Tearing Down Statues–In Defiance of Censorship

I believe writing historical fiction should mean being as reflective of the times as possible…NOT the current times

Or do you disagree?

Here in the South, we’ve lately had a spate of disgruntled, politically correct folks demanding that every city, small town, village or crossroads with a Confederate statue yank it down. “It’s offensive,” they say. “It’s glorifying slavery,” they say. “They’re statues of racists,” they say. 

CHATHAMSTATUE3-NE-071515-HL.JPG

The statue in my small town of Pittsboro, NC

 While I’m not going to get into a debate about the wrong or the right of removing hundred-plus-year-old statues, the argument, in general, disturbs me for one very big reason: WHO should be the arbiter of what makes HISTORY offensive and therefore powerful enough to erase it? Once we start erasing things, where do we stop? 

I had a reader leave me a nasty review a few years back because I had characters (in a novel set in the 1870s) refer to Native Americans as Indians. And a few of the characters tossed out some of the labels commonly used to describe Native Americans at the time–such as squaw, Red Man, etc. None of this was gratuitous–it was historically accurate. But that one reader has kept me wondering ever since about censorship. If/when will it finally hit Christian books, magazines, movies, etc.?

As you would expect from me, my newest book, A Destiny in Defiance (releasing Nov 1) pulls no punches. Specifically, I cover the politically incorrect but historically accurate discussion of abortion. Haven’t you ever wondered what soiled doves did when they got “in the family way”? Some of my characters will deal with the very sticky subject firsthand.

Anyway, if revisionist historians start removing monuments, I don’t see anything stopping them from burning books next. What do you think?

So, till next time, happy fall, y’all, and pay attention to the history around you! It may not be there tomorrow…

About Heather Frey Blanton

"I believe Christian fiction should be messy and gritty, because the human condition is ... and God loves us anyway." -- Heather Blanton

Posted on October 10, 2019, in Ladies in Defiance and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I firmly believe that instead of erasing history we should be teaching it.
    If the kids don’t know about the “bad” things that were going on it, lessens the efforts and achievements of those that overcame those things.
    If they don’t know that hard things can be overcome, where will they get the inspiration to overcome in their lives?

  2. Hi Heather
    You put this whole topic in a different perspective. Thanks for sharing.
    Peace and blessings

    • Thank you for commenting, Tina. It’s a touchy subject, I realize, but why would we ever want to forget the wrongs of the past? Doing so takes away from the accomplishments of the overcomers. I think what Mary Ellen said above is truly profound.

  3. I agree with you! If we bury our heads in the sand, erase our history, we’re doing all those before a dis-service, as well as the ones coming behind us. We need to learn from prior generations mistakes and not repeat them. Our language has evolved, too, but you have to remember the generation the book was written in, or in your case, the historical setting of when the book was written, and use the words (not curse words, but other words) that would have been used. Like, if you were referring to a slave, you’d say black, not African American, as you would now. I agree with Mary Ellen, too.

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