Less than 100 years ago in a land that isn’t really that far away, an angry and disgruntled man rose to power. He wanted change for his people. He felt that the richest percentage of people had ruined his country. Because of a single commonality, many other people who were neither rich nor malignant were harassed, belittled, beaten, shot, gassed, starved, and treated as if they were not human at all. It didn’t happen overnight. It took the course of about 20 years before things were in full swing, but there were points along the way where good people were either silent, or silenced. With that everything was able to escalate even more quickly, and eventually it was too late for any one to stop it from happening. People were silenced. Ideas were silenced.
The burnings started around 1933. This was a solid 13 years since Hitler had taken up the reigns of the Nazi party and the year before he became the leader of Germany. It didn’t take him being in charge for a massive power change to begin. It just took him establishing the idea that the reason people’s lives were so terrible was because the previous leaders had listened to outside influences and ideas. So he helped to organize well educated college students and even professors to burn the written amalgamation of those ideas, purely because they conflicted with his own. Many socialist books were burned, many American classics were as well. Many probably just threw books in the fire because they saw other students do it, despite having no conflicting ideals from the material which they torched. Regardless of that, the books were set aflame and while the ideas may have turned to ash and smoke in that place, in that moment, ultimately the ideas still lived on in other places.
(If you’d like to read up on that particular part a little more, here you go: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005852 )
Fast forward to the present day. We still have ideas that we disagree with trying to be burned away.
Somewhere along the way we thought once again, we can make the past disappear and make ideas into smoke by igniting inanimate objects. Our citizens protest their own history from 200 years ago in the name of equal rights in an attempt to right the wrongs and hardships of ancestors who have long since been buried. Yet, like the well educated masses of the past, we’ve only fooled ourselves into thinking we are rewriting history, that we are making up for what happened, that by burning stuff again we are deleting the ideas from people’s brains. I’m hoping if you’ve read this far, you understand that it simply won’t happen and you’re more likely to get lung cancer in the process.
I want to be clear with my stance towards the Confederate Flag, I don’t care about it. That’s not the point here. What I do care about is the thought that people want to burn away history as if its going to wash the stain away, and how far is too far? Well, our founding fathers were all treasonous rebels to the British Empire, do we burn them out of history too? Do we continue to burn away anything we can until someone says our history is now perfect and clean of wrong? Who gets to make that call? Who should actually have that right to say that one group of people’s symbol needs to be burned for the sins of the past? If that’s the case, you’d better gather up every single piece of holy material that you can find and burn that. The atrocities committed in the name of religion far outweigh the treatment of slaves for the time span slavery existed in America. But no, members of our society would rather jump up on the bandwagon and follow suit to the Nazi’s of under 100 years ago and have a good ol’ fashioned idea burning like ridiculous sheep being led to a slaughter. Enjoy your BBQ. I hope your idealist symbol doesn’t get too close to the fire in the process, that would be a shame.
Stay hidden; stay safe.