Erasing the Past is a Waste of Time


Adam Khelah, Staff Writer

In this day and age, we are very motivated to bury the past of anything we deem unacceptable. Whether it be a celebrity, public figure, monument, or name. But I ask you: What’s the point?

To bring justice? To help those harmed? To make the world a better place?  Yet, does it really do any of these things? 

Now let’s be clear. People like Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein deserve to be punished for their crimes. There’s no question about that. But erasing these people off the face of the Earth is absolutely pointless. 

Let’s take Kevin Spacey for example. Some people want to figuratively wipe his movies from existence. To remove films like “American Beauty,” “The Usual Suspects” and “Seven” from their rightful place in American movie history trivializes the importance of everyone else involved. What about the director, the writer, the rest of the cast and crew? Don’t they matter?  If we erase these movies, we’re throwing away all these people’s accomplishments. And it’s just because of one person! 

We have a similar situation with Michael Jackson. Since the release of “Leaving Neverland” people no longer view him with the fondness they once did. There’s no problem there. The problem is when people take offense of others who still enjoy his music.

But what’s wrong with that? Can people not separate the artist from the art? Add the issue of money to the controversy. Some people condemn others for paying musicians to buy their music. But that’s it. Buyers are paying for the music. Regardless of the crime, artists still have the right to make money off of their work. If you have a problem with it, don’t pay for it. That’s your right. It’s also your right to pay for it if you want to.

We cannot rewrite history every time someone commits an offense. Because they are in fact a part of history. 

We haven’t simply limited this to celebrities and public figures. No. We’re also ripping down history.

The United States government is tearing down monuments. The confederate statue of Robert E Lee in New Orleans was torn down and the city of Charlottesville has fought to remove confederate statues on Market Street Park.

Some are even campaigning for the removal of Mount Rushmore because they now view the founding fathers as white supremacists. Seriously!? We can’t rip down history just because our values today don’t line up with values from hundreds of years ago.

I understand that these monuments are hurtful to some, but we can’t erase all our past mistakes. We  should keep them there as a reminder of the mistakes we’ve made. A reminder of our history.  

Erasing the past is simply a waste of time and resources. Are we helping the victims of abuse by erasing Kevin Spacey’s past? Are we improving the lives of people who are facing real world oppression by ripping down some confederate statue Who are we really doing this for? Instead of spending so much time trying to rewrite the past, we should be working to write a better future.