Scrubbing Laura Ingalls Wilder Is A Dangerous Step Toward Ignorance | The Federalist

Pretending things that make us uncomfortable never happened isn’t going to make America better, or make American children more informed.

Source: Scrubbing Laura Ingalls Wilder Is A Dangerous Step Toward Ignorance

I do not fully agree with this article, because I do not fully agree that we need to continually apologize for, or even “contextualize,” everything that occurred in our past that makes some present-day observers squeamish. But I certainly do agree with the title (“Scrubbing Laura Ingalls Wilder Is A Dangerous Step Toward Ignorance”)!

And I also agree with the comment of a dear Facebook friend (who is also a follower of this blog; she may choose to identify herself if she wishes), who wrote, in response to a Wall Street Journal article which, unfortunately, is behind a firewall,

“Those who refuse to acknowledge history are doomed to repeat it. This is ridiculous. I should have expected this, I suppose, when they began badmouthing Twain’s work. The Little House books teach a great deal about the time they were written, in an entertaining way so that people will actually remember. Modern mores are already taught now, and people should be trusted to be able to filter through, seeing the changes in time periods as far as attitudes go. Ignoring history doesn’t make it go away.”

To which I can only add, “give ’em an inch and they’ll take a mile”… “don’t let the camel’s nose in the tent”… whatever image you use for it, the truth remains: if you start to permit people to alter, suppress, or remove history, there’s no telling where you’ll end up. Nowhere good, that’s for certain!

It started with Confederate flags, then moved to renaming schools, streets, and parks, then to removing monuments. It started with the Confederacy, but has expanded to include Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Francis Scott Key – even Washington and Jefferson. And in literary terms, English poets, Mark Twain and, now, Laura Ingalls Wilder.

These are people who do not understand, or even try to understand, removing, altering, or destroying that which is not understood; people placing the worst possible construction on works and people which and who are complex and multi-faceted. Simplistic responses from – pardon me for saying so, but it’s true – simple minds.

It is depressing and disillusioning. What has happened to this country? We used to be so much better than this!


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Author: The Anglophilic Anglican

I am an ordained Anglican clergyman, published writer, former op-ed columnist, and experienced outdoor and informal educator. I am also a traditionalist: religiously, philosophically, politically, and socially. I seek to do my bit to promote and restore the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, in a world which has too-often lost touch with all three, and to help re-weave the connections between God, Nature, and humankind which our techno-industrial civilization has strained and broken.

2 thoughts on “Scrubbing Laura Ingalls Wilder Is A Dangerous Step Toward Ignorance | The Federalist”

  1. I fear for our future, unfortunately. The bad part is, I’m almost becoming inured to the things “they” pull these days, no longer surprised at what boils down to chosen ignorance. I live in a tiny town where the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder are still representation of a very real part of life for many around here. We have quite a few people who choose to live off grid, who pump water from their wells, keep farm animals, and there are even still a couple of one-room school houses for when the snow gets too bad for them to get into town for regular school. “Home” schooling is quite popular and riding horses is definitely not unheard of. While we have a separate grocery store, our hardware store also has a pharmacist, cards, toys, cookware, pet food, and any other odds and ends that a “general” store would need. Kids here learn hunting and cycle of life, knowing not to waste anything that’s caught, and thanking God and the spirit of the animal for its sacrifice. That idiots want to ban Wilder’s books, fortunately, will only affect those in cities where it’s not part of their lives. Here, our library and the schools carry multiple copies, and will continue to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re making me want to move out there, my friend! *wry smile* Not that I wouldn’t have loved to, already… The unfortunate thing, though, is that the cities are where the bulk of the population lives, these days.

      And of course, this will just make the divide between the urban elite and the denizens of “flyover country” (inhabited by what Barack Obama called “bitter clingers” and Hillary Clinton “deplorables”) that much greater…

      I find myself wishing that the major cities would simply implode under their own weight (of wickedness…?). But alas, it doesn’t work that way…

      Liked by 1 person

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