It was the German/Jewish romantic poet Heinrich Heine, who wrote; 'When they burn books, at the end, they also burn people,' a pronouncement that became tragically true in his own country, a mere 100 years after he wrote those words. In the US at present we are witnessing acts of brutality on statues of the past which sadly echo those same sentiments.

The Past

Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle have encompassing souls, different eras, but the same rare quality that sees into the heart and soul of the working man.

They have given us over the past 80 years or so an insight into the struggle that those who are not cushioned by the fate of birth or inherited wealth have to face.The present and incumbent President of the United States has been cushioned all his life by privilege. So what does he actually know about reality? He has proved time after time, he knows little about his country's past!

For a man who was a confirmed draft-dodger, who made fun of a political opponent who spent years in a Vietnamese prison compound, and derided the parents of a gold-star recipient, he should be speaking out about the destruction of the legacy of the past, one that is fundamental to its future. Yes, he has condemned the outrages, relating them to slavery rather than the war.

In the wake of the Charlottesville rally of White-Supremacists America is having a re-think of its past - and a none too sensible one either. In the South monuments to the fallen are dropping like autumn leaves and a whole new slant is being put on the past. Remember this, yes there were Southern landowners who went to war and sent their sons to their deaths, all in a cause they thought was right.

That they took thousands of those who were in their service, land renters, farm workers, and those who owed them fealty like any Medieval Lord. They were in service, they were subjugated, they were poor, and were those that need to be praised and lauded and certainly have a statue in their remembrance - certainly not torn down after all this time!

The Future

Above all preserve the past, for it is a constant reminder of what went before, forget that and the mistake simply repeats itself. In Virginia, a college has stopped a commentator reporting on a college football game because his name is Robert Lee, the same as the renowned Confederate General. And in Memphis, a screening of Gone with the Wind was canceled as it was deemed to be insensitive. Insensitive to whom, deniers or acceptors, it is all knee-jerk, and the acts of past history cannot be judged by such actions.