Letter: Clegg’s reasoning applicable elsewhere

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2019

I write in appreciation for Professor Claude Clegg’s letter in Sunday’s Salisbury Post (“Resolution positions city at vanguard of history”).

His support of the Resolution of Reconciliation was reasoned and reasonable.

I was struck by several of his passages that apply not only to recognizing and understanding the terrible events of 1906 but so many other events in our history.

Clegg observes that recognizing a tragic event requires an honest reckoning with “the very identity and trajectory of a people that can sometimes unearth past events and actions that trigger contemporary pain and antagonisms.”

That the goal is not just to bring visibility to history but to understand and interpret. He further tells us that “in making good faith efforts to recover and analyze the past, we do no disservice to the present or living individuals.

On the contrary, we engage in humane, courageous acts of communal introspection and self-reflection in hope of better understanding who we are and how to avoid the pitfalls of past tragedies.”

As much as I certainly resolution, I hope that people of good faith and intent will apply his reasoning to other elements of history. Since, as he observes, “we are blessed with the hindsight of the present for the purpose of reading and learning from the past.”

Let us not be selective in elements of the past we wish to study and learn from.

Although many monuments to our past may not have been erected with what we now (hindsight of the present) consider pure intentions, we must use them as tools to learn from. We must learn from all the past — not just parts we find comfortable or comforting.

— J. Stephen Hubbard