Prof. Andrey Pantev: Remembrance Should Not Be Ruined
"People are looking for the necessary sinner." This was stated to BNR by Prof. Andrey Pantev in a comment on the demolition and desecration of monuments and statues in the United States. He recalled that in 1992, when the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus was celebrated, Latin American intellectuals called: "Do not celebrate, better mourn."
According to the history professor, every historical event or process is subject to corrections and negations. "Even Jesus Christ is not so impeccable, after Isaac Babel, a wonderful Jewish author from Odessa, says: "What prevented the Lord from settling the Jews in Switzerland?" But Pantev was adamant that personalities, memory and monuments should not be destroyed, no matter when, for what event and to whom they were erected.
The historian noted that people understand the life of their homelands in different ways - some believe that their ancestors are saints, others - that they are villains.
According to him, the drama of contemporaries is that their ideas about the past cannot be treated with halftones, with half-assessments, with "four-season Vivaldi melodies". "One cannot be entirely great and the other – a mere villain. There are things that need to be evaluated differently. This does not mean that you have to worship the first and practice jokes on the other... There should be no such fierce opposition, because our opponents - heroes or scoundrels - are dead," the professor explained.
Pantev emphasized that the enslaved Negro population in the United States was considered to be private property that was sacred and inviolable - therefore the ownership of slaves was considered inviolable.
The adoption of the US Declaration of Independence, which states that all people are equal, does not actually solve the problem of inequality between slaves, Indians and women, Pantev believes and concludes that: "Democracy is born into a sinful embryo. As Carl Sagan writes, "The Greeks thought of the stars, but not of the slaves." We must accept this with sorrow. "
In conclusion, the professor of history emphasized: "One thing is clear. When you are created in injustice, you cannot be an angel by carrying a sword, a machine gun or driving a tank," said Prof. Pantev, citing the Reformation leader Martin Luther, who once said that injustice cannot be eliminated by another.
Pantev recalled that he had spent 4 wonderful years of his life in the United States and comparing current years with the period of his stay, he said: "At the time there was such an anecdote: Why there are no military and political coups in Washington. Well, because there is no American embassy there. Here comes the boomerang back. There is an American embassy in Washington, there are riots that say little about the Promised land that was biblically appropriated and exposed by America. "
In his words this is no longer the America that has long been seen as a model of nobility, justice and a good life. "I hope it’ll stay and remain a significant, great, powerful force. But its charm is diminishing, to say the least it’s nowhere to be seen... The blacks will remain black and a child born in Harlem will have far fewer opportunities than a child who, thanks to his father's recommendations and money, goes to Harvard,” concluded Prof. Andrey Pantev.