In a recent post, DearMyrtle asked the question "Being Politically Correct: What should we do as historians?
I think this question falls into the category of the inclusion of
controversial information into our genealogies. Should we "edit" history
to take out all the undesirable and difficult subjects? What about the
criminals, the illegitimate children and the poor and psychologically
afflicted? Do we hide the fact that our great-grandmother spent most of
her life in an insane asylum or do we let it all hang out and talk about
all the family secrets?
Personally the questions are easy to answer. I believe the dead have no
secrets. Anything that happened in the past is fair game.
Notwithstanding this position, we need to be sensitive to the feelings
of the living but we do not want to keep fighting the Civil War. As for
recording the language of the past, that was the reality then, who are
we afraid of offending?Read more...