Historically speaking

History. For me, it was that class that I never paid attention to. It was that period of time that was just… one big period of time. Also known as, what I considered, an extremely boring subject in school. Throughout a significant portion of my life, I never cared for history. There were certain parts that I did find interesting, but for the most part, it wasn’t something that seemed significant in my life. How naive I was.

Tonight I watched the Arizona Cardinals make history. A drought without a championship, 61970.gifArizona-Cardinals-Logo.gifyears, to be exact. They will go on to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. Momentarily, while on this subject, my thoughts go out to Willis McGahee of the Ravens and his family. Should the Cardinals win the Super Bowl, not that I’m trying to jinx it for all those Arizona fans, but should they win, they’ll be apart of something great, they’ll be apart of history.

When you think about it, history is an incredible subject. The events that take place, how, in the blink of an eye, everything can change. I recently saw the movie Valkyrie. Although I wouldn’t recommend it because of Tom Cruise’s acting, the historical accuracy of the movie was very good. There were many things I didn’t like about the movie, like, how Hitler was the only one with a German accent. That was stupid. Anyway, not the point. The second attempt on Hitler’s life when Operation Walküre failed, obviously. The original place where Von Stauffenberg was set to release the bomb would have been an air tight building, no windows, and an explosion that probably would have killed Hitler. However, due to the heat of the day, the meeting that was supposed to take place had been moved to a different location. One with many windows, a location that was not ideal for this project.

The thing that I find fascinating about history are the events that could have happened. What if the day had been cooler and the meeting was to be held in the correct chamber? Would Hitler have died that day? If he would have, how would that impact our history? Simple things can change our very way of life, our hopes, our dreams. In my last post, I mentioned the 1980 US Olympic hockey team. Herb Brooks had every intention of cutting Mike Eruzione, the captain. In the end, he didn’t and Eruzione made the game winning goal. What if Brooks had cut him? Would Al Michaels have been able to say, “Do you believe in Miracles?” Would we be in the same state we are now? Would we, as a country, have been let down by the failure of a team?

It’s history that impacts and transforms our very way of life. Everyday we make history whether we know it or not. It reminds me of the butterfly effect. Not that terrible movie, but the actual chaos theory itself: It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a
butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world. Amazing. How something so small and so insignificant could cause a devastating effect that could change history. 

I think about history today because tomorrow is Martin Luther King day and the day after that, a defining moment in history: out first, and hopefully not our last, black president. I’m reminded of some excerpts from the infamous “I have a dream” speech.

martin_luther_king.gif“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

“This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a
stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the
jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of
brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray
together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for
freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”

Yes, I did have to go look up those quotes, I don’t just have them stashed in my memory, lest we forget, I didn’t pay attention in history class. The big one that stood out for me was the second one, that people would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by who they are. In this country, we face so much prejudice, and not just towards other races; people who are over weight, people who are under weight, disabled, homeless, you name it. 

This nation is about to be part of something great, something that was unthinkable not too long ago. This nation, our nation, is about to make history. We have come so far. While strides are clearly being made to fight racism, I know that it is something that our country may never move past. And I know this being a minority in this country. I’m Korean, and I’ve lived in this country all but eleven weeks of my life, in fact, I’ve lived in this state all but eleven weeks of my life. I’m often asked the question if I’m Chinese. For me, it’s a hilarious question. The assumption that all Asian’s in this country are Chinese. The other question I get is if I’m from North or South Korea. Ah, the ignorance of people. I’ve concocted this story about being Kim Jong Il’s illegitimate child and how, in an effort to get rid of me, he catapulted me across 20 miles of landmines to the South. I know, I’m a terrible person, but come on. Someone had to be paying attention in history class, right?

Enough of me talking about being Asian, and if I crack an Asian joke, please don’t takeBarack Obama Capitol.jpgoffense, I don’t believe I’m racist if I’m making fun of myself. While I eagerly await this new president, I also admire him. Not for running for president, but for the courage to run this harsh country that he’s about to face. There are many in this country who are opposed to seeing someone who is not white running their country. While I don’t understand the logic behind it, I won’t argue with it, not now. This man is about to come into power in a time that could not be worse for our country. While some of you may not have been in agreement with me on the candidate that you were supporting, I hope that we can all make the best of these next four years. We’re in need of a leader and we’re in need of change, may he be the one to bring it.

7 Comments

Great blog! To add to your history lesson, the Cardinals have the second longest streak of the number of years between winning the championship in their sport. Who holds the longest? Yup – The Chicago Cubs! Yes tomorrow will be a great day for our country as we start along the road towards financial health, prosperity, peace and improved standing in the world. But my opinion is that we will have really “made” it as a country when the color of the skin of our candidates is no longer mentioned. When the question “will they vote for her because she is a woman” is no longer asked. When we look at a candidate and discuss ONLY their qualifications. When people vote for someone because they are the best person for the office and not just because they look the same as the voter. When we reach that place then true equality will be reached. Here in Massachusetts we voted in an African-American Governor at our last election. Yes, his race was mentioned – but it never played much of a role in the election – and that is how it should be. We voted for him because we had faith that he could get the job done. Oh – did I mention that I am a TOTAL history geek? That was my favorite subject in school! Keep up the great blogs!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Julia – First of all, thank you. I appreciate that you thought my blog was great. Second, I do know that it’s been 100 years for the Cubs and I wanted to try and put that in my blog, but I didn’t know how to do it without sounding condescending in any way. One of the things that really pissed me off during the election time was Fox News was bringing up these things about Obama, like his smoking habit, that really had nothing to do with the actual election. Like Franklin Roosevelt drank a lot during his presidency, and ya know, I wasn’t alive then, but I had never really heard about his drinking being an issue. I believe that because it wasn’t politically correct to talk about his race, they brought up everything else. But I hate Fox News, so whatever. And I am starting to get into history, and it makes me sad that I didn’t pay more attention to it throughout school.

Excellent blog. I completely understand your thoughts on history. I was the same way. Never paid attention but still passed the class. I think about the could-have-been moments sometimes too. Especially when watching movies “based on true stories” or about historical events that I’ve learned about. While I’m not a minority being so white I practically glow, I have felt some other prejudices, namely the overweight one. I know it’s not easy, but this country needs to learn to judge people less often. Which is why I don’t judge someone until I know them. I’m glad Obama ran when he did. He could have said, “Not now…the country is in shambles and my race will play into it.” But he didn’t, and that’s wonderful. He’s gonna try and turn this country around, and I hope he can do it! (And I’m glad we have the same feelings on that horrible “Butterfly Effect” movie.)
Jen
http://ajroxmywhitesox.mlblogs.com

Nice entry! I don’t really pay attention to history either :) You’re Korean? Didn’t know that. I’m Korean also! It’s cool to have another Korean in this blog community. I’m living in U.S. for almost 6 years now. But still, all I get from people is “Are you Chinese or Japanese?” It really bugs me. I’m sure it bugs you too. And also, “Are you North or South?” question bugs me. People are just so strange who are around me.
I can’t wait for Barack Obama to be our new leader. We really need change and I’m sure he can bring it to us. http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

Emily,
Great entry!! History really is interesting when you think of it like the butterfly effect. And that’s why I love baseballs so much. Every pitch makes a difference, every play. Can you imagine if Bill Buckner had made that one play in 1986? Everything would be so different!
I didn’t realize that you had only been here for 11 weeks! Did you speak English well? Great excerpts from King’s speech, what an inspirational figure.
I’m very excited for Barack Obama tomorrow. I just wish people could see that it’s not about skin color. He broke the presidential color barrier just like Robinson broke the baseball color barrier. We’re in for a historical treat tomorrow.
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

Jen – I definitely understand facing prejudice in more aspects than one. People definitely need to be less judgmental, and I think that would help for strides in this country. Although someone did have to run for president, I’m also glad that Obama chose to do it now too. And I’m so glad you hated The Butterfly Effect too. I mean, I love Ashton Kutcher because well… he’s hot, but, that movie, yeah, no.

Hyun Young – That’s so cool that you’re Korean too! It’s definitely nice to have someone understand that incompetent question of “are you from the north or south.”

Elizabeth – Thank you. I think baseball is why I’m finding history more interesting. The things that can change so quickly. Sorry if I wasn’t clear, I was only in Korea for 11 weeks, otherwise I’ve lived in Colorado. I do wish I knew Korean, but I was adopted, and my parents didn’t know any. I think breaking the presidential color barrier is a good comparison to the baseball color barrier. I’m very excited for tomorrow. It’ll be very exciting!!!

As usual, great writing Emily and I’m glad you’re branching out with your comments. I just got caught up and yeah it can be frustrating getting the punked comment on leaving a comment but internet waddya gonna do? History, take time tomorrow to appreciate because we are all part of it. Instead of reading about it, we are making it. All of us. And making up stories of being an illegitimate of the “leader” must make for some good facial expressions on people dense enough to believe it! Keep up the good work.
tom
http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

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