Readers Write: Aug. 22

We should be reminded of our slave past

If I were to visit Germany and be faced with monuments memorializing the likes of Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels, Albert Speer, let alone of Adolf Hitler himself, I would be appalled, frightened and nauseated. Germans have recognized the darkest time in their history by memorializing not the proponents of their misdeeds, but their victims. Churches deliberately left in ruins, the ruins of the concentration camps, Holocaust museums continually remind them of their past.

Slavery and its victims are our heritage, not the idolized defenders of it. To the extent that we need to memorialize anything, we should be reminded constantly of our slave past by the preservation of slave quarters, slave markets, the cruel implements of slavery’s enforcement, and the ruins of the old plantations and pre-Civil War way of life.

While Germans have made great strides in expiating their racist past, we can only begin to do so by ceasing to glorify this aspect of ours.

STUART H. SILVERMAN, ATLANTA

E-media ripe for distortion, narrative agenda

In George Orwell’s “1984” there was a “Ministry of Truth.” It’s function was the exact opposite of truth. It revised history to suit the narrative agenda of Big Brother. With the leaps we have made in computer simulation and virtual reality, how far are we from the ability of whoever controls the media to control what is portrayed as “real” and “news.” The left and the press may scoff at the assertion of “fake news,” but one with a memory can remember NBC’s doctored “exploding pickup truck,” and Dan Rather’s doctored Bush military records. We have a population of electronic information addicts who pretty much believe whatever comes to them through their preferred e-media source. They are ripe for this kind of manipulation. Those who control the Fifth Estate must be very careful how they handle this.

GRANT ESSEX, WOODSTOCK

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