A Word on Presentism – and Quotes From Lincoln and MLK

Published in the Winchester Star (2020) by Todd Kern

I see articles and letters telling us what we should think about our own history and heritage. How very tolerant and inclusive! You tell us our history is bad and needs to be removed yet you continue to take it out of the context of the era in which it happened. How very ethnocentric of you to place your modern, misguided, pre-conceptions on the people of the past. It is presentism, the illogical idea to take a quote out of history and judge it by today’s perspective.    You first attacked anything Confederate, judging all by the few. Even after we pointed out such things as only 4.8% of southerners owned slaves(1860 census), the north still had slaves after the war, the Corwin amendment, Lincoln’s call for volunteers forced all to pick a side, Black Confederates, tariffs, Constitution…All because this modern concept racism, that Trotsky weaponized for the communist to divide America… it seems to be working.            Do you condemn Lincoln as well, “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races…”? Shall we rename or tear down his memorial? Of course not bc it’s history, and I’m no fan of Lincoln bc of his unconstitutional war, but I would be appalled at anyone who suggested that he be removed, but now they are calling for it.  Shall we tear down Martin Luther King for his views on homosexuality, by telling a boy, …” The type of feeling that you have towards boys is probably not an innate tendency,…You are already on the right road towards a solution since you honestly recognize the problem and have a desire to solve it”.  Of course not. 

People all over the world throughout history believed and acted in ways that some might condemn today, but to those people that was the norm. It’s called history, and it’s diverse and varied and pretty and ugly… and removing it does not change it. And No one is calling for any of it to return, because we are a different people as a society today. No one but people using it for a political agenda thinks history supports the supremacy of anything today. No one looked at these names or memorials as anything but part of history until they were told to when this agenda of tearing down American began. This cultural marxism, and yet even Marx used racial and religious derogatory terms.   So where does it stop, this cultural cleansing?  Must we all think the same government approved thoughts? Was Orwell right about the picture of the future? I hope not. Leave the people of the past alone. Give the individuals of the future the freedom to judge for themselves, using unbiased information, what to think of history and it’s players. Do not limit people’s freedom to make their own decisions. Tell your representatives to protect memorials because one day they might just get around to coming for yours…   

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