Imagine if most American journalists presented researched and informed narratives of the issues they are covering. It isn't like there isn't air time. They run the same stories with shallow interpretations ad nauseam. Fareed Zakaria is one of the few journalists who give context. Here he destroys any reason one would have to justify keeping Confederate monuments to traitors.
Zakaria first gave a real-world comparison.
"Over the years since World War II, Germany has gone through the difficult national process of reckoning with its history," Zakaria said. "And the country has gradually come to accept a sense of collective guilt. It has not been immune to pushback and backlash. There have been far-right nationalist parties. Today there is one called The Alternative For Germany. But by in large, the country has rejected its Nazi past. Some of this is because of laws."
Fareed Zakaria pointed out that one can go to jail for using the swastika or using a Hitler salute. There is also a strict prohibition against hate speech.
America is now wrestling with its history as well. It is ironic since it seems Germany is much further along with reckoning for their sins of the middle twentieth century while America is still wrestling with its sins since its inception.
Fareed Zakaria makes this very prescient statement that destroys any rationale for maintaining Confederate monuments to the southern traitors.
"Museums and monuments serve two different purposes," Zakaria said. "The South is still littered with monuments honoring, celebrating, the people whose only claim to fame was that they marched and fought in mutinous opposition to the Government of the United States because they wanted to defend slavery."
Zakaria noted that a Southern Poverty Law Center study discovered that there were over 700 Confederate monuments in the South. There were over 80 counties and cities, 109 public schools, and ten military bases named for Confederates. There are relatively few memorials named for the millions of slaves who suffered and died because of the evil and inhumanity of slavery.
And here is the biggest irony Zakaria points out.
"Ironically, one of the reasons why Germany was able to successfully, confront its past was America," Zakaria said. "When it occupied Germany after World War II, the Allied Powers prohibited the display of any monument, memorial, poster, statue, edifice, street or highway name marker, emblem, tablet, or insignia which tends to revive militarism or commemorate the Nazi Party. The U.S. urged Germany to demonstrate to Europe and the world that it could bury its militarism and Nazism. And it welcomed a new Germany with honor into Europe and the world."
If we practiced what we preached there would be no Confederate monuments
— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) August 20, 2017
It seems we are wise when advising others but very lacking in promoting the positive behaviors we teach.
Also published on Medium.