They are protesting again.”
“Who? The humans?”
“Do I need to know or can the local council deal with it?”
“I wouldn’t have bothered you at all if you didn’t need to know.”
“Fine. What is it this time?”
“It appears they do not care for the improvements we made to one of their buildings.”
“They are protesting over a building? That sounds absurd even by their standards. Which building?”
“It is our Hall of Honors.”
“The building we put up to give respect to the warriors lost on both sides when we conquered this world? It honors their fallen as well as our own. What do they find so offensive about it?”
“Honestly, sir, I think it has less to do about what we’ve done with it specifically and more to do with what it used to be.”
“It was called the Vatican.”
“I’m not understanding why you think this was worth bothering me with.”
“Sorry, I’ll get to the point. It was some sort of religious place, one of their bigger ones, known around the world even by those who didn’t worship there. The protestors feel that it should have been preserved for them.”
“Fine, yes, I get that. Why do I need to concern myself with it.”
“If left unchecked, based on a study of their histories, this protest could turn into something larger. They used to take their religions very seriously. Most of their bloodiest wars were fought with one or another at the heart of the conflict. It has been many long years, especially by human standards, since the largest of these wars but, as we know, history has a way of coming around again and again, and why take the chance when we can squash this nonsense now. There is no sense in delaying a response only for this minor protest to have turned into some kind of unifying thing across the historic nations.”
“Hmm. I see your point. What is the consensus? To return the building to what it was before? That seems too weak of a move. That might galvanize them further, would it not? Raze the sight and put up some sort of plaque to ‘honor’ what once stood there? A place they could visit if they so wished without being the same beacon as it once was?”
“Actually, sir, we were thinking of just killing these protestors to dissuade the idea of protest at all.”
“Harsh. But, yes. Silence these and that will teach the rest to remain silent. I agree. Proceed.”
“It shall be done.”
The other day I saw a picture of three individuals giving the middle finger to Mount Rushmore. I would have been appalled… as recently as last year. I have recently learned, however, that Mt. Rushmore was carved out of a place known as Six Grandfathers. It wasn’t just some rock out in the Black Hills. It was a special rock on special land that was first stolen and then desecrated.
Some might argue that is just the way things had to be in the name of progress. I’m not sure I can swallow this argument as I once did and I tried to think of an equivalent transgression going on now, to try and put it in some sort of context. This example isn’t perfect, of course. I’m not sure anything could be.
I’m not sure what the solution is, either. There likely isn’t one, unfortunately. Not one that all parties could agree on in any case. So, I’m not sure why I wrote this or felt it necessary to share it… Perhaps just to challenge everyone to think of what came before and what, as things always do, might come again.