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Seems to me history can have a big role in stoking racial division in this country.  Why is there racism?  Isn’t it based on how perceive other races based on what they learned from the history books?  Would we still have the same sort of racism if we just pressed a button that erased everyone’s memory of history?  For example, is it a good idea to talk about events like Pearl Harbor, and doesn’t that do a lot to make young ignorant white people dislike those of Asian descent?

TLDR: burn history books maybe?

TIA

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Why can’t we learn from history?  Eliminating history does nothing.  Who gets to decide what is worth eliminating?  Tearing down “racist” statues last summer accomplished nothing.  

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24 minutes ago, AAABatteries said:

:mellow: 

I love you Otis but

:mellow:

I’m not seriously suggesting we disappear history or burn history books.  But isn’t it a fair question?  If everyone woke up tomorrow with no memory of the past, would people all still have all these awful racist views?  What reason would the ignorant parts of our population have for hating others then?

PS I hated history in high school.  Sorry not sorry.  

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4 minutes ago, Otis said:

I’m not seriously suggesting we disappear history or burn history books.  But isn’t it a fair question?  If everyone woke up tomorrow with no memory of the past, would people all still have all these awful racist views?  What reason would the ignorant parts of our population have for hating others then?

PS I hated history in high school.  Sorry not sorry.  

Because sometimes people fear and hate things different than them 🤷🏽‍♂️ 

If aliens landed tomorrow, and we have no history with them, do you think we'd all embrace? 

We spent some time yesterday at the national memorial for Peace and Justice. https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/

This is the type of history you're talking about, but I think it's vital that we understand as much history as possible. Preferably unfiltered but that's almost impossible. So learn from multiple perspectives.

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17 minutes ago, Otis said:

I’m not seriously suggesting we disappear history or burn history books.  But isn’t it a fair question?  If everyone woke up tomorrow with no memory of the past, would people all still have all these awful racist views?  What reason would the ignorant parts of our population have for hating others then?

PS I hated history in high school.  Sorry not sorry.  

I have a very different perspective from many about race relations - I think we are on a positive trajectory.  I’m not suggesting there’s not racism, far from it but I think people tend to forget history and how absolutely horrible things were years ago.  We have room to grow and there’s plenty of things we can do to help but I think we are moving in a positive direct when taking history in to account.

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Otis’ OP has a good point but the wrong conclusion over how we could hypothetically rectify it. To magically eliminate history wouldn’t necessarily solve anything (except the ME wars on end :tinfoilhat:). BUT to magically erase how people were raised would make a greater difference— that whole “babies aren’t born haters....”, nurture thingy and all....

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3 hours ago, Otis said:

Why is there racism?  Isn’t it based on how perceive other races based on what they learned from the history books?

Not any history book I've ever read. Maybe in history books written before WWII or something, but nothing I've read during my formal education explicitly promoted racism.

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3 hours ago, Otis said:

Seems to me history can have a big role in stoking racial division in this country.  Why is there racism?  Isn’t it based on how perceive other races based on what they learned from the history books?  Would we still have the same sort of racism if we just pressed a button that erased everyone’s memory of history?  For example, is it a good idea to talk about events like Pearl Harbor, and doesn’t that do a lot to make young ignorant white people dislike those of Asian descent?

TLDR: burn history books maybe?

TIA

A lot of the most significant racist acts in our country's history are either barely mentioned or completely skipped in most history books that children will have. Have you heard of the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, which was actually a coup of an elected government? How many people only have heard of the Tulsa massacre 100 years ago because of The Watchmen on HBO? I don't think being ignorant of that history helps us to properly address its impacts today. :2cents:

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History is important because it should remind us of how badly it sucked to be there. Stuff was terrible, wars, famines, diseases, and technology was awful as well. That should be all the more reason to move forward away from all the bad ideas our predecessors had, like racism and poor hygiene.

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I'm sure Otis will get dogpiled here and I'm happy to join in on nitpicking the specifics, but I think he's raising an interesting hypothetical about the relative benefits and costs of cultural amnesia.  Our society divides people up into kind of silly and irrational groups that change over time and even change over different contexts.  If you could push a button that would cause everyone to forget that this guy is supposed part of my in-group while this guy is supposed to be part of my out-group, that would probably be a good thing.  Would we reinvent stupid racial categories if we started over from scratch?  Maybe.  In fact, I suspect we probably would.  But it would be an interesting experiment regardless.  

That said, I don't want to forget history.  Not out of any romantic attachment to history per se, just that knowing accurate stuff is good and ignorance is bad.  It never occurred to me to hate Asian people because of Pearl Harbor -- I don't hate Germans, let alone "Europeans" -- and I don't think those of us who can think clearly should be denied the opportunity to learn accurate stuff because of how stupid people might react.  

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I've said my whole life that racism exists because people talk about it.  That's probably a somewhat naïve view of things, and the exact opposite of what we're preached to think, but I stand by the general idea.  At least Morgan Freeman agrees with me. :shrug:

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Racism is just one manifestation of people's fear of what they don't understand.

I would push to learn history through travel, personal experience - per Mark Twain:

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

 

Edited by matuski
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4 hours ago, WDIK2 said:

What would we do if we couldn't compare people to Hitler?

We couldn't add "gate" to the end of controversies.  

Chaos.

It could literally turn into Hitlergate.

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Count me in the group that thinks racism would be 10x worse without history.

The further back we go, the less history there is, the less history that was recorded/taught, the worse racism/sexism/slavery gets.

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1 hour ago, zed2283 said:

I've said my whole life that racism exists because people talk about it.  That's probably a somewhat naïve view of things, and the exact opposite of what we're preached to think, but I stand by the general idea.  At least Morgan Freeman agrees with me. :shrug:

Just because you've said it your whole life didn't make it correct. Because it isn't. 

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When I was in the 8th grade in Miami I had my mandatory history class. There were like 120 kids seated in the auditorium. The teacher, Mr. Van Culen would put one acetate up after another on an overhead projector and the students had to copy it all down in longhand in our notebooks. Day after day we transcribed  the history of the world. We went from ancient Rome to the Renaissance to many, many wars and their causes...

I'm trying to see if I can remember any of his content from his classes and one thing stands out the greatest in my "clouded" memories: 

One day he came to class and as he was loading up the projector he said, "I went to the movies last night. Anyone know who Dirty Harry is? Well, Dirty Harry is my kind of guy."

So that is what I gained from 8th grade history class.

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3 hours ago, zed2283 said:

I've said my whole life that racism exists because people talk about it.  That's probably a somewhat naïve view of things, and the exact opposite of what we're preached to think, but I stand by the general idea.  At least Morgan Freeman agrees with me. :shrug:

 

Morgan Freeman doesn't think racism exists because people talk about it.  He thinks talking about it doesn't help or change anything.

Edited by matuski
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4 minutes ago, matuski said:

 

Morgan Freeman doesn't think racism exists because people talk about it.  He thinks talking about it doesn't help or change anything.

He thinks making a bigger deal of it than it needs to be is a problem.  I said in my OP that I realize it's a bit naïve way to look at what is a complicated topic.  There needs to be some level of education and pointing things out, but overall if people didn't bring it up over and over and beat it into the ground it would slowly die away.  Racism won't, because it will always be there in some form.  But anything resembling an issue would.  We live in a society today where we grow up together, we go to school together, we play ball together.  Race really doesn't play a part until someone makes it.  That's my opinion anyway.

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3 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

After we erase history, the white people still get to keep all the stuff though, right?

Correct, I'm not giving anything back.  

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5 hours ago, Desert_Power said:

A lot of the most significant racist acts in our country's history are either barely mentioned or completely skipped in most history books that children will have. Have you heard of the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, which was actually a coup of an elected government? How many people only have heard of the Tulsa massacre 100 years ago because of The Watchmen on HBO? I don't think being ignorant of that history helps us to properly address its impacts today. :2cents:

A real good point.  I don't think it's exactly racism, but maybe it is.  Like they say, the winners write history.  This would reflect the Wilmington Insurrection (sort of similar to Trump's) Yankees over the Confederates.  The Tulsa massacre, I wasn't familar with outside of the watchman.  

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28 minutes ago, matuski said:

 

Morgan Freeman doesn't think racism exists because people talk about it.  He thinks talking about it doesn't help or change anything.

Morgan Freeman provides narration for many programs from science to history. That doesn’t mean I’m going to mistake Morgan Freeman as an expert in anything but the subject of voiceover narration.

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12 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

Like they say, the winners write history. 

Who exactly are the "winners" here?  Both Wilmington and Tulsa were carried out white supremacists upset at the success of black people in their community.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz
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15 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Who exactly are the "winners" here?  Both Wilmington and Tulsa were carried out white supremacists upset at the success of black people in their community.

Who has the power?

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31 minutes ago, Cold Dead Hands said:

Morgan Freeman provides narration for many programs from science to history. That doesn’t mean I’m going to mistake Morgan Freeman as an expert in anything but the subject of voiceover narration.

I don't know what that has to do with anything but I would agree.... I was clarifying his position that the poster above referenced.

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11 hours ago, Otis said:

Seems to me history can have a big role in stoking racial division in this country.  Why is there racism?  Isn’t it based on how perceive other races based on what they learned from the history books?  Would we still have the same sort of racism if we just pressed a button that erased everyone’s memory of history?  For example, is it a good idea to talk about events like Pearl Harbor, and doesn’t that do a lot to make young ignorant white people dislike those of Asian descent?

TLDR: burn history books maybe?

TIA

You're a day late and a dollar short.  The left is already erasing and/or revising history to fit the narrative.

Not sure if you see that as good news or bad news, though.

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8 hours ago, BladeRunner said:

You're a day late and a dollar short.  The left is already erasing and/or revising history to fit the narrative.

Not sure if you see that as good news or bad news, though.

What history has been erased? 

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We all know the old adage that the definition  of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. History books are a helpful tool in this regard.

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