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Old 12-05-2017, 11:50 AM   #13
Arlington
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: West Medford, MA
Posts: 3,173
Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

OK, straight up: I want my founding fathers' monuments.

Before about 1840, history is pretty much slavery or serfdom all the way down. Boston was financing slaves-molasses-rum and providing the ships and insurance until it turns to whaling, the drug trade (China Trade == opium), and the exploitation of factory workers.

I'll freely stipulate that everyone before 1840, if they were not slave or serf, that they were either oppressor or accomplice--Franklin and Adams knew that they had traded away the slave's hopes [in exchange for white folks'] independence. Had we remained British, slavery would have been abolished in 1833, so we got 30 extra years of slavery as the fruit of independence. It stinks and Franklin and Adams, both abolitionists at heart, knew what they'd done, even if they couldn't have said exactly how many extra years they were giving slavery.

Slavery and slave profits pervaded everything, followed by 50 years of whale-killing, drug peddling, factory disasters and adulterated goods. It's all exploitation until you get to Teddy Roosevelt (when a tiny ray opens, that is still too narrow)

So somewhere around 1910, its worth asking "how did s/he make her/his money?" Before that your choices are to remember the relatively-better people (nobody's perfect), or act like we're all victims or amnesiacs (when, the reality is, evolutionarily, we're all descendants of relative winners-- we're the offspring of the slaves & serfs who didn't starve. Serfdom and slavery's truest victims left no descendants, not us, maybe because our fore-dad killed the family in the next hut and took their food?)

And it is probably safe to assume that in their private lives they were somewhere between exploitive employers (Disney) or adulterers (MLK Jr, Kennedys, Eisenhower, FDR...) or bad fathers (John Adams, by modern standards, anyway)

And yet in every corrupt age, some will stand apart from their peers for their bravery, or democratic ideas, virtue, or advancement of technology. I'm going to ask that we name some streets for these people, particularly those who advanced democracy --however imperfectly and haltingly--at a time when it was thought to be somewhere between regicide and suicide.
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Last edited by Arlington; 12-07-2017 at 07:40 AM.
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