American history, both the good and the bad, is still worth celebrating


Hofstra Jefferson

Most people know and agree with the famous quote from Winston Churchill , “Those that fail to learn history, are doomed to repeat it.” Then why are we as a nation working so hard to erase our own history and eliminate those aspects that make people uncomfortable.

Just this week, a California university announced it would no longer use the word “field” over its potential “racist” connotations. Shortly after, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services made a similar announcement, claiming the term “field worker” has harmful implications for “descendants of enslaved black and brown individuals.

These are just a few recent examples, to say nothing of the efforts to tear down historical statues, including ones of former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt, and rename buildings dedicated to important figures such as George Washington.

This campaign to erase and “cancel” the parts of our history that woke activists have deemed unacceptable is, at its core, Marxist. Indeed, Marxist and authoritarian leaders have never had a problem altering history to fit their narrative . Russian dictator Joseph Stalin, for example, “erased” Nikolai Yezhov, his head of secret police. Vladimir Lenin denounced Leon Trotsky as a scoundrel in 1917 and worked to remove him from photos. Adolf Hitler had Joseph Goebbels, his propaganda minister, removed from pictures. More recently, Kin Jong Un, the dictator of North Korea, had his uncle executed and erased the man from history entirely, deleting him from online archives and photographs.

Likewise, the U.S. has begun erasing people who, at the time, simply reflected the nation’s values and opinions. (I do not make any attempt to defend the beliefs, but simply state that these were commonly held beliefs at the time).

Singer Kate Smith , whose rendition of God Bless America may be the most patriotic song since the National Anthem, was canceled because she recorded a song called “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” in 1931. Even actress Shirly Temple was accused of being racist for appearing in movies we would now consider to be controversial when she was just six-years-old.

WarnerMedia removed “Gone With the Wind” from its streaming platform, HBO Max, even though the movie resulted in the first Academy Award for an African American actress, Hattie McDaniel. Think about this. We are so concerned about hurting someone’s feelings that we canceled the first African American to win an Academy Award.

We are living in a world where the artwork of a serial killer, Charlie Manson , is on display in Los Angeles, but a Detroit school no longer wants to be named after a prominent African American neurosurgeon, Ben Carson , because of his politics.

To be sure, the U.S. does not have a perfect past. We allowed slavery to expand and subjected minorities to terrible racism. But we also showed the ability to change. We fought a civil war to end slavery — a war that cost the lives of more than 600,000 people, which is more than all of the Americans who died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined. Lawmakers also passed the most sweeping civil rights bill any nation has ever passed in an effort to right previous wrongs. And, as a nation, we elected a black president twice

Yes, we have warts, but no nation has done more to correct its previous wrongs than the United States.

The cultural Marxists who have sought to demonize the founders, heroes, and historical players of the nation are now seeking to eliminate them from history and control the narrative. They cannot be allowed to succeed. We should instead laud our forefathers’ accomplishments and learn from their mistakes. George Orwell wrote, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” As difficult as it may be, we must embrace our past and, most importantly, celebrate our ability to overcome it.


Jim Nelles is a supply chain consultant based in Chicago, IL. He has served as a chief procurement officer, chief supply chain officer, and a chief operations officer for multiple companies.

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