In a Japan episode of Vox’s Border, a far-right Japanese activist said it was offensive for the Zainichi Koreans (Koreans who have been presence in Japan since the Japanese rule of Korea) to have schools dedicated to North Korean-style education. He believes it is akin to America having schools dedicated to Osama bin Laden.
Well, about that…
After the civil war in which the separatist, slavery-advocating Confederacy lost, a handful of Americans started propagandistic efforts to ensure the heroic long-lasting legacy of the secessionist state; they whitewashed history education and built monuments glorifying the Confederates. They have successfully brainwashed many into believing that the Confederates were fighting for states’ rights, without asking which rights.
Then, during the civil rights activism era, more Confederate monuments were build. It sent a clear message that they wanted to keep black people as second-class citizens.
Not to mention there are many schools and even military bases named after Confederate leaders.
Never mind the Americans who think factually-misleading monuments can teach us history. Some also believe the Confederates should also be celebrated because they were a part of American history, regardless of the damages they caused.
If that’s the mentality, why stop there? Why don’t they also celebrate other people who tried to destroy America? You know, like Osama bin Laden.
Considering he is a significant and undeniable part of American history, why won’t Americans celebrate his glory and mourn over his demise? Why won’t they name schools and military bases after him?
Obviously, those rhetorical questions. The Confederates were seen as Americans – regardless of their secessionist tendency – and they were driven by an ideology which many contemporary Americans deem tolerable or even desirable. Meanwhile, bin Laden was not an American and his ideology is inspired by his Islam faith, which makes it unacceptable for many Americans.
As a Muslim myself, I despise Islamic extremists and their apologists. But, I would have respected the history negationists much more if they are consistent.
I would undoubtedly be frustrated if they celebrate both the Confederates and bin Laden. But, at least, they are genuinely motivated by the misguided desire to celebrate history, NOT by the desire to whitewash certain ideologies.
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