I have been a bit quiet lately. But developments in recent weeks compel this writer and sometime historian to speak out about something.
Us Americans can disagree on a lot and still be American. But some advocacy lately crosses the line into what is both un-American and intolerable.
There is a group of people that have been calling for virtually erasing parts of our culture and history. Take the controversy over the Confederate flag. I actually agree that removing the flag from being flown at state capitols is a reasonable move. (Maybe you disagree with me on that, which I understand.) But removing it from being sold at Civil War battlegrounds? Vandalizing historic statues, including in the Denton Courthouse Square? Heck, removing it from the top of that beloved car, The General Lee?
Going beyond the battle flag, there has been a call to ban Gone With the Wind. I am not kidding. In a different vein, there have been protests against showing The Producers, one of the most brilliant comedies of the 20th Century. And this from the same sort of people who have no problem taking your taxes to subsidize obscene performance “art” that I will not even dignify to mention. (I would oppose banning even that “art”, too. But subsidizing it?)
I could continue. Believe me, I could! But a gentleman named George Orwell warned us of those who would erase history and culture. Not to mention the warnings of history from the destruction of the Library of Alexandria to the totalitarian regimes of the 20th Century to the destruction today of antiquities by ISIS.
Don't get me wrong. I believe in freedom and free speech. I also believe in using our freedom and free speech to say NO to these New Totalitarians who would destroy culture and history. We best do that and soon.