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I’m Not Gonna Argue History

hebdoHow did we get here? It’s not what our civilization is about.

On January 7, 2015, Three black-clad gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” stormed the Paris offices of a satirical publication known for lampooning Islam, killing 12, including its editor, three political cartoonists and a police officer whose cold-blooded murder at close range was captured on a disturbing video. This resulted in a wave of  Islamaphobia, and baseless hostility to the Religion of Peace.  Why  did the French government allow the magazine Charlie Hebdo to continue to provoke Muslims, thereby placing the safety of its citizens at risk?

“I think everyone sees history through their own lens, and I don’t begrudge anyone from wanting to see what they want to see. This is what I see. This is what we see. And that should be valid. I’m not gonna argue history; I could, but I won’t.”

 The History of Pearl Harbour

On December 7, 1941, a Japanese air expedition on a humanitarian relief expedition ran into mechanical problems near Hawaii. Contaminated fuel, or something like that, led to

Planes accidentally crash at naval base

Planes accidentally crash at naval base

their rapid descent from the skies, as they hoped to land at Pearl Harbor to repair and refuel. American military commanders mistook the peaceful approach for an attack, and started firing upon the peaceful Japanese aircraft. The pilots, now in even worse trouble, had to unload their ordinance to lighten their planes. The Americans used this as an excuse to declare war on neutral Japan.

“I think everyone sees history through their own lens, and I don’t begrudge anyone from wanting to see what they want to see. This is what I see. This is what we see. And that should be valid. I’m not gonna argue history; I could, but I won’t.”

  The History of the Warsaw Ghetto

Jews like to live in close-knit communities (ghettos), to be near their synagogues, kosher restaurants, gymnasiums and banks. On April 19,

Burning the Warsaw Ghetto

Burning the Warsaw Ghetto

1943, a fire broke out in the heart of the Jewish community in Warsaw, Poland. The fire raged for twenty seven days, before finally being extinguished with the help of visiting German troops.  It was a terrible holocaust. Shocked, disheartened survivors were sent to Treblinka, where they were given food, shelter, and gainful employment.

“I think everyone sees history through their own lens, and I don’t begrudge anyone from wanting to see what they want to see. This is what I see. This is what we see. And that should be valid. I’m not gonna argue history; I could, but I won’t.”

 The History of Fort Hood Workplace Violence

On November 5, 2009, a mass murder took place at Fort Hood, Texas. In a letter to a Florida congressman, a top Army official wrote that the available evidence did not indicate the 2009 attack was an act of international terrorism. The official, at the time the Army’s senior uniformed lawyer, described the attack as “the alleged criminal act of a single individual.” Hasan was charged with mass murder, not terrorism. The government made it clear: Ft Hoodthe Fort Hood shooting was workplace violence.

“I think everyone sees history through their own lens, and I don’t begrudge anyone from wanting to see what they want to see. This is what I see. This is what we see. And that should be valid. I’m not gonna argue history; I could, but I won’t.”

 The History of the Selma Civil Rights March
Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel

Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel

President Lyndon Johnson was opposed to civil rights for black people, and did everything he could to stop Martin Luther King’s famous march in Selma, Alabama. It was Johnson (not the liberal icon Bobby Kennedy, as some fascists claimed) who set the FBI on King.  It was a time when black people stood alone, as Jews and other whites were busy protecting their own interests.

“I think everyone sees history through their own lens, and I don’t begrudge anyone from wanting to see what they want to see. This is what I see. This is what we see. And that should be valid. I’m not gonna argue history; I could, but I won’t.”
–Ava DuVernay, Director of the movie Selma (about Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous march), responding to criticism of her distortions of history.

 How did we get to the point of cartoonists being slaughtered? It’s a consequence of substituting fantasy for history, a consequence of pretending the history that you want to see is reality. When the people who shape how we look at history don’t care about accuracy, we lose the ability to learn from the past.  When the people who shape our view of current events don’t care about accuracy, we lose the ability to cope with the present.

 

MuslimTerroristOnPlaneSigneWilki-1