Gary Younge is best to advise us that keeping in mind and forgetting are not merely individual problems, however likewise associate with structures and “systems of power” (Only the whole truth about the past can heal the present, 31 May).
I am advised of this, from Édouard Glissant: “To forget is to upset, and memory, when it is shared, eliminates this offense. If we wish to share the appeal of the world, if we wish to remain in uniformity with its suffering, we require to find out how to bear in mind together.”
For all of us completely to share memories of mass atrocity (such as slavery, Holocaust, ethnic cleaning) and the abjection of people, and to share a dedication to social justice, we require both to revamp the curricula at every level of our education system and to execute an extreme redistribution of wealth and power. However as people we can start to eliminate the offense of forgetting by broadening our instructional horizons.
Dr Max Farrar
Emeritus teacher, Leeds Beckett University
• In his otherwise exceptional short article on the partiality that notifies our representation of the past, Gary Younge duplicates the mantra that 1066 was “the last time Britain was attacked”.
Aside from the excusable omission of “effectively”, it is the conventional unwillingness to explain the occasions of 1688 as an intrusion of which he has actually fallen nasty.
The Whig analysis of William of Orange’s coup d’etat as the Marvelous Transformation, which introduced a century and a half of anti-Catholic bias and discrimination, is itself a prime example of the purposeful selectivity in the building of the historic record that hinders our understanding of the entire reality about the past.
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