When Does Political Correctness Become Censorship?

“One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”

― Golda Meir

The local press has related how, in the run-up to a local county fair that has as one of its offerings an exhibition of art by local artists, a painting submitted for inclusion has been denied. Was it pornographic? No.

Then what was so objectionable about it that the fair’s board refused to include it? It was a painting depicting an actual Civil War battle scene of rebel soldiers charging federal troops and – hold your breath – one of them was holding aloft the Confederate flag.

Imagine that! An army flying the colors of its country.

And it was the inclusion of that flag in the painting (irrespective if its historical accuracy) that caused the refusal to exhibit. 

And why should that flag be offensive? Because it has been decided that, whatever else it might have legitimately stood for, today it’s emblematic of slavery. And while slavery has been outlawed in the US for 150 years, there are those who feel that, what was then tragic for their far-distant ancestors, personally harms them still to this today. (Every living human being has ancestors who were in one way or another unfairly treated. But some folk just can’t let go of the past and move on.)

[For those readers who know little about it: The American Civil War, 1861-1865, was fought between the southern states who seceded from the union against those that refused to allow them to do so. The war was fought to determine if a state that had voluntarily joined the union could voluntarily leave the union. The southern states believed they could, and did, coming together as a new country, the Confederate States of America. The northern states of the old union didn’t agree. A second reason was also over the many punitive economic policies the northern states had imposed on the southern states. A third reason – and the one revisionist historians have promoted as the real issue – was slavery in the South. Curiously, it’s conveniently ignored that there was also legal slavery in the northern states and that Lincoln’s famous Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 – half way through the four year war – only freed those slaves in the South (as if he questionably legally could), his hope being that the southern slaves would rise in revolt and create another front for the south to fight against (which didn’t happen), augmenting the Union’s beleaguered armies.]

That’s it in a nutshell. If something truly happened in the historical past that we don’t want to acknowledge, well, don’t allow anything to bring it to mind.

Just another example of how our society has over-dosed on political correctness – nothing can be allowed publically to offend anyone.

Even if it’s the truth, even if forbidding it becomes in itself another wrong, censorship.

– Bill

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