Letter: Stop viewing history through the lens of today
So here we go again. Celebrating the Fourth of July and our nation’s founding in the belief that freedom and high ideals were the formative underpinnings of our country is not sufficient for the “woke.” Jay Wissot is undoubtedly “woke.” We, the bourgeois, must be reminded that we cannot celebrate our nation’s founding without equivocation because the universal principles of the Declaration of Independence are not enough. Absurd.
The woke has other ideas for us as they apparently believe they have the right to be the ordained revisionists of history. Whether Wissot considers himself woke or not, his recent column is reflective of an anthem of the woke — the United States is systematically racist — and it began with our country’s Founding Fathers because they held darkly clandestine opinions on race despite the the words of the Declaration. This rationale supports Critical Race Theory, the embodiment of revisionist U.S. history.
I tire of hearing all of this and hesitated to contribute to the ongoing and useless conversation on the subject. I have, however, long believed that one cannot view the past in the same light or perspective as the present — to me, that should be common sense. I have personally lived through some turbulent history myself that could today be interpreted from multiple viewpoints.
The events of the past are history and those events and the actions of the leadership class must be viewed within that perspective at least 99% of the time, however difficult that may be. The 1% would include those few cases throughout history with such a timeless universal evil presence as Adolf Hitler. As Walter McDougall, a noted historian, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal’s “Weekend Interview” this past weekend in referencing the woke: “…the woke either don’t know how to think historically or they don’t want to think historically.”
Many members of the media and press, as well as our fellow countrymen, however, continue to adhere to revisionist history through viewing the past through the “lens” of today. Woke or not, they are determined to convict our Founding Fathers as immoral and despicably flawed men who engineered a contrived and racially biased genesis for the United States. As McDougall also states in the interview, believing “this country is not living up to its ideals … is considerably different than this country does not have any ideals.”
Enough. My final point to make, Wissot — if you must be a part of the woke, give the rest of us a break as CNN did last night with their beautifully crafted special, “The Fourth in America”. Ironically, I think CNN is mostly woke).
Austin and Vail