Recently, a post came up on Facebook and I explored it a little further. What I found left me baffled and truthfully, snickering to myself. I just don’t get it. Sorry, but I don’t. I don’t understand how we can start a movement, without first becoming fully educated about whatever said movement is about. If we did more of this, I think there would be a whole lot less unnecessary friction started.
The other thing which baffles me is how we seem to think everyone else has to change to fit our opinions. Just so I don’t get myself in trouble with people I don’t want to offend, here’s a very simple, elementary, example.
Zany is looking for a place to live. He finds this awesome place at the Green House Apartments. Everything in the apartments is green. The outside, the inside, everything is green. But he likes the location so he moves in. Six months later, he starts a petition to change the color to Purple. He begins marching outside with signs, “Green is not my color.” “Down with green.” “Green is offensive.” “Sign our petition.” Pretty soon, there are a few more residents who agree with him and want purple. It starts a very tense situation for people living at Green House Apartments.
Here’s the thing which seems to be missing, the place was green when he moved in. If he doesn’t like green, he should go somewhere else, not change what was before he got there. This is unnecessary friction. Yes, he has rights, but why does he think his rights usurp the right of the owners when he is there by choice?
Are you thinking to yourself, this doesn’t really happen? Well it does. Take the article I was reading. Now, before we go any further. I am not taking any stance on this particular issue as it is being presented. I’m just pointing out some things to show how we really need to be more educated BEFORE we create a movement on something.
You may or may not have heard about the University of Missouri (UM) having some protests started last year over a statue of Thomas Jefferson. A few students want it removed. Do you know how many art pieces we can be offended by? Isn’t art supposed to be about individual interpretation?
So why do they want this particular piece of art removed?
“Thomas Jefferson’s statue sends a clear nonverbal message that his values and beliefs are supported by the University of Missouri. Jefferson’s statue perpetuates a sexist-racist atmosphere that continues to reside on campus,” states the Change.org petition. “…Removing Jefferson’s statue alone will not eliminate the racial problems we face in America today, but it will help cure the emotional and psychological strain of history.” ~Collegefix
First education – removing a statue is not going to cure any emotional and psychological strain of history. Reality check – if this were true, it would be wonderful. After all, Confederate Rock at UM was removed and it didn’t cure anything, if it had, this would not be an issue now.
Second – we wouldn’t have anything left after removing everything causing someone emotional and psychological strain. Here are some of the things we’d have to remove at UM:
Truman the Tiger. The name Truman came from Harry S. Truman. Truman’s family were slave owners.
While he was dating his future wife Bess, she claimed that he told her that he felt that one person was as good as any other as long as they were not black. He also criticised the Chinese in America, the Jews – to whom he referred to as “Kikes” and the Italians in America who he called “wops”. ~ HistoricalLearningSite
So do we get rid of the name Truman? Will that also cure any emotional and psychological strain of history?
UM was established with funds from the Geyer Act. What’s that? Look it up. It provided for the education of WHITE school children. How do we remove this in order to cure the emotional and psychological strain of history, give all the money back to the government?
The Geyer Act was introduced by James Rollins. James Rollins is known as the “Father of the University of Missouri”. He was a major slave owner. So much so, initially he wasn’t allowed to join the Republican party. James Rollin, also owned the land UM is built on and the stadium is named after him. How can we remove those?
UM is in Boone County. Boone County was worked by slaves. And at one point, slaves made up more than 1/4 of the population. It was at the heart of what was known as the “Little Dixie“. How do we remove that?
Boone County is in a Confederate State. Yeah, how do you remove that?
Thomas Jefferson. If we remove the statue, do we also get rid of the Thomas Jefferson Award, which “recognizes individuals who rise above excellence and demonstrate clear distinction in teaching, research, writing, creative activities, and service to the University of Missouri and humankind”? The thing is, just removing a statute doesn’t change history. Historically, UM was shaped by Jefferson’s ideas of education. So why would you want to attend a place shaped by someone you want to remove a statue of? Choose a college which stands for what you stand for.
Here’s the thing:
Harry Truman, he changed his views.
“I believe in brotherhood….of all men before the law….if any (one)class or race can be permanently set apart from, or pushed down below the rest in politics and civil rights, so may any other class or race……and we say farewell to the principles on which we count our safety…….The majority of our Negro people find but cold comfortin our shanties and tenements. Surely, as free men, they are entitledto something better than this.”
James Rollins, he changed his views.
Thomas Jefferson, well, old Tom is one of those confusing characters. He owned slaves, but pretty much his whole life was steadfast against slavery. He does represent some morally corrupt ideals, according to today’s society. This is more about being fully educated instead of half-educated on an issue before creating a movement.
So although the other two guys were for slavery, owned slavery, and out of necessity changed their views, Thomas Jefferson didn’t really have to change his views. Not defending him, there are some major allegations about him – allegations, not proven. Just trying to make the educated point, before we start a movement, we really need to educate ourselves.
We not only need to be fully educated, but we need to know where does it end? With the reasoning of the petition, this movement can only truly end by removing the entire state off the face of the earth or by choosing a different college.
Maybe we could take this statue of Thomas Jefferson and use it to educate people on what he believed, what he did to help end slavery. Actually, it might be good for those signing the petition to do a good study on him and learn how to combat something you dislike. To advance their cause, they could actually use some of his own words:
- Racism is a “moral depravity!”
- Prejudice is a “hideous blot” on humanity!
- Discrimination is the “greatest threat to the survival of the” “American nation!”
- “Everyone had a right to personal liberty!”
It’s time some of these half-educated people take time to learn before becoming steadfast on starting a movement.
If you don’t like living in a green house, move.
Please let me make a note. There are good reasons to start a movement and not accept “the green house.” If someone is being abused, used, taken advantage of, or truly discriminated against, we need to stand up against that. But we can’t move into a situation by choice and then force those around us to change when it’s only a matter of preference. There are a whole lot of options out there, its the freedom of choice we have here in America.