Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 month ago

Why can't historical figures be viewed like normal people?

It's becoming common now, to shun and debunk once praised historical figures and turn them into evil ones when something is found about them that doesn't correlate with today's political beliefs or standards. I don't get this. Why can't they be viewed as normal people who made good and bad decisions? On both ends of the spectrum, people of the past are polarized. They're either Satan or a Saint. Is it wrong to look at the admirable qualities in certain people and recognize them, just as we would with someone today? 

For example, the founding fathers. I understand slavery is horrible and shouldn't be a glorified practice. But they also did things that were brilliant that even hold up to now. Instead of turning them into monsters because the majority of them were straight white men who weren't entirely thinking of other groups when they wrote the declaration of independence, can we still appreciate that bold move that solidified America's history? 

7 Answers

  • sam
    Lv 5
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    We are looking at them as normal people. Previously they were glorified people who could do no wrong. Now we are acknowleging that they've done bad things and maybe aren't heroes, just normal people. 

  • 1 month ago

    If we build a statue, it means that was someone special, better than normal people. It may be seen as celebrating the life of that person. Or it may be seen as celebrating what that person achieved. It all requires context.

    Ulysses S Grand and Robert E Lee both owned slaves. Were they the same ?

    Grant was given 1 slave by his father-in-law and expressed discomfort over owning a slave. Eventually he freed that slave. Oh, and he did more than any other person in history to end American slavery.

    Lee.......owned a handful of slaves, managed about 200 slaves on his father-in-law's estate and went to court, fighting to continue that. Oh, and he also fought a war, to preserve slavery as part of Southern culture. 

    If you don't like nuance and context though, there is a simple way to differentiate the two - Robert E. Lee fought a treasonous war against the US government. A common part of the oath of office, in government includes "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" - The Confederacy and Lee were a domestic enemy and should not be celebrated. They should certainly NEVER be represented on public land. And they should, sure as hell, never be defended, by the POTUS.

    None of that applies to the man who led the Union army, in defense of the Constitution.

  • 1 month ago

    It's important to remember that nobody was ONLY a racist, ONLY a paedophile, ONLY a liar. Every human being is made up of dozens of feelings, attitudes and prejudices. And every human being lives and acts and behaves not in a vacuum, but in the context of the life and society going on around them THEN.

    We're all agreed that slavery was evil. So we ABOLISHED it. Please stop behaving as if we were all still saying, "Hey, I need a dozen slaves tomorrow, whip them along to me pronto!" Slavery in civilised western countries is ILLEGAL and has been so for 150 years. Can we accept that and try to move on? We never can move on while people who never were slaves and never knew anyone who was, keep attacking white people for the evils of slavery. We KNOW it was wrong, and we STOPPED it.

    Dear God in heaven. THINK once in a while!

  • John
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    whos we? the system hasnt moved yet against those attacking it.

    you dumbasses will find out what "usurping" means.

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  • 1 month ago

    Oh, it's because they're six feet under, mate. You'd need some kind of drilling camera or somesuch to view them. Hope this helped.

  • 1 month ago

    Amen.  And even more, our historical people made their decisions based on the mores, laws, and ethics that prevailed back in those days when they made their decisions.  They were not criminals, they were not racists...not by the laws and standards of their time.

    Making our historical figures into racists and corrupt based on our mores and ethics of today is like giving out a speeding ticket to a driver who was doing 65 mph because the road once had a speed limit of 55 mph years ago.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Once praised by who?  A group of people that oppressed another group of people?  Get over yourself 

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