23 October 2015

Another Cause For The Activist Historians To Jump On

Thomas Jefferson, aka Beelzebub
Image source.
While the activist historians continue to celebrate victories over the removal of Confederate icons from the public landscape, their foot soldiers have moved on to other targets of America's evilness.
A public statue of Thomas Jefferson on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia has generated intense debate at the school -- and more recently, on social media -- over whether the founding father and third U.S. president deserves to be honored given his known status as a slave owner. . . .The Columbia Missourian reported Wednesday on student reactions to the controversy. "It's offensive to idealize and cherish someone who raped and owned slaves," said one student.
That's right. The author of our our nation's founding document doesn't deserve to be honored and is, according to some, "controversial." College students. Gee, I wonder where they could have gotten such an idea? Just another projected fantasy?

If you believe this is just an outlier protest, you're extremely naive. The drumbeat will go on for years (as it has for Confederate imagery) until inch by inch, the resistance will be worn down and political correctness and presentism will claim yet another victory.




cenantua said...

Perhaps those who are so critical of Jefferson should be judged similarly... solely for their worst offence in life, disregarding all else. It's fair and simple turn about. While they may give no mind to it, I think it's worth thinking about when we look at stories such as these. Of course, there's a problem even with that. They have the advantage of being judged within their own time, while Jefferson is being judged outside the context of his.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"They have the advantage of being judged within their own time, while Jefferson is being judged outside the context of his."

Precisely Robert. And this generation will have much to be held accountable for. You reap as you sow.

Al&Bea said...

I could not agree with you more. This revisionist history is a direct result of the liberal social progressive education given to children today and is only a small element of a larger problem. Take a look at Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals". This can only be changed when education changes. In the meantime, we can only resist.
There are tiny spots of bright light that need to be encouraged. The following article appeared in the Wall Street Journal. I am including it in its entirety because of the Journal's paywall.

High-School English Without the Politics
Shakespeare and Woolf, not trigger warnings, hone my students’ critical-thinking skills.
By HELAINE L. SMITH Oct. 21, 2015 6:37 p.m. ET
We do not talk about the environment, or racism, or feminism, or our president’s failed policies. We talk about literature. We exist, for the 40 minutes each day that I teach English to middle- and high-school students in New York City, in an issue-free zone.
We talk about books, images or word choice, and as we construct arguments about theme or reach conclusions about character, we back everything up with details from the text. What I hope my students are learning is a lesson that is not political but is essential for politics: that one must support assertions with proofs, that one must consider counterarguments, that it’s necessary to listen to what others say and that doing so may allow you to strengthen, or force you to alter, what you think.
In other words, in a modest way, we are disciples, generations removed, of John Milton’s “Areopagitica,” of the belief that truth, or as much of it as we can grasp, is arrived at not through trigger warnings but through discussion and through debate that turns on details.
We are running hard against the current, but my students don’t know that. My aim is to teach them to love great writing and to take pleasure in the habits of mind that close reading demands. These are also the habits essential for an informed citizenry. I’m reassured that I send forth young adults who, whatever political positions they adopt, will question before they conclude, and will respect others’ rights to question and to conclude otherwise.
This fall, in sixth grade, we’ve read Scottish border ballads—“The Twa Corbies,” “Sir Patrick Spens,” “Edward, Edward,” “ Barbara Allen”—none of them about politics and none of them about personal identity. And yet my young students have looked at questions of evil, its sources, its manifestations, at courage, at putting on a front when you’re scared, at grief and time, at obstinacy and regret—at things that make us human.
The lovely thing is the universality of all this. These simple ballads permit these children to explore what they feel, and show them, in nonthreatening, nonintrusive ways—ways that talk about “your identity” or “your feelings” does not—that what they feel others, too, have felt.
In 12th grade, we’ve read elegant essays by Bacon and Montaigne, Woolf and Baldwin,E.B. White and Lamb, Kincaid and Welty and Orwell. Some are what one might call “political”; some are not. For each we look at what the author is saying and then, not at how we feel about that, but at how the author feels about it, and at how he or she uses style and tone to influence us.
My seniors and I will read “Hamlet” and “Antony and Cleopatra,” and then perhaps “Henry IV, Part 1,” or “As You Like It,” or “Othello.” We will not consider political parallels to today’s world; rather, we will immerse ourselves in the world Shakespearecreates. And by so doing, we will emerge with a sense of enlarged humanity, an enlarged sense of what is beautiful—how essential and how little spoken of that is!—and a readiness to study and test the ideas and propositions of others, whether authors or politicians or friends.
In English class we are mirrors of texts. And only by being mirrors of the finest glass can we see ourselves and the world beyond ourselves.
Ms. Smith teaches English at the Brearley School in New York City

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Al & Bea! And thanks for that GREAT article! Yes, this is a ray of sunshine in a world of night, isn't it? You may already be aware, but the National Education (sic) Association endorses and, at one time, sold Alinsky's book to members. Yet I've had "educators" come here and argue that academia and the education establishment are not indoctrinating students with leftist ideology.

See: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2010/08/national_education_association.html