Imagine that you had access to a Time Machine (unlikely I know but bear with me) and you could go back and correct past mistakes, would you do it? You’d be aware that changing the past could also change your future but you’d be able to undo hurts, say things you never said, in short, come back to the present with no regrets; would you take the risk?
I think I can say that I categorically wouldn’t, for the simple reason that what we learn most from is our past. Yes we make mistakes but, as long as we only make them once, isn’t that what allows us to grow as human beings? Bearing this in mind, I wonder why there are so many calls to rewrite history these days because things that we said, done or written in the past are now considered racist?
We all know that demonising someone for their race or colour is unacceptable, for that matter, demonising anyone because they are different to us is wrong but is it right to try and erase the past to better fit our vision of the future?
- The name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder literary award has been changed as the Little House on The Prairie books are now considered to contain racist commentary
- There are calls for the film Zulu to be banned for being racist
- The Oompa Loompa’s in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have been compared to ‘happy slaves’ which is a racist concept
- Philip Nel, an expert in children’s literature says ““Seuss’ ‘Cat’ serves as one example of how racism hides openly — indeed, thrives — in popular culture for young people,”
- We’ve had ‘sensitive revisions’ to Enid Blyton books as they are now considered racist
- The novel Little Women is being rewritten to ‘celebrate’ it’s 150th anniversary to include LGBTQ and multi-racial characters
These are just a few examples that I found after 10 minutes whizzing around on Google, I am sure that there are many, many more.
I can only imagine how awful it must be to be a victim of racism or gender discrimination (sexism I do have experience of but that’s for another time) but the only reason I know anything about it is because I read about other people’s experiences. Isn’t that what reading is all about??
Seeing calls to ‘ban’ books or ‘rewrite’ them is quite shocking to me for one simple reason:
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got a minute.
Have a great day