I don’t mean to pick on Ben Affleck but since it is out there what the heck?! If you are not aware by now through some leaked emails it was recently released that Ben Affleck had requested that information concerning him having slave-holding ancestors be withheld from viewers of the PBS show, “Finding Your Roots”.
Was Affleck out of line? I don’t think so. I am not sure what type of legal arrangements there are between celebrities and the now fairly popular genealogical reality shows but I believe it was simply a request and that request was honored.
I think the bigger question is whether or not we should be able to erase or edit our histories as individuals or societies to fit the acceptable or politically correct norms of the current age. In that case I say absolutely not!
Our history is what it is and makes us who we are as people and as a nation. History cannot and should not be changed or erased just because we would feel more comfortable if it didn’t exist.
In general, people like to think that they can learn from mistakes and that is the way it should be. I am grateful that I can look back at hundreds of years of mistakes that millions of others have made before me in the hopes that I won’t make the same ones.
Don’t like the Holocaust? Just delete it. Don’t like the fact that slavery was legal in the United States until January 1, 1863? Just pretend it didn’t happen.
I’m sure it won’t be long before we can download a free app from ITunes or Google Play that will work alongside our Ancestry membership to simply erase those parts of our family or national heritage that we would rather not be a part of. Maybe something cool sounding like “History Ostrich”
I actually looked and it appears as though the name and the website are available for the enterprising developer. I won’t be downloading it.
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