A recent writer felt threatened enough by what he called, “the Woke Left of today,” to draw comparisons between the modern push for equality and inclusion to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. In my eyes, the only accomplishment of his diatribe was to demonstrate, once again, that early American history in the hands uninformed is a dangerous thing.
The writer wants us to believe that the accused witches of Salem were thrown into rivers to test their buoyancy. Perhaps the writer gets all their information from Monty Python’s famous sketch. No accused witches in Salem 1692 were thrown into a river. Actually, their interrogations were much worse. Jailed before being unceremoniously paraded in front of a special court of oyer and terminer, accused witches were not only subject to poking and prodding as examiners searched for “the mark of the devil,” they also endured hours of testimony as jealous and bigoted neighbors brought false testimony against them.
Governor Phips brought an end to witch trials not by convincing colonial New Englanders that witchcraft wasn’t real, but by outlawing the use of “spectral evidence,” or evidence that appeared to accusers only in visions or dreams.
Ironically, the writer seems to rely on his own spectral evidence to build his case. Saying “happy holidays” as opposed to “merry Christmas,” is a form of oppression? Give me a break. The writer has convened his own court of oyer and terminer to denounce his own imagined witches. Don’t fall for the ruse.