Everything in perspective.

<>In the course of my studies I have learnt many things — not only of the subjects but also of people and how they interpret/judge/weigh events and people. What many do not seem to understand is that people more often than not behave within the standards of their time.  That their actions would be considered fully anethemic to modern sensibilities is irrelevent. It would be difficult to honestly say that anyone living to-day would be any different in those circumstances.  George Washington, for example, had slaves. That should not dimish the respect given to the man. Having slaves in his era was not uncommon nor was it considered unacceptable. Andrew Jackson, despite my own personal opinion of him, was very much a man in touch with the common people of his era — in fact he was a man who came from not only a common background but a common Irish immigrant family. That he was responsible for the death of 25% of the Cherokee people and similar percentages of the other four “civilised” tribes that he had force-marched to Oklahoma from the South-East. Okey, never mind I’ll drop that one.  To get back to the point… People do not evaluate things fully before making comments about them. The more I’m around other people studying a subject the more I see this. To-day I read messages left in my Art History class regarding 19th Century French Orientalist Paintings.  One student wrote “Jean-Léon Gérôme, Moorish Bath, c. 1880 clearly show the relationship of white to black as a young white women looks to be getting a bath from a black woman. The inferiority of blacks exists even between women. Women that are brutalized and tormented by men are still placed on a better scale than those of a darker race”.  He didn’t seem to comprehend that most women were not brutalised (though they were deprived of their equal status) or that women were no less racist than men. Not only that but that people stuck to their own, they took care of their own. They rarely had much interest in looking out for others.

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