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Atrocities of the past

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Old October 14th, 2013 (10:40 AM).
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So today in the US is Columbus day. Presumably we celebrate his discovery of the Americas, but the historical record shows that he wasn't such a nice guy, being responsible for the deaths of many of the native people he encountered in the Caribbean. So why do we celebrate him? I can think of two reasons: Either we as a whole don't know enough about the history, or we give people a pass on the bad stuff they've done because it's too long ago in the past to be worth getting upset over.

Question time. How far in the past does something have to be before we aren't offended or upset by it? Should there be some kind of historical a statute of limitations? Are there dangers of glorifying things the further removed from them we get, such that one day our future society may look back and see the Holocaust and similar 20th and 21st century atrocities as no big deal?
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Old October 14th, 2013 (10:53 AM).
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I think people remember Columbus because the good outweighs the bad. Who cares about the natives anyways >.> People probably remember Columbus as 90% good and 10% bad, or maybe 99% good and 1% bad. In China, the Communist Party evaluated Mao as being 70% good and 30% bad So it really depends on the perspective, cuz I doubt many people in this community could agree with that. I don't think it's right to just focus on what bad somebody does - because I'd imagine that attitudes also tends to only focus on what good somebody else does.

If we look at atrocities for what they were, then there's no way to ignore how terrifying they were. But we often look at atrocities for what they are. Sometimes things, rightfully or not, just aren't relevant nowadays. Even the sting of the Holocaust can be dulled with time if people stop caring.

I'm not so sure about offended or upset. I can feel offended, or get a visceral response, looking at images of the Holocaust for example, but when thinking about it in general - I don't know what's to be offended or upset about. To be offended or upset is to have that instinctual response to a threat, and whether we react to something as a threat or not really depends on our person.
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Old October 14th, 2013 (10:59 AM).
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    ever since i learn about the bad stuff Columbus did, i could never look at him again...

    but yea, when the people that were affected by the atrocity die out, then it will be forgotten. there are still Native american to this day that hold the grudge.
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    Old October 15th, 2013 (4:37 AM).
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      No bad deed should ever be forgotten, otherwise, we'd never learn from out mistakes. However, should they be forgiven? Yes. Eventually a person can make amends for anything they do to someone else, and thus, while never forgotten, it should be forgiven if they make efforts to amend such misdeeds. However, no one should ever be held accountable for the deeds of any other human .... ever.
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      Old November 3rd, 2013 (5:11 PM).
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        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Scarf View Post
        So today in the US is Columbus day. Presumably we celebrate his discovery of the Americas, but the historical record shows that he wasn't such a nice guy, being responsible for the deaths of many of the native people he encountered in the Caribbean. So why do we celebrate him? I can think of two reasons: Either we as a whole don't know enough about the history, or we give people a pass on the bad stuff they've done because it's too long ago in the past to be worth getting upset over.

        Question time. How far in the past does something have to be before we aren't offended or upset by it? Should there be some kind of historical a statute of limitations? Are there dangers of glorifying things the further removed from them we get, such that one day our future society may look back and see the Holocaust and similar 20th and 21st century atrocities as no big deal?
        No one will forget the Holocaust. It's the one genocide that is talked about constantly. That and enslavement of African Americans are the two go-to atrocities for historians to talk about (for some, any genocide committed by Muslims against Christians is heavily discussed too). I do think that both of them were dreadful, but there were other atrocities in history too.
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        Old November 3rd, 2013 (11:07 PM).
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          I don't think Columbus actually ever did anything good, koffi~

          He didn't 'discover' America. Other foreigners have come before him. He didn't believe the world was round, he believed it to be shaped like a pear. What a genius. He even went so far as to call the natives Indians, you know? Because he thought he was in India. Also a proponent of slave labor.

          Atrocities of the past: Christianity. Need I say more, koff~
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          Old November 4th, 2013 (6:31 AM).
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          We should never stop being upset about what happened in the past. Whether it be beautiful or completely horrifying, we will learn what happened, take what we can from it, and try to ensure it will never happen again(or let it happen again, the ancient greeks and romans had nothing against homosexuality as it was a common thing in their time).

          Australia has done atrocities as well, namely celebrating the day Australia was founded(Australia Day; which is called also known as Invasion Day by some groups of Aboriginals). And let's not forget The Stolen Generations.
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          Old November 4th, 2013 (2:51 PM).
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            The "Invasion" of Australia...

            Wait, weren't Australians originally prisoners England threw onto Australia to die in a foreign, savage land?

            *not sure of history*
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            Old November 4th, 2013 (7:03 PM).
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            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Rezilia View Post
            The "Invasion" of Australia...

            Wait, weren't Australians originally prisoners England threw onto Australia to die in a foreign, savage land?

            *not sure of history*
            I believe that term would be used by Indigenous peoples to describe the colonisation of Australia in 1788. It wasn't a military invasion like you seem to be confused about, but we pretty much killed huge numbers of Aboriginals through disease and violence, claimed their lands, pretty much enslaved them, later began to take away their children and tried to forcefully integrate them into white society or let them die out. The state of Tasmania (the little island at the bottom) had a genocide where we marched troops across it and killed all the natives. Yay. Aborigines had no rights until the 60's. Therefore they term the First Fleet as an "Invasion" because that's essentially what we did, came in and stole their lands. Pretty much what you Americans did to native Americans :D
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            Old November 4th, 2013 (7:52 PM).
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              Quote:
              Originally Posted by O07_eleven View Post
              I believe that term would be used by Indigenous peoples to describe the colonisation of Australia in 1788. It wasn't a military invasion like you seem to be confused about, but we pretty much killed huge numbers of Aboriginals through disease and violence, claimed their lands, pretty much enslaved them, later began to take away their children and tried to forcefully integrate them into white society or let them die out. The state of Tasmania (the little island at the bottom) had a genocide where we marched troops across it and killed all the natives. Yay. Aborigines had no rights until the 60's. Therefore they term the First Fleet as an "Invasion" because that's essentially what we did, came in and stole their lands. Pretty much what you Americans did to native Americans :D
              Yes, but we made pretty terms like Manifest Destiny! We even gave a cool name to the mass relocation of Natives - the Trail of Tears.
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              Old November 4th, 2013 (9:14 PM).
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                I didn't say it was a military exercise.

                From what I heard, the first Australian colonists were all prisoners DUMPED THERE by England. So can you really blame them - prisoners/criminals - for doing absurdly terrible acts? Well, sure you can - but England is more to blame because those criminals wouldn't have Manifest Destiny'd Australia if not for England dumping them there.

                See my point?
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                Old November 4th, 2013 (10:18 PM).
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                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Rezilia View Post
                I didn't say it was a military exercise.

                From what I heard, the first Australian colonists were all prisoners DUMPED THERE by England. So can you really blame them - prisoners/criminals - for doing absurdly terrible acts? Well, sure you can - but England is more to blame because those criminals wouldn't have Manifest Destiny'd Australia if not for England dumping them there.

                See my point?
                Yes, although it wasn't just the criminals who performed atrocities against Aborigines, it was the power structure of white settlers who authorised and condoned such activity through the use of the Royal Marine Guards, free settlers etc. So yes blame England, although it was common behaviour for all nations of European descent to treat the native population brutally all over the world, Africa, South East Asia, America etc. You can call imperialism an invasion of the undiscovered world, as it sorta was.
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                Old November 5th, 2013 (9:27 AM).
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                  Atrocities of the past will always be just that to some people - Atrocities. To others though, they look upon it as the silly nature and ignorance of earlier generations and don't really blame them much either way because it was common practice at the time. The spread of something horrible becoming less horrible happens slowly by people spreading the idea that joking and poking fun of a atrocity and other people believing that this behavior is acceptable. Eventually almost everyone is OK with the atrocity and isn't denying or getting extremely offended by the mention of it.
                  Either way you look at it, these experiences should not be easily forgotten and should be looked upon in the future to learn from. You know what they say, history repeats itself.
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                  Old November 7th, 2013 (9:00 AM).
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                    History is always written by the winners, and because Columbus' side won their right to history, his bad qualities often get overlooked because those who put him into history were biased towards him.

                    Adolf Hitler was possibly the biggest name in genocide in human history, and nobody forgets him because of that. Why? He lost the war, meaning he lost his side of history. Has anyone thought about the possibility of US/UK soldiers brutally murdering pro-Nazi German citizens?
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                    Old November 7th, 2013 (9:52 AM).
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                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by AlexTheRose View Post
                      History is always written by the winners, and because Columbus' side won their right to history, his bad qualities often get overlooked because those who put him into history were biased towards him.

                      Adolf Hitler was possibly the biggest name in genocide in human history, and nobody forgets him because of that. Why? He lost the war, meaning he lost his side of history. Has anyone thought about the possibility of US/UK soldiers brutally murdering pro-Nazi German citizens?
                      I see what you mean. History is written by the winners (also a quote on MW2). Those who are informed enough know the people in history for what they were and what they actually did was. Most people though, don't know very much except for what they were taught.
                      While we are on the subject of Adolf Hitler, he was doing much research on important scientific things such as finding a way to make children be born in twins. (Whether or not he was successful is up for debate) Some of his experimentation was actually in union with the United States for awhile with his ideas of building an utopia, until he instituted his whole "kill all the jews" thing, so he was taken care of. No one ever hears that side of the story because we won, not him.
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                      Old November 8th, 2013 (7:38 PM).
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                      When do tragedies cease to be tragedy and become history?

                      After everyone in the generation following the one it took place in is dead. In other words, nobody who knows anybody who was affected by it is left alive. I think that's removed enough that we can say the issue is in the past.

                      Things that happened in WW2 are still relevant because that generation is still alive; people who were children then are starting to get a bit old now. Likewise, something that happened at the turn of the 20th century could still be considered a tragedy because there are people alive who saw the impact it had on their family (a child who suffered some tragedy around 1900 would probably be dead today, but they may have carried the scars throughout their life and passed on the essence to their children).

                      On the other hand, things that happened during the United State Civil War are now pretty firmly in the "history" section. Nobody is alive from that era, and everybody in the following generation is either dead or close to it.

                      That's what I think.
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                      Old November 9th, 2013 (9:42 AM).
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                      People affected by the Holocaust directly who are still alive are all getting up there in age, and their families are going to be old already, too, but there are other lasting effects such as the founding of the modern nation of Israel. That's relevant because of all the current tension in that part of the world. And the American Civil War could be said to be still relevant because of the cultural differences between the American South and other parts of the country.

                      I guess I'd say that as long as someone is using history to justify their actions then we'll need to keep that history alive, either to justify our claims or to refute someone else's.
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                      Old November 9th, 2013 (10:27 AM).
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                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Scarf View Post
                      People affected by the Holocaust directly who are still alive are all getting up there in age, and their families are going to be old already, too, but there are other lasting effects such as the founding of the modern nation of Israel. That's relevant because of all the current tension in that part of the world. And the American Civil War could be said to be still relevant because of the cultural differences between the American South and other parts of the country.

                      I guess I'd say that as long as someone is using history to justify their actions then we'll need to keep that history alive, either to justify our claims or to refute someone else's.
                      All of history is relevant to some degree, I meant "when does a tragedy simply become an important event?" I think two generations post makes sense on that front.
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                      Old November 10th, 2013 (3:47 PM).
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                        The governments of countries need to acknowledge the atrocities they've committed, as such helps in preventing them from occurring again. Germany has set the precedent for this, as they go out of their way to take responsibility for the Holocaust. Their schools require students to visit concentration camps to learn firsthand about what happens. Though the US doesn't go this far, honestly, we haven't done anything that bad. And what we have done (for example, the Trail of Tears), we educate our people about.

                        Now, for a government that's horribly stuck in the past, we have Japan. Many of their people still refuse to acknowledge that the Rape of Nanking ever happened, including much of their government. They love to talk about about how devastating the atomic bombings were, yet they flat-out refuse to mention the war crimes they've committed, many of which are much, much worse than the atomic bombings. For example, Unit 731. In Unit 731, some of the vilest, most inhumane crimes against humanity were perpetuated. Quite honestly, many of the things done there rival and at times are even worse than Dr. Mengele's experiments in terms of brutality. And on whom were these acts performed? Innocent Chinese civilians. Yet the Japanese never mention this.

                        But you know, America is the most evilest nation ever, and NIHON IS KAWAII~~NYA~~!
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                        Old November 10th, 2013 (4:05 PM).
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                        Quote:
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                        The governments of countries need to acknowledge the atrocities they've committed, as such helps in preventing them from occurring again. Germany has set the precedent for this, as they go out of their way to take responsibility for the Holocaust. Their schools require students to visit concentration camps to learn firsthand about what happens. Though the US doesn't go this far, honestly, we haven't done anything that bad. And what we have done (for example, the Trail of Tears), we educate our people about.

                        Now, for a government that's horribly stuck in the past, we have Japan. Many of their people still refuse to acknowledge that the Rape of Nanking ever happened, including much of their government. They love to talk about about how devastating the atomic bombings were, yet they flat-out refuse to mention the war crimes they've committed, many of which are much, much worse than the atomic bombings. For example, Unit 731. In Unit 731, some of the vilest, most inhumane crimes against humanity were perpetuated. Quite honestly, many of the things done there rival and at times are even worse than Dr. Mengele's experiments in terms of brutality. And on whom were these acts performed? Innocent Chinese civilians. Yet the Japanese never mention this.
                        That's actually a good example of an atrocities that people /don't/ talk about. I don't think the Japanese war leaders responsible for the crimes committed were ever tried and executed (which they probably would have been). There was an apology way back in the 70's when Japan decided to normalize relations with China, but it's not something people talk about. When I mentioned this to my roommate while we were in China (he studied at Keio for a semester or two), the first words out of his mouth were, "you know they don't give a ****, right?"

                        Quote:
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                        But you know, America is the most evilest nation ever, and NIHON IS KAWAII~~NYA~~!
                        This is a very interesting point. I think a lot of people are attracted to a romanticized version of Japan's image and culture, but don't take the time to learn about the not-so-pretty details.
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                        Old November 10th, 2013 (7:47 PM).
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                          Well, the U.S. DID do tons of terrible things.

                          The majority of its wars were done for reasons NOT what people were told about.

                          The Founding Fathers hired mobs to burn down homes and blamed the British - in addition to them orchestrating the Boston Massacre - and it was all due to a desire for power.

                          The Civil War is said to have been for racial freedom but that wasn't the case - it was really for industrialism to spread so that corporations could own the South and spread business there, which is why the Union orchestrated the South Carolina incident - they wanted to look like heroes, which allowed them to hide the fact that they didn't let blacks into their armed forces until the very end of the war, even though many free blacks fought FOR the Confederacy just wanting to keep the South as it was.

                          The Internment Camps~ :D

                          You also have the Cold War - where the U.S. and Russia pretty much created Terrorism and spread it throughout the entire world. Then 9/11 - where going against Terrorism was supposed to be the reason but, in fact, it was for natural resources. And yes, there ARE records showing that high government officials knew the 9/11 incident would happen, so don't say it was due to planes crashing into buildings - that was all a ruse the government orchestrated.

                          And RIGHT when people were about to be fine with leaving the Middle East and started to focus on the corruption in government, what happened oh so conveniently? Oh, that's right! The Boston Marathon Massacre! And no one believed that Muslims did it. That's because the govt had done this so many times throughout the years that people just plain have stopped believing the govt when it points fingers.

                          --

                          So yeah. The more you know.

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                          Old November 11th, 2013 (12:45 AM).
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                            . . .But you know, America is the most evilest nation ever. . .
                            err, okay, koffi~

                            Better prep yourself for some awesome and most brutal European (and others) torture devices!

                            Wooooooo! Torture me baby, yeah! If that ain't evil. . ., koff~
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                            Old November 11th, 2013 (2:36 AM).
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                              Quote:
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                              err, okay, koffi~

                              Better prep yourself for some awesome and most brutal European (and others) torture devices!

                              Wooooooo! Torture me baby, yeah! If that ain't evil. . ., koff~
                              You should ask for clarification on context first. In the Dark Ages and other older periods of history, Europe was one of the worst places, I concur, but in the modern age, many countries in Europe are surpassing the US in equality, civil liberties, and other various "good" things. Though the Middle Eastern countries are still worse than the US, we are far from the best right now.

                              One good thing about the US, we did all our worst stuff in a shorter period of time than other countries, so considering the age of the country, the US still has the most potential, if only the people here would stop squandering it.
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                              Old November 11th, 2013 (2:43 AM).
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                                I don't think we should let the past bind us down, but people who have actually been effected by the past should be allowed to feel as they wish. As for Columbus.. he discovered a place that was already discovered, murdered countless people, and took (I'm not sure how many) children as.. ''slaves''. Members of his crew had diaries about how crazy he was. Like I said, I don't think we should let the past bind us, but celebrating such a thing is.. I can see why some people hold a grudge about what happened, and continue to do so. As for the USA's government/military, they are far from good. They act like nothing wrong happens on our part, but I don't believe that crap.
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                                Old November 12th, 2013 (4:08 PM).
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                                  Quote:
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                                  err, okay, koffi~

                                  Better prep yourself for some awesome and most brutal European (and others) torture devices!

                                  Wooooooo! Torture me baby, yeah! If that ain't evil. . ., koff~
                                  I was being sarcastic. If you knew anything about me, you'd know that I'm the exact opposite of a weeaboo. Which is what I was mocking there.

                                  And yeah, the Inquisition was one of the worst events in human history.

                                  I love it when Christians say that the worst crimes against humanity were committed by atheists in the name of atheism. First off, Hitler was a Roman Catholic. His soldiers and supporters were primarily Roman Catholic. While Stalin and Mao were atheist, the people of their countries were forced to effectively worship these men as gods, creating a state religion. The same could be said for modern despots like Kim Jong-un.

                                  And yet religion, not irreligion, caused the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Taliban's activities, 9/11, etc.
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