We all know how history works.
When we’re kids, we’re taught the very good (and some of the very bad) things. All the victories. All the kings, the rulers, the presidents, the leaders small and large who changed and shaped the modern world, paving the way for the supposed equality of all its people. We learn to praise these people, these movements that were unequivocally good and fair and glorious.
On the other hand, we learn about history’s and mankind’s greatest disasters and faults. We learn about the Holocaust. The World Wars and all the millions who died. Monuments, cities, and civilizations destroyed. Genocide. Hate. We learn to say #NeverAgain.
But as we know, history has a funny way of repeating itself, often due to the selfishness of man. As we grow older, we begin to see history (and our present day) in a different light, a shifted paradigm that allows us to accept more truths without having to filter out the bad. We remove our rose-colored glasses and learn that some of our heroes and bravest leaders had their own faults. And why shouldn’t they? No one is perfect, not even history’s champions. Of course, our textbooks and documentaries often try to hide that fact.
Though we’re not trying to vilify anyone here, we think it’s important to take a step aside and look at the full truth, accepting that some of our heroes and favorite historical figures had their secrets and dark sides as well. Some of these facts are just fun and revealing truths that in no way affect these figures’ characters. After all, if we can accept the entirety of these people for who they truly were, the better we can appreciate— or at least try to understand them.
Spoiler: Everyone was racist, and everyone cheated.