Originally posted on April 22, 2020 on Facebook
Have you ever judged people from the past who turned out to be on the wrong side of history? People who owned slaves or defended racial segregation? Who fell for propaganda, looked away or actually turned in their neighbors during the Holocaust? Have you struggled to understand how humanity could be so cruel, ignorant, self preserving, and cowardly? Do you think you would have chosen better?
What do you think it was like during those times? Many sincere and well-intentioned people just like you and me advocated for ideas and movements that are wholly rejected today. And people who have emerged as heroes to future generations were often in the minority during their lifetimes, in the midst of the storms of their days. They were scoffed at. They were “crazy,” “conspiracy theorists,” “dangerous,” “ignorant,” “criminals”. Cowardly, self-preserving, ignorant and cruel acts were were often perpetrated in good conscience, LEGALLY, with robust rationale, and widespread public approval.
To some extent, we all want to fit in, to belong. It feels safe to run with the herd, wherever it goes, without thought or question. And it’s easy, justifiable even, to attack those who think differently. But history shows us that the masses are easily and frequently deceived and manipulated, particularly through fear and in the name of “the greater good”. And they often end up being tragically, shamefully wrong.
Would I have justified slavery? Resisted the integration of black and white students? Would I have clenched shut my eyes to the horrific realities of Hitler’s regime as long as I didn’t feel personally targeted? Would I have had the courage to think for myself in spite of the fact that it would have been terrifying to discover that something “everybody” around me seems to believe is a lie? Would I have risked my reputation, my livelihood, my life, for what’s true and right?
We are living through a storm of historic proportions today, and hopefully doing our best to sift through all the available information, wrestle with any cognitive dissonance and to choose honorably. The events of today will be recorded and remembered. It’s very sobering for me to think about. And if you’ve ever wondered what side of history you would have come out on if you’d lived through the controversies mentioned above, consider and adjust as necessary what you’re doing right now. I know I am.
Alternative COVID resources offering evidence and perspectives from doctors, scientists and other experts:
J.B Handley Blog – Lockdown Lunacy
The Highwire with Del Bigtree