Please Do Not Forget: A Complex History of Humans

  • Home
  • Views
  • Please Do Not Forget: A Complex History of Humans

Humans have done unspeakable things to one another throughout history. We have killed, enslaved, raped, maimed and tortured one another for sport or glory or money or just sheer hatred. But humans have also done remarkable things like build nations, form governments, write volumes of poetry, explain natural phenomena and cure diseases.

We are a complex species.

But how should history remember those whose lives encompassed both ignominy and glory? It is easy to want to put people like George Washington, Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great on a pedestal. They have indeed shaped our history as revolutionaries, successful leaders and military generals but they have also owned slaves and killed men for sport.

We cannot forget that great leaders have flaws. We cannot forget that George Washington became a slave owner at the age of 11 and, by his death, had 318 slaves working at Mount Vernon. We cannot forget that Julius Caesar, to honor his father’s death, put on elaborate funeral games, which included 640 slaves that were forced to fight with animals to the death. We cannot forget that Alexander the Great in a drunken rampage destroyed the Persian jewel, Persepolis, and looted and burned this great city.

Even indisputably significant humans have done things modern society would scowl at.

Debate today regarding this topic has occurred on the Yale University campus. One of the residential colleges has been named after John C. Calhoun, the seventh vice president of the United States, great political theorist and Yale valedictorian. However, his support of slavery as a positive good has cast a shadow over his role in history.

Many students and faculty members have advocated for renaming this residential college. Isaiah Genece, a junior in Calhoun College, during a forum shared his support for renaming the college in an emotional speech. “As much as I’ve come to feel a part of the Calhoun community, as much as I will proudly use that name, these are the things that remind me,” he said as he pointed to a portrait of Calhoun that hung on the wall at the front of the room. “These are the things I find disturbing and fearsome.”

The discussion regarding Calhoun has prompted a further examination of the other college names. Several other residential colleges have been named after slave owners such as George Berkeley and Ezra Stiles. Even Elihu Yale, the namesake of Yale University, had a controversial role in the East India Company, which traded not only tea but also opium. Should all these institutions be renamed?

While the brave students, faculty and administration take on this great debate, I have one caveat. History has happened. The role of historians is to tell the history as it was, not as we wish it to be. We should not categorize people of history as good or bad. The complexity of mankind cannot be overlooked when we summarize the accomplishments and failures of our predecessors in a brief paragraph.

History is also not fiction. America and Americans have screwed up in the past. That does not mean that we can change our history, rewrite the gory and horrible parts in order to promote nationalistic sentiment.

Deeming slaves as “workers,” a McGraw-Hill World Geography textbook attempted to do such a thing: to forget the horrible actions of our slave-owning founding fathers.

Roni Dean-Burren, a mother of a 15-year-old son and doctoral candidate at the University of Houston, said in an interview with the Washington Post: “This is erasure. This is revisionist history – retelling the story however the winners would like it told.”

Revisionist history helps no one. Without covering the complete American story including the good, such as the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, and the bad, such as slavery and the despicable treatment of Native Americans, without telling these stories we fail to educate future generations and do not give them the knowledge to make hard decisions such as renaming Calhoun College.

As the students and faculty at Yale continue to debate this significant issue, I applaud their bravery in challenging history. Whatever decision they make as a community will set a precedent for the many buildings and institutions named after complex people. No pressure.

Commentaries are the expressed opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of The Fourcast staff, its adviser or any member of the Hockaday community.


Mary Orsak

Mary is an avid bibliophile, politico and a lover of law and crime TV shows.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

face mask: amara view full face mask head gear types types of masks face time party snoozer mask face masks korean tomatoes full face mask airfit f20 fallout 3 face mask what disposable masks should i get for flue n95 mask vs blue hospital mask which way to wear white disposeable face mask 3m n95 mask sale cheap surgical mask tv screen dust mask what respirator mask filter asthma for cutting grass disposable face mask ireland how to get a respirator to seal with a beard face shield balaclava masks triton water respirator fairy respirator gateway safety vented peakfit disposable respirator n95 in bulk mask on face 3m n95 masks sizes chart n95 air duct fit test kimberly clark n95 or 3m n95 do morticians wear face masks n95 respirators fit test materials feline coronavirus reverse genetics how tomake emoji face masks gelatin charcoal face mask how to make face masks to get rid of acne owens disposable mask mask printable pig face masks skull mask surgical shaped how does star lords face mask keep him alive in space breathing face mask for running when should you wear a dust mask bmx face mask all day comfortable dust mask coronavirus cats contagious daily wear mask for dust and mold does the surgical mask help avoid the flu when traveling best dust protection mask msa replacement parts dust mask earloop masks mexican art glass face mask coronavirus causing pneumonia voc respirator cartridges uber driver coronavirus how to make a silicone face mask 8511 3m mask for pollution uvex by honeywell bionic face shield recall harga face shield final cut pro draw mask dust

male enhancement: homemade swx super shanghai pills supplements to boost libido in men cock pill cure for ed where to buy viagra locally cialis price comparison viagra engorged flaccid state penis enlargement how to take viagra safely black mamba male enhancement pills free shipping injectable drugs for erectile dysfunction penis shaped mdma pills where can i get clomiphene pills penis enlargement doctors in new york how to make your dick bigger for free how much does viagra 100mg cost on the street what makes your dick big college penis size does beating your meat make it grow edicanento sin receta igual q la viagra en usa will dht increase penis size male enhancement drink from brazil do testosterone boosters adaptogens for sex drive penile enlargement chicago penis extender routine growth factor male enhancement herbal male enhancement does onion juice stimulate penis growth lavitra cost does vitamin d3 and magnesium increase male sex drive viagra free trial voucher camila birth control low sex drive what to kill your sex drive what are you if you have no sex drive girl from sex drive what does meth do to sex drive felicia sex drive who invented viagra what is best viagra cialis or levitra whos the girl in the viagra commercial pills that work for penis enlargement good viagra tablets sex on placebo pills masturbating and viagra what are other forms of viagra how many men in usa use viagra like drugs is bluechew real what happens if you are found with viagra at the bkk airport rite aid penis enlargement oil on 4th ave brooklyn ny 11217 food for low libido how viagra keeps an errection

cbd oil: cbd oil with thc what the difference between hemp oil and cbd oil cbd hemp buds can cbd oil cause muscle cramps goldline cbd gummies best cbd companies 2019 what is cbd shatter irish skin just cbd doobie best cbd oil near me brands of cbd oil cbd oil for demntian is full spectrum hemp oil the same as cbd oil populum cbd modern medicinals cbd oil cbd oil and wellbutrin interaction las vegas cbd oil legal cbd ignite cbd drops review krul cbd oil tram to melbourne zoo from cbd cbd oil from shark tank does thc and cbd cure cancer nuleaf coupon smoking hemp oil hemp oil for dementia hempworx 500 dosage can you overdose on cbd oil you need to know cbd oil dosage for parkinsons oil from marijuana hotels in cbd melbourne australia gw humans modern does cbd oil taste bad coumadin adverse effects natural grocers cbd oil plant abuse ankylosing spondylitis cbd type 1 interferon signaling cbd oil vape juice via natural olive oil scientific pens pura vida cbd oil siskiyou sungrown cbd tincture indica cbd vape oil we high where can i buy cbd oil in ohio pros and cons of cbd cbd oil for alcohol induced nausea cannabis coconut oil benefits how long does cbd oil last once taken recommended of cbd oil for anxiety

vape: snowwolf vape mod element vape coupon code reddit how to get rid of vape smell ecig experiment prototype diy vape kits stick x8 coils 213 vape big ecig ohm vape supply mk10 charger ecig squonk vape mod vape juice recipe calculator turbo vape tank vapor usa kensei rta vape smart smok novo juice iron fist mod water vapor to liquid vapor devils kronic juice vape dbv vape raspberry lemonade vape juice valley vape e cigarette laws in utah best weed vaporizer 2016 e vapor cigarette brands e cigarette health warning ingredients in vaping smok tfv8 t6 interventions of vaping e cigarette at 711 smok alien 85 kit best box mods under 100 best atomizer is cbd vape legal smok alien usb charging vape coil tool kit best vape wick nicotine poisoning from e cigarettes uwell crown smokeless vape burns back of throat what brand coils work in a uwell crown tank best rebuildable atomizer tank harsh taste uwell crown voopoo drag cover uwell whirl 0 6 ohm can you refill juul pods with water voopoo uforce p2 smok nord specs voopoo drag switching modes vaporesso gt8 coils

weight loss: appetite suppressant for women in their 40s foods to eat when you want to lose weight snl diet pills calorie calculator to lose weight men how much are metheo diet pills best diet pills for 2018 fast acting fat burner jadera diet pills where to buy vitamin to help burn fat medication for weight loss keto thin chicken breast baked recipes kickass keto recipes keto recipes with beef broth tri lipozene diabetic keto dessert recipes to lose weight breakfast burrata and portobello keto recipes william zigrang keto recipes pumpkin puree diet pills from india keto ice cream recipes for chefn sweet spot keto bread recipes kelley herring quinoa recipes for keto diet do you lose weight with chronic diarrhea strict diet plan to lose weight definition of losing lose weight with protein shakes for breakfast how to help my spouse lose weight 12000 steps green tea slim pills side effects best android app to lose weight lose weight with skinny fiber lose weight without loosing muscle how to tell your wife she need to lose weight how many calories should i burn from exercising to lose weight keto recipes with leftover steak how much weight can you lose in a week of water fasting how can a fat gay guy lose weight how much weight do you lose sweating actually working diet pills what athletes use to build muscle and lose weight fasting to lose weight in 2 weeks juice plus how much weight do you lose hokkaido diet pills side effects 2 in 4 daily calories should come from fat medicine to lose water weight can losing weight lower blood pressure best online diet pills that does not cause excessive sweating you are not fat how quickly do you lose weight while running food diet programs keto diet kale recipes

exam: SelfTestEngine 9L0-064 Cert Guide 100% Pass With A High Score, High Pass Rate ET1-010 Certification Braindumps Are The Best Materials, Prep4sure RTPM-001 Exam Dumps Pdf 100% Pass With A High Score, Pass4sure BCP-223 Vce And Pdf For Download, Exampassok BCP-811 Exam Engines Online Sale, Recenty Updated 640-816TL Test With Low Price, Prepare for the 642-452 Test Engine Latest Version PDF&VCE, New Release CAT-ASM-201-520 Vce Online Shop, ITexam-Answers EGMP101 Certification Answers Is What You Need To Take, Latest Release C9550-270 Exam Book For All Candidates From All Over The World, Free Download Real HP0-850 Study Guide Pdf Online Shop, Sale Discount HP2-B83 Real Exam Questions Is The Best Material, Up To Date HC-035-211-CHS Simulation Questions , High Pass Rate 000-019 Book With High Quality, Passeasy A2040-411 Dumps Pdf UP To 50% Off, Passguide P2180-089 Practice Exam Is The Best Material, Sale Discount 000-183 Guide Online, Free JN0-522 Answers With High Quality, The Most Recommended 070-442 Study Material On Our Store, 100% Pass MB4-349 Exam Cram Is Your Best Choice, Prepare for the 005-002 Pdf For All Candidates From All Over The World, Most Important 050-648 Exam Practice Pdf Are The Best Materials, Money Back Guarantee 1Z0-207 Simulation Questions Is Your Best Choice, Easily To Pass ST0-12X Exam Questions Sale, We Provide VCAW510 Exam Paper With New Discount, 50% OFF 600-455 Training With High Quality,