History

278 – “For more than 100 years, the American educational system has revolved around four basic R’s—reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic, and racism. By sins of commission and omission, by words said but also by words not said, facts conveniently overlooked and images suppressed, the American school system has made the fourth R—racism—the ground of the traditional three-R fare.”

–Lerone Bennett Jr
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“I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. I have when I felt it was desirable to do so for my own protection. … I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.”

Karl T Frederick
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Quote from Inaugural Address

“This provident forecast has been verified by time. Half a century, teeming with extraordinary events, and elsewhere producing astonishing results, has passed along, but on our institutions it has left no injurious mark. From a small community we have risen to a people powerful in numbers and in strength; but with our increase has gone hand in hand the progress of just principles. The privileges, civil and religious, of the humblest individual are still sacredly protected at home, and while the valor and fortitude of our people have removed far from us the slightest apprehension of foreign power, they have not yet induced us in a single instance to forget what is right.”

–Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the United States
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“The greatest existing cause of lynching is the perpetration, especially by black men, of the hideous crime of rape – the most abominable in all the category of crimes, even worse than murder.”

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

[Note on why I have included this quote: This quote is representative of the idea that people see what they want to see in history, while ignoring what they don’t. While in many ways Theodore Roosevelt was very progressive (one of our most progressive presidents in some respects), yet he still was a man very much of, and constrained by the ideologies of, his time. The idea that rape was being committed on a large scale by African American men against (white) women is an old, exaggerated, and thoroughly false accusation. This argument was used to avoid the terrible nature of lynchings and protect the perpetrators, in a system akin to what happens in rape culture today.
It is important that people acknowledge a more complete and complex picture of history and historical figures. It is possible to acknowledge the achievements of historical figures, while at the same time condemning them for their failings, immorality, and flaws, among other negative features, after all they are only human. So often we put historical figures on a pedestal, both literally and figuratively, overlooking anything that deviates from our preconceived narrative of said persons. We glorify achievements, while ignoring faults; even when we have pointed out such faults in others. It is analogues to the lesson from the proverbial saying of the Mote and Beam. While celebrating history is fine, and in fact should be encouraged, sanctifying it distorts the truth. History is not a straight-forward and linear discipline, history is messy and complex, made all the more so by the permanent loss of historical records of the past and egos who let ideology and notions speak in place of documented record.] (more…)

“A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.”

George W Bush, 43rd President of the United States

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“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

“ऐसा पल आता है, मगर इतिहास में ऐसा पल बहुत कम आता है, जब हम पुराने से बाहर निकल कर नये युग में कदम रखते हैं, जब एक युग समाप्त हो जाता है, तब एक देश की लम्बे समय से दबी हुई आत्मा मुक्त होती है.”

Jawaharlal Nehru

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