American history is filled with depictions of women, the LGBT+ community, and persons of color that are deplorable and reprehensible. From “Little Black Sambo” to black face, to advertising, to even Dr. Seuss, the discriminatory past of America can be vividly seen in how it portrays “the other”. Can and should we judge the artifacts, some that many hold dear, based on our modern notion of what is acceptable?
Yes. Yes, we should, holding the past accountable helps to clear a way forward. Racist is Racist. Homophobic is Homophobic. Misogynistic is Misogynistic. When it happened is irrelevant. And if we want to avoid the missteps of the past, we must hold the past accountable. This isn’t about canceling and banning, it’s about accountability and progress.