Whether it was that time you studied for months and won the school spelling bee, or that moment you lost your ever-lovin’ mind and stole that pack of gum from the corner store, your past is always with you. We, as human beings, never consider hiding the moments we are most proud of, so why do we want to erase the parts of our history that represent our greatest failures?
We, The Ranger staff, feel that we, as a society, should stop trying to re-write or hide the parts of our collective past that make us uncomfortable and embrace those successes and failures that have made us who we are today.
Re-writing history is not a new thing, but that doesn’t make it right. People have been attempting to make themselves look better by “revising” their history since the time of the cavemen. “Ugh… Me kill 12 mastodon!!” “Ugh… You not kill mastodon. You kill tiny bug and scream like little girl!!”
Take, for example, Korea, also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (abbreviated DPRK).
The media in North Korea are state-controlled and every piece of information that is disseminated to the people is shaped to make the Supreme Leader and his actions seem to be in the best interest of his country.
The DPRK’s history books are written in a way that make their past leaders look like heroes that have been fighting a world full of evil nations rather than appearing like men who have tortured and killed their own people for decades.
How about an example that hits a little closer to home? Our own civil war is still a point of contention that some people would like to erase from our textbooks. Confederate statues are being torn down for a myriad of reasons but those who seek to hide the fact that our states fought to keep their right to expand slavery are severely misguided.
Just a few years ago a Texas textbook publisher referred to African slaves as “workers” and “immigrants” rather than slaves.
We want to take a moment here to say that while we don’t encourage the memorialization of leaders who have made tragic mistakes or followed terribly misguided ideologies, we do want to encourage the preservation of historically factual texts and landmarks.
It’s important that we don’t lose the things that are a part of our predecessors’ legacies. Their victories and losses made them stronger and wiser. For us to disregard their blood, sweat and tears just because they make us embarrassed or uncomfortable would be disrespectful to their memory and the lives that they lived.
We, The Ranger staff, want to challenge our readers to embrace our uncomfortable past. We feel it is important to get out of our comfort zone, learn about and from our mistakes and teach our descendants a better way of life.