Author Topic: Can we erase the past .... or should we learn from it ?  (Read 3122 times)

Offline Erato

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Re: Can we erase the past .... or should we learn from it ?
« Reply #27 on: Friday 17 July 20 23:58 BST (UK) »
Assuming that I have correctly guessed the name of this dog, it's hard for me to believe that, even in the 1940s, the name was not chosen because it was considered amusing, and not in a nice way.  I was born not that long after WWII and, I can assure you that that specific pejorative was not ever permitted in our home nor, indeed, any similar epithet referring to any ethnic or religious group.  Period.  That doesn't mean history should be erased, necessarily, but it is wrong to brush it off as simply a relic of a more 'innocent' time. 
Wiltshire:  Banks, Taylor
Somerset:  Duddridge, Richards, Barnard, Pillinger
Gloucestershire:  Barnard, Marsh, Crossman
Bristol:  Banks, Duddridge, Barnard
Down:  Ennis, McGee
Wicklow:  Chapman, Pepper
Wigtownshire:  Logan, Conning
Wisconsin:  Ennis, Chapman, Logan, Ware
Maine:  Ware, Mitchell, Tarr

Offline Dundee

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Re: Can we erase the past .... or should we learn from it ?
« Reply #28 on: Saturday 18 July 20 03:13 BST (UK) »
..... it's hard for me to believe that, even in the 1940s, the name was not chosen because it was considered amusing, and not in a nice way.

It was not a name chosen to be amusing nor derogatory, it was simply a word associated with colour the same as Ginger and Bluey.

Debra  :)

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Can we erase the past .... or should we learn from it ?
« Reply #29 on: Saturday 18 July 20 09:25 BST (UK) »
Assuming that I have correctly guessed the name of this dog, it's hard for me to believe that, even in the 1940s, the name was not chosen because it was considered amusing, and not in a nice way.  I was born not that long after WWII and, I can assure you that that specific pejorative was not ever permitted in our home nor, indeed, any similar epithet referring to any ethnic or religious group.  Period.  That doesn't mean history should be erased, necessarily, but it is wrong to brush it off as simply a relic of a more 'innocent' time. 

Niger was called Niger because he was a black labrador retriever, rather than golden, the Latin for black being niger. However in today's ignorant racist times uneducated people do not realise this and by changing the name it is they not Guy Gibson who was being racist.
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Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Can we erase the past .... or should we learn from it ?
« Reply #30 on: Saturday 18 July 20 11:44 BST (UK) »
What is going to be done with the British Newspaper Archive to remove all the thousands of references to **** Brown.

Stan

I should have made clear I meant the particular shade of colour brown, not the surname Brown. Just to add that you spell it with two gs


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Offline Erato

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Re: Can we erase the past .... or should we learn from it ?
« Reply #31 on: Saturday 18 July 20 14:41 BST (UK) »
"Niger was called Niger"

Uh huh, right.  His name was Niger but for some reason they spelled and pronounced it differently.
Wiltshire:  Banks, Taylor
Somerset:  Duddridge, Richards, Barnard, Pillinger
Gloucestershire:  Barnard, Marsh, Crossman
Bristol:  Banks, Duddridge, Barnard
Down:  Ennis, McGee
Wicklow:  Chapman, Pepper
Wigtownshire:  Logan, Conning
Wisconsin:  Ennis, Chapman, Logan, Ware
Maine:  Ware, Mitchell, Tarr

Offline decor

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Re: Can we erase the past .... or should we learn from it ?
« Reply #32 on: Saturday 18 July 20 15:18 BST (UK) »
I still have no idea how changing things is "erasing the past".
If you change your surname when you get married, are you erasing your past?!
Seems more like some people would just prefer to stubbornly hold onto things whatever the cost.
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Offline Mike in Cumbria

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Re: Can we erase the past .... or should we learn from it ?
« Reply #33 on: Saturday 18 July 20 15:50 BST (UK) »
I still have no idea how changing things is "erasing the past".
If you change your surname when you get married, are you erasing your past?!
Seems more like some people would just prefer to stubbornly hold onto things whatever the cost.

Exactly. The past can not be erased. Removing a statue of a slave trader doesn't "erase the past", it just demonstrates that 21st century Britain no longer believes that people like that deserve to be on a pedestal. Renaming a dog in the remake of a film is not "political correctness", it is  just that certain derogatory words have no place in modern society. Why some people (I don't mean on this forum) are so vociferous in demanding that the dog retains its original name when so many other details have to be changed in the process of making a film beats me.
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Offline arthurk

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Re: Can we erase the past .... or should we learn from it ?
« Reply #34 on: Saturday 18 July 20 15:59 BST (UK) »
"Niger was called Niger"

Uh huh, right.  His name was Niger but for some reason they spelled and pronounced it differently.

'Niger' is Latin for black. The Latin pronunciation that I was taught had 'i' as either short (as in 'it') or long ('ee' sound), and 'g' was always hard (as in 'gate'). Thus 'niger' was pronounced more or less the same as the word that is now found offensive. As it was based on a standard school text book, the same pronunciation was probably widely taught throughout the UK.

I still have no idea how changing things is "erasing the past".
If you change your surname when you get married, are you erasing your past?!
Seems more like some people would just prefer to stubbornly hold onto things whatever the cost.

I think it might be more a case of wanting to hide the past rather than erase it. Logically the past cannot be altered, but as family historians we're quite familiar with the way some people try to cover up their ancestors' misdemeanours. It's sometimes said that the cover-up does far more damage than knowledge of the truth.

Some aspects of the past can only be understood if we acknowledge them as they were: we can't erase the fact that things happened which we no longer approve of, but rather than trying to pretend they didn't happen, can we find a way to retain the memory, not to celebrate it but so that it becomes a part of our shared history and a marker of the progress we have (hopefully) made?
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Offline Erato

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Re: Can we erase the past .... or should we learn from it ?
« Reply #35 on: Saturday 18 July 20 16:22 BST (UK) »
"'g' was always hard (as in 'gate')"

Uh huh, right.  How do you pronounce Geranium?  Genus?

Wiltshire:  Banks, Taylor
Somerset:  Duddridge, Richards, Barnard, Pillinger
Gloucestershire:  Barnard, Marsh, Crossman
Bristol:  Banks, Duddridge, Barnard
Down:  Ennis, McGee
Wicklow:  Chapman, Pepper
Wigtownshire:  Logan, Conning
Wisconsin:  Ennis, Chapman, Logan, Ware
Maine:  Ware, Mitchell, Tarr