Standing up for history

To The Sunday Times

In 1960s Oxford I would see Cecil Rhodes’s statue, think how wrong he was and walk on. That is life in an open, tolerant country: bits of our history are sticking up everywhere, and we are free to admire, condemn or laugh at them. I prefer that to a country in which public art has to conform to a prevailing ideology.  (Mike Lynch, Cambridge, UK)

My comment:  Whether it is Cecil Rhodes or Martin Luther King, or a Southern general from the War between the States, those represented are inescapable parts of history.  There are too many ignorant people who want to move or destroy statues or memorials because the don’t like the history.  That is narrow- minded.  If they studied history properly they would develop an understanding.  The problem is that fewer and fewer students study history.  History is about human motivations and behavior, not about dates or ideology.

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