Question of the Day: Sunday, April 28

gilmargl

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Good morning to you all on this beautiful Whitsunday morning!

Perhaps a rather serious question today, but I'm only looking for spontaneous, gut answers!

Today is Abolition Day, when the Carribean Island of St Martin celebrates the abolition of slavery on the islands. You can find out more about this interesting island in the following link: Collectivity of St Martin.

I am sorting out old books, both in English and in German, and wondering what to do with them, now that they are no longer politically correct and quite embarrassing. A lot of old books deal with exploration of "unknown" territories and the choice of words when describing the local communities is simply intolerable.

But today, I have a case which concerns the slave trade and its effects.

In 1952 or 1953, I believe all children in London schools were given a very small, but informative book "Proud Heritage: A Portrait of Greatness" with pictures of the most important historical characters from Great Britain up until the 1950's.

I still have my copy, dedicated to King George VI but with a picture of the young Queen Elizabeth II glued onto the final page.

This small book, the box somewhat damaged, turned up recently. I could remember that Darwin, Shakespeare and Dickens were included But now that history is being rewritten I took a closer look. I searched and found William Wilberforce (who abolished the slave trade with Great Britain by an Act of Parliament in 1807) but apart from male writers and pioneers in the field of social reform, medicine and science, most of the remaining characters are those who profited immensely from the slave trade and building up the British Empire (royalty and the nobility and opportunists)

Of the 50 important persons, only 4 women are included: Queen Elizabeth I, Elizabeth Fry, Queen Victoria, Florence Nightingale (plus the afterthought Queen Elizabeth II).

Do I keep or throw such printed material? Should I burn my books? Yes or No?
 

NY cat man

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Keep them, if only as a reminder of how things once were. Santayana wrote about those who fail to remember the lessons of history being doomed to repeat them, and too often people receive only a sanitized version of how things were. Too, the only book burnings that I recall were in 1930s Germany and 1960s Communist China, or those in Orwell's 1984. History is immutable; we can't change it, but we bloody well better learn where we've been, and how to make things better.
 

Jem

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Keep, if it means something to you, regardless of the content. Besides, what is included in the book is still actual history, even if societals viewpoint of what happened has changed. The good, bad and the ugly are all important, even if all they teach us is not do to it again.
 

neely

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Another vote to keep them but most importantly because I hope people will learn from the injustice and inhumane treatment of others around the world if only to never repeat them.
 

strider rose

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going with the others on this , KEEP ! i love books that are historical in nature and someday you might want to reread them
 

kashmir64

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Keep them. It’s history, and important to remember not only for the events and people but the attitudes towards them - that itself is history. Expunging knowledge of the past is never a good idea. At the very least it renders society shallow and ignorant.
:yeah:

So much from history has been lost or changed due to embarrassment or other. Keep it.
It may not be a proud history, but history none the less.
 

susanm9006

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I could not burn or toss a book. If you don’t feel you can keep them then sell or donate them.
 
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gilmargl

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I could not burn or toss a book. If you don’t feel you can keep them then sell or donate them.
I won't be around too long so it would probably be best to put my name in them and add a comment stating that the book is no longer politically correct. There are always people on the look out for books which support their own warped ideas on white supremacy, misogyny, antisemitism, homophobia or whatever, not to mention those crazy people who still believe that Great Britain should rule the world! :lol:
Just for your information: I do still have a British passport :)
 

susanm9006

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I won't be around too long so it would probably be best to put my name in them and add a comment stating that the book is no longer politically correct. There are always people on the look out for books which support their own warped ideas on white supremacy, misogyny, antisemitism, homophobia or whatever, not to mention those crazy people who still believe that Great Britain should rule the world! :lol:
Just for your information: I do still have a British passport :)
Some people may collect them not because they believe in the writings, but just because they are old.
 

nurseangel

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Oh goodness, keep them or sell them. Please no book burning! Think of the North Korean child who is in prison for life because his family had a Bible. (In today's news.) I learned there are many people in North Korea because of practicing various religions. My husband knows more about different religions than anyone I know, and it's from studying them. No matter what I believe, what you have is history. I don't mean to sound preachy. I mean this in the politest way. And Florence Nightingale, our hero, was not viewed in a good light by her family for her choice of profession. :wink:
 
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Neko-chan's mama

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Keep. Getting rid of or destroying the ugliness of the past doesn't make it go away. It should be kept as a reminder of how things were, how far we've come, and how far we still have to go.
 
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