The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Statute of Limitiations

Is there a statute of limitations on history? I mean—honestly— is there some period of time—100 years, 250 years, 500 years, 1000 years—after which we decide that some place or event or person (people) did awful things, but we just have to move on. I'm not suggesting that we forget those awful things. Nope. Just that we don't obsess about names or places, entities or statues that are connected to events that happened in the distant past. There is little to be gained from meaningless gestures of outrage over things that happened hundreds of years ago. In fact, it detracts from current strategies that might actually improve some of the aggrieved communities.

Let me provide a few examples. Following the precedent established by social justice mobs in the United States, let's turn our focus to Italy. Social justice warriors might argue that the Roman colosseum is a monument to violence, slavery and cruelty. Almost 2,000 years ago, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators watched weekly as slaves were torn apart by wild animals, mortal combat among enslaved gladiators was cheered, and other unspeakable competitions were common. 

Therefore, following the now established social justice precedent, should modern day Italian SJWs in Rome tear down what remains of the colosseum? After all, it's a "racist" reminder of the past, triggering psychic discomfort and rage among the woke. For that matter, the city of Rome itself, conjures images of an ancient empire that was "colonialist" to the extreme, promoted slavery of all kinds, and was otherwise not an exemplar of social justice.  Should modern day Italians rename "Rome" with a politically correct moniker? is 2000 years enough for the statute of limitation to kick in? I really don't know.

How about someone more contemporary—say, the marxist revolutionary Che Guevara? Guevara has been accused of murdering large numbers of innocents, and he was an active participant in a Cuban 'revolution' that confiscated the life's work of hundreds of thousands of Cubans, created a massive outward flow of migrants, reduced the freedom of millions of Cubans, and imprisoned or killed anyone with opposing views. 

I'll admit that none of Guevara's deeds would trouble the majority of today's social justice warriors in the least, but it certainly might trigger psychic discomfort and rage among many good people. Should those people therefore demand that the sale of Che tee shirts be banned, that movies about him be censored or withdrawn, or that any other memorialization of the man be "torn down" in an attempt to erase him from history? Seems perfectly reasonable, if we use the current social justice mob's precedent as a guide.

But back to the statute of limitations on history. Should we, like the Khmer Rouge or the Taliban destroy any historical reference that is troubling to some but NOT all of the people. For that matter, even if a person, an event, or a place is troubling to ALL of the people, should it be erased from history?

The woke would tell us "yes," that there is no statute of limitations when something causes them psychic discomfort and rage. That, of course, is madness, but "erasure" seems to be the insanity du jour.  After all, we're now living in Wonderland. Yet again, the Cheshire Cat smiles.

BTW, where are Joe Biden and the Democrats on all of this. William McGurn writes:
At the mildest, surely it would be informative to learn if the former senator from Delaware agrees with Wilmington’s recent decision to remove a statue of the state’s most famous son, Caesar Rodney, from downtown. Rodney is known in American history for riding 80 miles through a storm to get to Philadelphia in time to cast Delaware’s deciding vote for independence. His statue was removed because, like several other Founding Fathers, he owned slaves.

Notwithstanding calls for Mr. Biden to declare himself on the issue, he’s clearly betting that a press corps that managed to ignore a former Senate staffer’s charge of sexual assault for weeks won’t press him on the statues and the mayhem. No doubt he is betting correctly.

On paper, this should be an easy call. The Democratic voters, especially African-American voters, who made Mr. Biden their nominee did so on the belief they were going with the moderate. But Mr. Biden has been under relentless pressure to move left, and he’s obliged by flip-flopping on many positions that made him a moderate—from his support of the 1994 crime bill to his initial rejection of the Green New Deal.
I'm certain that Joe Biden himself is incapable of crafting a coherent response to McGurn's implied query, but his staffers along with other Dems can do it for him. Why the silence?

It looks like the Democratic party is finally addressing this issue, but not in the way many of us would like. Consider the following tweet:

John Gabriel comments:
One of the two major parties in the U.S. now publicly proclaims that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt are the moral equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan.

Has everybody lost their minds?

I know. Rhetorical question.

Perhaps Biden and Pelosi can hire the Taliban. They have experience removing monumental sculpture.
And if the Taliban demure from this idiocy, I'm sure the Dems might be able to find a few Khmer Rouge holdovers who might be willing to do the job.

For the social justice warriors whose insanity is driving the "erasure," there is no statute of limitations. All offensive places, people, and events MUST be erased, all offensive (to them) statutes MUST be torn down, all language must be cleansed of micro-aggressions, all speech must be moderated and controlled. Charles Lipson comments on the "rigid groupthink" that is the hallmark of social justice warriors:
What’s wrong with this rigid groupthink? First, it takes real problems, such as police misconduct or Confederate statues, and inflates them for political purposes. It vastly exaggerates their extent and gravity, mistakenly generalizes them (Ulysses Grant is not Stonewall Jackson), ignores significant progress in correcting old errors, calls any disagreement “racist,” and relies on intimidation and sometimes violence, not democratic procedures, to get their way. The loudest voices say America and its history are fundamentally evil, that its institutions need to be smashed so they can be reestablished on “socially just” foundations. The mob and their fellow travelers will determine what is just. Who gives them that right? This arrogation of power and attack on public order will not end well.
As Lipson correctly implies, pushback is coming.