White washing history

I have opined more than once about the whitewashing of this nation’s history, the attempts to say that slavery was merely giving shelter to immigrants, that racism isn’t a part of our past, and more recently that January 6th was just another tourist day. But our friend Keith summarizes these attempts better than I can and warns of the dangers ahead if we continue to hide our history. Thank you, Keith, for this very timely post!


When history does not support a narrative, we have folks who will get out their paint brush and paint over bad or questionable things. A good example is to white wash the heinous insurrection on January 6, implying insurrectionists were just tourists. Last time I checked, tourists don’t plead guilty for seditious actions. Maybe they missed the memo to act like they are sightseeing when they storm the Capitol.

Today, we have folks who want to defund the FBI and IRS, because they are picking on Donald J. Trump for one of many alleged crimes or mischievous actions. Of course, the CFO for the Trump organization just pled guilty to tax fraud, so maybe he is another tourist. Or, maybe the former president took classified documents to plan for a tourist trip abroad.

Of course, these folks must have a large supply of white paint, especially since so much has…

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15 thoughts on “White washing history

  1. If we don’t like what we see, we just, paint it over, with a, brand new layer of, fresh coat, because, that is what we do, ignore what’s, already happened in the world, keeping ourselves in the dark, because we don’t want to see what is wrong and bad in the world right now. No wonder this world is, a mess right now!

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        • Perhaps you’re right. I expect such a thing from small, autocratic countries, but I never thought I’d see it here. Then, after much thought, I realized it has, to some extent, always been that way here. I’m amazed that it is the same there, though … I thought Germany, of all countries, would not want to cover up their past. Still that many who have never been accounted for??? That’s terrible, Michael! Sigh. xx


  2. Pingback: White washing history — Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  3. I was stunned by your comment that there are people who allege slavery was merely giving housing to immigrants. Are there people who really say that? That is an obvious vile lie. What kind of person would believe such a thing.

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    • One who doesn’t know the real story, as in an 8 year old kid who has not yet encountered the concept of slavery. If not told he or she will never know, until it is thrown in their face. And then comes visits to the psychologist, when the kids learn they cannot trust the authority figures in their lives. Believers in not teaching CRT do not look forward far enough to realize what they will be doing to their children.

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      • When I was growing up as a kid of the 1950s, what “official” NZ history we were taught (and there was very little) was “sanitised” rather than whitewashed, and told from a colonial perspective rather than from a Māori perspective. However, our family was privileged to live next door to a very elderly Māori lady and perhaps the only remaining person in the region with a moko (tattoo on chin and lips) that was chiselled into the skin rather than the “modern” method of using needles. She must have been born in the late 1850s, and she shared with us a very different and painful perspective of how her whānau (extended family) suffered at the hands of the colonial administration.

        Perhaps what I most admired, was her conviction that by telling her story with humility and patience, there would come a time when the evils of that era would be righted. She died when I was about 10 or 11 and several decades before Māori voices were listened to. But I believe examples of people like her have been the catalyst of the movement, beginning in the 1970s, of moving Pākehā towards an appreciation of a Māori perspective, and the resulting revitalisation of Māori culture. Don’t get me wrong – there’s a very long way to go, but at least the journey has started.

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        • Meanwhile, here they are trying to end the stories of people of colour. They cannot make us cease to exist, but the Conservatives/Republicans would have people believe they did not commit crimes against humanity.

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        • Thank you so much, Barry, for sharing that story of your neighbor and how she helped you understand the true history of your people, your nation. I had a grandmother, and a great-aunt and great-uncle who had been victims of the Holocaust, so similarly I heard the first-hand stories and no amount of sanitizing or whitewashing will ever convince me that Hitler was not evil from the core. And this … the telling by those who lived through it … is how our youth will learn of our true history. For me, it is the Jim Crow era that I lived through, the Vietnam War to which I lost a few friends, and more … I will pass on those truths … it is all I have to give. I just hope this nation soon realizes what a crime it is to cover up our past, for it is from our past that we will carve our future.

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    • It’s hard to say if they really believe that, or if it just makes them more comfortable to believe that their ancestors were kindly giving these Black people an opportunity, rather than enslaving, beating, and sometimes killing them. Same is true of such things as the Japanese-American internment camps where we stole the property of Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbour, and think about white man’s treatment of the Indigenous People … but nowhere in the high school history books will you read the truth, that we stole their land and massacred them. People can convince themselves of the lie, I suppose, but if we don’t learn from our past mistakes, we are destined to repeat them.


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