I see on the evening news the murals that are the basis for the design of the U.S. ten cent Columbian stamp that have been proudly displayed in the main administration building of Norte Dame University at South Bend, Indiana are to be immediately covered up by a tarp if not shortly "permanently removed" because they depict native Americans in what is today considered an inappropriate manor.
eBay and others get upset dealing with WW II German stamps. I have not seen any real outcry against African and Asian stamps depicting their more recent political leaders responsible for various hamartian devastations.
On this American holiday celebrating our ongoing struggle for tolerance and inclusion for all Americans, what are your thoughts on how we should preserve or do otherwise with these philatelic items?
Just asking. What is inappropriate? That it is not an accurate potrayl of history or it is past history? There are many things that have happened in history, that should not have, but we cannot change them. Let us move forward with understanding and tolerance.
A couple of provinces here in Canada have had statues removed because of this. History is history and that can not be changed. What we do moving forward is what is important. To destroy historical artifacts is, in my opinion wrong. They teach valuable lessons to those who did not experience these events.
As far as I know, nobody is destroying the "historical artefacts" (or mediocre Victorian paintings, as they might more accurately be characterised) at Notre Dame. In this case, it would, perhaps, have been preferable to continue to display the paintings, with a commentary setting them in their historical context. There is, however, a question of "whose history?". If you are a descendant of one of the survivors of the genocide in North America, you may well take a less dispassionate view about preserving or displaying these paintings.
I am 100% in favour of wiping the disgusting moments of history from our collective view - and hopefully - our memories as well. Except the lessons we have learned about being better humanists and caring for one another. We don't need reminders of Columbus "discovering America" - which was never true, and we don't need monuments to wars. We could use though some global recognition of displaced and destroyed aboriginal peoples and those rare instances of peace that we have enjoyed.
As an historian, this trend to eradicate historical monuments (think Confederate statuary), paintings and documents while trying to revise the history behind them is extremely disturbing.
History, whether you like what happened or not, is still the same history. Yes, there are different perspectives. One of the benefits of winning a conflict is the victor gets to portray that conflict in a way which is favorable to them. Rarely do we get both sides. If you want to see an example of this, look at an American textbook on the Revolution and then find a British textbook on it. Starkly different viewpoints.
When we, as a people, start trying to erase history because someone recently alive feels offended or cannot deal with passing a statue without having a breakdown, we are headed down a slippery slope which will not end well.
First the monuments and other graphic reminders are removed and destroyed, the prominent figures of history are vilified and then the textbooks get rewritten. One of the last stages will be the banning and burning of books which are considered "inappropriate." Then you have a population which only sees, hears and reads what the leaders want them to.
If you don't believe this can happen, you don't know your history. Look at the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich in Germany...
We cannot change the past but we can learn from it. This is why it is so important NOT to destroy historical items or to hide them just because someone who was not there, did not live during the period and does not understand the social/societal norms of that period says they need to go. Instead, if you don't like what happened then, make sure it doesn't happen again.
Across Europe, you can find examples of the removal "historical" material - that's why Germany isn't full of Nazi emblems. The difference between the Nazis and those who fought to preserve slavery - with their memory cherished in statuary and otherwise by those who imposed the most dreadful degradation on the Black inhabitants of the South - is merely a matter of degree.
I totally agree with Stampman2000, history is history it happened deal with it, don't hide it how will we learn the hard lessons if we do hide and destroy the unsavory past. How can we move forward as a species. the nazis the inquisition the crusades I could go on. it happened.
I seriously do not think anyone really advocates the destruction of any stamps or covers over history, accurate or not. I abhor what the Nazis did as well as what the Confederacy stood for, but do not advocate the destruction of such material. They are historical artifacts and should be studied in the context in which they were created and used. It would be a false equivalency to compare such item to Confederate statuary, much of which was created around the time of Jim Crows laws and after Reconstruction as an attempt to change the narrative of history and act as markers of white supremacy - well after the Civil War itself. Symbols of hate and historical lies don't need to be in public squares, but in museums to be understood in historical terms such as the failure of Reconstruction and race segregation. When "history" isn't history, that needs to be discussed and addressed.
I sometimes wonder if the trend toward eradication of things that make people uncomfortable doesn't in time lead to a resurgence of the very thing we try to wipe away. Young people need to be exposed to ugliness before they can understand why it needs to be rejected. That may explain the rise of neo Nazism with younger people.
The term "politically correct" simply meand good manners. Somehow it has been corrupted by shock-jocks on the radio to mean something derogatory. Being considered to be "politically correct" is almost an insult. Statues erected honour people...some of whom are awful. But they also exist to bind future generations to the same set of values as the people who erected the statues. If the 2019 generation reject those values thru ongoing enlightenment (or "political correctness") then it seems reasonable to either destroy the statues or erect counter-signs or confine them to museums. Last week in London, statues honouring Roosevelt and Churchill as well as the British Air Force were vandalised. All reasonable people would say this is disgraceful because at this point in time, the values of the monuments are much the same as the time they were erected. There is also a statue of Cecil Rhodes at an English university...controversial because his ideas on imperialism are no longer acceptable. The removal of statues is normal. Fewwestern shock-jocks would have agonised over tearing down a statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. I declare an interest. As I have lectured on Conflict Resolution and a key component is the treatment of symbolism. Obviously I am primarily concerned with my own part of the world. Few defend symbols of hatred on the basis of ideology (as clearly it would be shameful to do so) but they tend to hide behind or find common cause with entirely reasonable people who believe that History can be recognised without being supported.
It's an important discussion. A bit sad that stamps have been brought into it, but I guess it is relevant & appropriate.
There's a big difference between what people collect/posses privately and what gets displayed on public property.
History cannot be rewritten. And it must be taught - the good; the bad; & the ugly.
We should not be destroying stamps. Or statues. But that doesn't mean we need a civil war monument at a public courthouse or statehouse.
For this latest specific example - Notre Dame is a private institution - they may do as they see fit - as we all can with our collections. I would assume they have no intention of destroying any mural. One can only hope that if they choose to take it down, that it will end up in a suitable museum where it can be properly preserved & appreciated for what it is...