The purveyors of a sanitized past, in their attempt to ensure the entire past be seen only through the lens of the current age’s political correctness, have decreed that anyone who oversteps the bounds of their correctness be erased from history.
Such it seems is the reaction of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) in the case of Hulk Hogan. They are apparently afraid that any mention of Hogan, related to any of his past of current achievements, will taint them with the current controversy about what he may have said of a racist nature in a private conversation that got taped and released.
The moral of this story is, no matter what good you may have done, if you offend the mores of current social justice, none of it matters, all of it should be erased, its impact negated.
The other option, of course, is to not be erased, but to be totally vilified for the social justice offense, and have all your good achievements forgotten.
In both cases, we fail to learn from history. The good someone does shouldn’t erase the bad, or the bad the good. The bad might mar the good, corrupt it even, but we should still recognize its existence.
I will go very extreme. Perhaps the most “all bad” character in our cultural history today is Adolf Hitler. I will not make light of his evils. But he couldn’t have been so evil if he hadn’t also had some good, some virtues, some strengths, to bolster and support his evils.
Have any of you read Mein Kampf? It has been years since I have, yet I was able to recognize the amazing amounts of good mixed into the book, good that made the toxic portions go down easy.
The good wasn’t totally corrupted either. Hitler’s economic policies created a resurgence of Germany’s economy and many social goods. Yet to even suggest such a thing, or that we could learn from them, is considered anathema today.
The real issue is that all public figures have feet of clay somewhere, and our hyper social media doesn’t allow anyone of a public nature to have any real privacy on these things. And then when they do go viral the feeding frenzy begins and the mobs start screaming for the person’s head. No sense of balance, no sense of justice, no sense of fair play.
Anyone offense gets sent to the metaphorical guillotine. We have rule by the social mob, ruled over by a sense of social justice that will eventually devour even its own, as did the literal guillotine.
So, can we learn from this? Yes, never erase the past, no matter how uncomfortable, or how uncomfortable that person now is in the present.
As the old cliches go, we need to stop sowing the wind, or we will reap the whirlwind. Those who fail to learn from the past will live to repeat it. Who knows, perhaps even with a literal guillotine.