Letter to the Editor
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 12:00pm admin
When politics and emotion replace common sense
I couldn’t restrain myself from responding to Mr. James Vokac’s thoughts which were published in the Howell County News dated July 29, 2020. I think it is wonderful that the paper provides a forum for all viewpoints in the community, even those which I take strong exception to.
Mr. Vokac takes great liberty with the opinions of Congressman Smith, and apparently believes that he can read a person’s thoughts and heart. As to name calling, I’ve done much worse myself than Congressman Smith. Any honest person who is following the drama of political discourse for the past few decades would probably say the same of themselves.
I take strong exception to his statement about our President cloaking himself in “nationalistic symbols”, and inferring that this is due to the President’s failed leadership. I’d submit to you that we haven’t had a real leader as President for so long that folks don’t recognize a leader when one is standing in front of them. Don’t get me wrong here, I’ll never agree with Mr. Vokac on almost any subject, but I’ll defend his right to his opinion, as I’m sure he’d do for me.
One point of contention is his view of pulling down statues and paintings of Confederate historic figures. He believes that the Congressman’s defense of those Statues is an attempt to send a message to People of Color that “Whitey” is in charge. Mr. Vokac, I’d respectfully point out that 1 person 1 vote by the citizens of our nation determines who is in charge, and I recall that a Black Man was elected to the Office of President for two terms. Black people are just as able to advance in our society as any other American. Do you know how many Black Millionaires we have in this Nation? Last I looked it was around 900,000. Do you know that Congress forgave those who fought for the South? Those Vets deserve to be honored too, you might not agree with that, but the 1860s are long past, and those men were Americans too. It is history and we should learn from it. I rode a Submarine, USS Stonewall Jackson. I was proud of that, still am. Nothing created by man is perfect, Lee, Jackson, and others on the losing side were just as heroic as those like Sherman and Grant.
Death doesn’t care what uniform you wear when it comes for you, you took the same risk no matter which side you stood with. Fighting, laying down your life for what you believe in is heroic.
Our society wasn’t founded on slavery. Slavery wasn’t invented by the United States; it was common place throughout all of mankind’s history. Interestingly, it was the U.S. & the U.K. which swept slavery from the seas. It was Quakers and people of faith who did the same in countries around the world. Those who won’t learn from history will see history repeat itself. We should remember our History, good and bad.
Finally, there isn’t a piece of land on the face of the planet with the possible exception of the Arctic & Antarctic which hasn’t been wrested from another people or culture by other groups or cultures. That too is shown to be historically accurate. I would argue that superior knowledge and technology have always displaced and integrated different peoples into new nations. Most often for the better. When stone age tribes met Europeans what did you think would happen? History shows that answer too. I’d argue that the descendants of the people from that period of history today have much better lives than prior to that assimilation. Perhaps you remember that the Aztecs and the Mayans sacrificed their people in bloody rituals, perhaps you need to look at how the Tribes here in America horribly tortured, enslaved, and killed their rivals. Would you prefer that human sacrifice still happen in America? I suspect not, but it doesn’t matter, it is History. While history can be hidden, and or ignored, it is something which should be respected. Neither you, nor I can look objectively at what occurred during these periods because we live in the present...they happened in the past and can’t be changed. Move on, and concentrate on the future because we can affect that! Nothing we do can change the past, no matter how it makes us feel today.