As southerners have debated whether the Confederate flag represents hate or heritage, several articles have addressed the idea of a “selective reading of history.” Which is, when you think about it, something families are really good at doing.
A selective reading of history isn’t quite a revision of what happened. It’s an intentional focus on some facts and a brushing-under-the-rug of other events. As storytellers, we play a role in selecting what’s told and what’s kept mum. Admittedly, sometimes the selective reading of history is appropriate. There’s a “truth” of the story that needs to come through loud and clear, unobscured by complicating details and the noise of side stories
However, other times, those of us recounting the family’s history slowly become aware of the crumbs lurking under the carpet. We feel uncomfortable as we sense them crunching under the family footfalls.