the abolition of slavery.
Remembering the mistakes and tragedies that occurred throughout history can help future leaders avoid committing those same mistakes. It causes more harm than good to erase uncomfortable facts from America’s past just to appease the handful of offended individuals.