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View Full Version : Political Correctness on Rampage - DC Tourist Museums



JBG
04-05-2010, 01:47 AM
I took my wife and kids to Washington DC for the Spring break week. Normally, I take great pride in anything patriotic. Anyone who reads other threads I have started, albeit on other boards, such as Flags Over Westchester (link) (http://www.mapleleafweb.com/forums//index.php?showtopic=7238&view=findpost&p=155944&hl=westchester&fromsearch=1) and This is America (link) (http://www.mapleleafweb.com/forums//index.php?showtopic=9737&view=findpost&p=246722&hl=america&fromsearch=1) knows
.
I still found the Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorial inspiring. Our family boat ride in the Tidal Basin, with the backdrop of flowering cherry trees, couldn't be beaten for both family unity and scenery. And the one bright spot of the major museum exhibitions was the original Star Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian. There the admiration ends.

The tourist museums such as the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum and Museum of the American Indian, and the Holocaust Museum were monuments to political correctness.

The Holocaust Museum

As a guide to the history of the rise of Nazism the museum does a great job. At this point my admiration lessens materially, however.

The museum correctly demonizes Hitler and Goebbels, people who no one in their right mind admires, and are long dead. The museum does not make a serious effort to document the practically universal anti-Judaism prevalent in Europe before and since the Holocaust. Even more egregiously it does not demonstrate with any degree of emphasis or eloquence the high death rates of Polish Jewry, where Jews had been over 10% of the population, and the indifference or active assistance of Poles in pogroms during the 1800's and the Final Solution.

Modern concerns similarly are not mentioned. The discussion of the Mufti of Jerusalem points out his Nazi support but does not reference the fact that Yasir Arafat was his close relative. The museum absolutely fails to address Israel's growing delegitimization. In short, the museum is great at bashing people whose memory is ignominious. It carefully skirts politically delicate issues such as the past and continuing hatred of Jews, of which the Holocaust was admittedly the worst example.


Overall, the quality of the exhibits was disappointing. Much of it read like an 8th grade Social Studies text would.

Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian

A true PC mishmash.
Tribes from widely disparate regions of the country were displayed side by side, along with tokens of their elders' supposed folk wisdom. This all sounded very profound.
The message delivered was "Red Man good, White Man bad". Nowhere did the museum even mention the practically constant warfare among the tribes. Nowhere did the museum mention the fact that, aside from the Mayan, Incan, and Aztec civilizations, and in North America the Cahokia civilization, the natives made little technological process.

Nowhere did the museum mention the shocking creation of greenhouse gases by the natives' habit of setting fires to create hunter-friendly openings in forests. Certainly, the museum mention that in the Plains bison were driven over cliffs, resulting in massive waste and ecological devastation. The natives were portrayed as being at peace with the environment when nothing could be further from the truth.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Main complaint there is presentation of man-made climate change as being fact.

Smithsonian Museum of American History

Main complaint there is the handling of the slavery issue, admittedly a blot on U.S. history. The fact is that in Africa, life was no bargain either. Some of the blame for slavery has to be laid at the foot of African rulers who would sell people to the slave traders.

Africa was, then as now, a brutal continent. The slavers did not make it so.
And given that the U.S. has an African-American President maybe racism didn't hold all of them down.

asdf2231
04-05-2010, 09:46 AM
Certainly, the museum mention that in the Plains bison were driven over cliffs, resulting in massive waste and ecological devastation.

If an ecosystem recovers from whats done to it, thats not devastation, thats balance.

Few hundred buffs out of a herd of two million get run off a bluff (Which was not really widespread as a hunting technique as a whole, the plains being somewhat... flat) and 40% get wasted because they cant carry the hides and meat... Well, the proof that it was balance is the fact that the herds were still there and limiting themselves with disease when the populations got too big.

Killing thousands a day from the start of the boom to when the market for hides and salted tongue and meat stopped turned those herds of millions into what we have today.

Ditto the forests.

Nobody ever claimed they were ecological Gods. They were however a metric butt load more in tune with the relationship between themselves and the living world then we have ever been. And if they want to bitch a little I'm perfectly willing to give them the opportunity given the fact that we did kill a huge fuckin' passel of them while claiming our manifest destiny.

Gingersnap
04-05-2010, 10:37 AM
Either you want a shiny, whitewashed version of your national story or you prefer a balanced view of the facts, both good and bad.

There's nothing particularly admirable in any tribal culture when it is compared to a culture informed by democracy and leavened with Christianity. Women's rights, civil rights, conservation, "innocent until proved guilty", the abolition of slavery, and so on are imperfect products of Western civilization as it was formed through influence of Christianity.

It's not the culture of the Celts or of the Romans or of the Norse. What it lacks in tree worshiping it makes up for in charity and justice. That those efforts have not yet attained some kind of textbook perfection is irrelevant. That there has been corruption in the institutions of our culture is also irrelevant. The good still outweighs the bad by a large margin. ;)

noonwitch
04-05-2010, 11:15 AM
Your criticism of the Holocaust museum is spot on. I haven't been to that one, but have been to others. There does seem to be a denial of the history of anti-semitism in Europe in general that made it possible for the Nazis to obtain the cooperation of the German people to the degree that they did.


I hope the Air and Space Museum is still as cool as it was when I visited it in the 70s-it should have even better exhibits, now. I'm sure the Spirit of St. Louis is still there.

marv
04-05-2010, 11:53 AM
Forgotten somewhere along the line is that the first inhabitants of North America hunted the mammoth, native camel and native horse to extinction.

For liberals, the early continent was akin to Atlantis - a mythical dream of idyllic existence.

It wasn't!

noonwitch
04-05-2010, 01:49 PM
Forgotten somewhere along the line is that the first inhabitants of North America hunted the mammoth, native camel and native horse to extinction.

For liberals, the early continent was akin to Atlantis - a mythical dream of idyllic existence.

It wasn't!



They have a lot of trouble with the concept that the Native Americans ate meat, wore leather and contributed to the near-extinction of the buffalo almost as much as white settlers did.

In anthopology class, they called it the "noble savage" concept that educated modern westerners have about primitive cultures.

Novaheart
04-05-2010, 03:20 PM
If an ecosystem recovers from whats done to it, thats not devastation, thats balance.

Few hundred buffs out of a herd of two million get run off a bluff (Which was not really widespread as a hunting technique as a whole, the plains being somewhat... flat) and 40% get wasted because they cant carry the hides and meat... Well, the proof that it was balance is the fact that the herds were still there and limiting themselves with disease when the populations got too big.

Killing thousands a day from the start of the boom to when the market for hides and salted tongue and meat stopped turned those herds of millions into what we have today.

Ditto the forests.

Nobody ever claimed they were ecological Gods. They were however a metric butt load more in tune with the relationship between themselves and the living world then we have ever been. And if they want to bitch a little I'm perfectly willing to give them the opportunity given the fact that we did kill a huge fuckin' passel of them while claiming our manifest destiny.

You are undoubtedly wiser than I am, for you appear to have avoided contact with the people I regularly bump heads with on Democratic Underground and You Tube. Many of these people, a frightening number of which claim to be college educated, do honestly believe and put forth that prior to the "illegal immigration" of the "murdering european scum (sub pinkies, or other supposedly derogatory idiocies) and/or the spread of Capitalism, the "native Americans" (expressed as a single racial, social, economic, and cultural grouping) lived in harmony with each other and nature. It was us mean old Europeans (expressed as a single racial, ethnic, cultural, and political group) and our diseases (don't forget that we were the only ones who had diseases and they were deliberately given to the Indians) raped the land and the people (all Mexican Indians with European ancestry are descended from rapists).

Of course, like the Bible, most of this scripture completely ignores any race or tribe not specifically mentioned. So while the Bible makes no mention whatsoever about the Chinese, this Native American Borderless Paradise bullshit completely ignores anything which is inconsistent with the narrative, and when corrected, pauses briefly before restating the untruths as fact.

Novaheart
04-05-2010, 03:28 PM
Your criticism of the Holocaust museum is spot on. I haven't been to that one, but have been to others. There does seem to be a denial of the history of anti-semitism in Europe in general that made it possible for the Nazis to obtain the cooperation of the German people to the degree that they did.


I hope the Air and Space Museum is still as cool as it was when I visited it in the 70s-it should have even better exhibits, now. I'm sure the Spirit of St. Louis is still there.

I can think of a couple of reasons for this. However, we can respect that there is strategy to education which is not necessarily intended to deceive. If you were to teach a class on the Holocaust, and you were to include a comprehensive history of anti-semitism in Europe (and America) it would undoubtedly occur to at least some of the students that such a long history of animosity towards one seemingly intelligent and productive people must have had some justification. And what would a teacher answer when asked why all these various nations and cultures had allowed Jews to move in, and then decided that they hated them?

You could say perhaps that the Jews were singled out because they did not assimilate, they kept a foreign language and customs as well as their religion. But from a teacher's standpoint, what message would you be sending?

marv
04-05-2010, 03:43 PM
If you were to teach a class on the Holocaust, and you were to include a comprehensive history of anti-semitism in Europe (and America) it would undoubtedly occur to at least some of the students that such a long history of animosity towards one seemingly intelligent and productive people must have had some justification.

You could say perhaps that the Jews were singled out because they did not assimilate, they kept a foreign language and customs as well as their religion. But from a teacher's standpoint, what message would you be sending?
The conclusion you reached is obvious...http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/images/smilies/twak.gif

noonwitch
04-05-2010, 04:45 PM
I can think of a couple of reasons for this. However, we can respect that there is strategy to education which is not necessarily intended to deceive. If you were to teach a class on the Holocaust, and you were to include a comprehensive history of anti-semitism in Europe (and America) it would undoubtedly occur to at least some of the students that such a long history of animosity towards one seemingly intelligent and productive people must have had some justification. And what would a teacher answer when asked why all these various nations and cultures had allowed Jews to move in, and then decided that they hated them?

You could say perhaps that the Jews were singled out because they did not assimilate, they kept a foreign language and customs as well as their religion. But from a teacher's standpoint, what message would you be sending?



I always thought that europeans hated jews because 1. They were jealous of the economic and other successes that jews enjoy because they value positive things in a religious and cultural sense, and 2. a total misinterpretation of the letters of Paul that many european christians used to claim their superiority over Jews in God's eyes.

Novaheart
04-05-2010, 05:13 PM
I always thought that europeans hated jews because 1. They were jealous of the economic and other successes that jews enjoy because they value positive things in a religious and cultural sense, and 2. a total misinterpretation of the letters of Paul that many european christians used to claim their superiority over Jews in God's eyes.

I believe that there are several aspects to the long history of antisemitism and factors vary from time to time and place to place.

There is an excellent PBS thing about this, but I can't recall the title. Envy would appear to be a fairly modern idea though. According to the documentary, Jews in Eastern Europe were regarded as dirty, uncultured peasants, something along the lines of the gypsies. In Western Europe in the Renaissance, Jews assimilated more and were more accepted institutionally and socially. If you peg the "arrival" of Jews in European society to about 1750, despite them having been building lives there for centuries prior, and consider that there was at least a hundred years of financial success prior to social acceptance, then you see that economic envy of Jews probably came long after cultural animosity was in place.

And the economic success of Jews was far from universal. As late as WWII you can read about the social and economic differences between relatively prosperous German, French, Italian, and British Jews and the poor Jews of Eastern Europe.

Chuck58
04-05-2010, 05:19 PM
"Main complaint there is the handling of the slavery issue, admittedly a blot on U.S. history."

And, nowhere does it mention that the slaves were primarily brought to the south in Yankee ships manned by Yankee crews. "Yankee" being northern.

I saw a site long ago that showed documents of slave ships captured just prior to the Civil War. Of the approximately dozen, 7 showed home ports as Boston, New York and one port I don't recall. The other 4 or 5 ships were English and Dutch.

I could make comment on the Indians as well, from books containing journals of a couple of mountain men. The comments the two men make aren't very nice, concerning how they know they're near an Indian encampment.

Novaheart
04-05-2010, 05:19 PM
The conclusion you reached is obvious...http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/images/smilies/twak.gif

I'm not sure what message I sent. I think that the single biggest factor in anti-semitism is simply that there is an identity. If one finds that four media people annoy the hell out of him, and they all have Jewish names, he can then think, "Why are these Jews all saying that?" But if they didn't have Jewish identity, what would he conclude?

I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person. But since I know Jews who aren't profiting from the great conspiracy, then I have to wonder if it's really such a great conspiracy. It's like the Piso Theory- ie a conspiracy since Egyptian times give or take by Masons to control the world as evidenced by the fact that all major world leaders including the Queen and Barack Obama are blood related. Well, that's great, but my grandad was a Mason and I'm more related to the Queen than Barack Obama is as well as being related to Barack Obama, so how come I'm not a potentate or something?

Gingersnap
04-05-2010, 05:47 PM
I always thought that europeans hated jews because 1. They were jealous of the economic and other successes that jews enjoy because they value positive things in a religious and cultural sense, and 2. a total misinterpretation of the letters of Paul that many european christians used to claim their superiority over Jews in God's eyes.

Don't kid yourself - it was all pretty much #2. No self-respecting Christian bigot in Europe would have spent 10 seconds envying Jewish religious culture. In fact, the only reason that European Jews were able to become economically successful in Europe's urban centers was because good Christians were forbidden from lending money at interest (an obvious economic necessity) and Jews could.

Therefore, Jewish economic "success" rested firmly on the back of unchristian lending practices. ;)

JBG
04-06-2010, 01:33 AM
Either you want a shiny, whitewashed version of your national story or you prefer a balanced view of the facts, both good and bad.

There's nothing particularly admirable in any tribal culture when it is compared to a culture informed by democracy and leavened with Christianity. Women's rights, civil rights, conservation, "innocent until proved guilty", the abolition of slavery, and so on are imperfect products of Western civilization as it was formed through influence of Christianity.I'm certainly not Christian but I think that the Christians have made North America and Australia quite warm, good places to live. I'm sure that the tribes' records were a mixed bag; some quite good by our standards, some despicable.


Your criticism of the Holocaust museum is spot on. I haven't been to that one, but have been to others. There does seem to be a denial of the history of anti-semitism in Europe in general that made it possible for the Nazis to obtain the cooperation of the German people to the degree that they did.The New York Museum of Jewish Heritage does a quite powerful job in illustrating life in anti-Semitic Europe pre-Holocaust. The DC museum was a total juvenile whitewash.



I hope the Air and Space Museum is still as cool as it was when I visited it in the 70s-it should have even better exhibits, now. I'm sure the Spirit of St. Louis is still there.It is still cool and the Spirit of St. Louis is still there. Also, contrary to my beefs about many of the other museums the Wright exhibit highlights the simple Christian values and decency of the Wright family. Again, I am definitely not a Christian but I do admire Christianity as practiced in America.


Forgotten somewhere along the line is that the first inhabitants of North America hunted the mammoth, native camel and native horse to extinction.
For liberals, the early continent was akin to Atlantis - a mythical dream of idyllic existence.
It wasn't!


They have a lot of trouble with the concept that the Native Americans ate meat, wore leather and contributed to the near-extinction of the buffalo almost as much as white settlers did.

In anthopology class, they called it the "noble savage" concept that educated modern westerners have about primitive cultures.Noonwitch and mar, you're both "spot on" with the bogus presentation of native American life in the Museum of the American Indian.

JBG
04-06-2010, 01:40 AM
If an ecosystem recovers from whats done to it, thats not devastation, thats balance. Actually the natives were the "natural" predators of the buffalo. Their numbers skyrocketed after smallpox wiped out about 95% of the native population without a shot being fires. My source for this is Mann's excellent 1491.

Nobody ever claimed they were ecological Gods. They were however a metric butt load more in tune with the relationship between themselves and the living world then we have ever been. And if they want to bitch a little I'm perfectly willing to give them the opportunity given the fact that we did kill a huge fuckin' passel of them while claiming our manifest destiny.Your need to add foul language in my response to my very civil post (one of my few posts that is at all civil in fact) shows the weakness of your argument.

You are undoubtedly wiser than I am, for you appear to have avoided contact with the people I regularly bump heads with on Democratic Underground and You Tube.His post reminds me a lot of DU, where I have been tossed off many times because my views are too far to their left.


Of course, like the Bible, most of this scripture completely ignores any race or tribe not specifically mentioned. So while the Bible makes no mention whatsoever about the Chinese, this Native American Borderless Paradise bullshit completely ignores anything which is inconsistent with the narrative, and when corrected, pauses briefly before restating the untruths as fact.
Similar to the way climate change fanatics argue.

JBG
04-06-2010, 01:47 AM
I can think of a couple of reasons for this. However, we can respect that there is strategy to education which is not necessarily intended to deceive. If you were to teach a class on the Holocaust, and you were to include a comprehensive history of anti-semitism in Europe (and America) it would undoubtedly occur to at least some of the students that such a long history of animosity towards one seemingly intelligent and productive people must have had some justification. And what would a teacher answer when asked why all these various nations and cultures had allowed Jews to move in, and then decided that they hated them? Well, people love to borrow from their creditors and then emasculate or kill those same creditors when the bil comes due.


You could say perhaps that the Jews were singled out because they did not assimilate, they kept a foreign language and customs as well as their religion. But from a teacher's standpoint, what message would you be sending?
Assimilation was forbidden. When the Jews came to America they embraced the right to learn English with an unbridled passion. Generally Jews were discouraged or prevented from learning the local languages in Europe, and were consigned to Yiddish for internal purposes. As I have pointed out elsewhere in this post though the Jews were generally quite literate, albeit in their own countries' language as a second language.

Don't kid yourself - it was all pretty much #2. No self-respecting Christian bigot in Europe would have spent 10 seconds envying Jewish religious culture. In fact, the only reason that European Jews were able to become economically successful in Europe's urban centers was because good Christians were forbidden from lending money at interest (an obvious economic necessity) and Jews could.

Therefore, Jewish economic "success" rested firmly on the back of unchristian lending practices. ;)There's far more at work than their ability to lend money at interest. The Jews' fanatical insistence on literacy, and strong family structures play a far greater role in Jewish success.

Indeed one of my pet theories for explaining Jew hatred is envy of Jewish levels of education coupled with knowledge that educated people are far harder to control, either by despots or mobs.

Novaheart
04-06-2010, 08:35 AM
It is still cool and the Spirit of St. Louis is still there. Also, contrary to my beefs about many of the other museums the Wright exhibit highlights the simple Christian values and decency of the Wright family. Again, I am definitely not a Christian but I do admire Christianity as practiced in America. .

Are we talking about the two never-married, fastidious, and well groomed Wright brothers?

Sonnabend
04-06-2010, 09:39 AM
Are we talking about the two never-married, fastidious, and well groomed Wright brothers?

The ones who pioneered powered flight.

asdf2231
04-06-2010, 10:40 AM
Nowhere did the museum mention the shocking creation of greenhouse gases by the natives' habit of setting fires to create hunter-friendly openings in forests. Certainly, the museum mention that in the Plains bison were driven over cliffs, resulting in massive waste and ecological devastation. The natives were portrayed as being at peace with the environment when nothing could be further from the truth.

The first sentence there is idiotic. Seriously. That's not an ad-homonym attack. The notion you offered there is quite literally idiotic. As for cliff hunting? The population impact caused by corral and chute hunting on bison didn't even come close to reaching anything resembling "massive waste and ecological devastation. Yeah theres a point to be made there that they decimated herds... After the introduction of guns and horses to the mix. Gosh. Wonder where the horses and firearms came from? The Cherokee would have had a helluva hard time managing to kill a quarter million+ buffs every year without the horses and the boomsticks.




Originally Posted by asdf2231
If an ecosystem recovers from whats done to it, thats not devastation, thats balance.
Few hundred buffs out of a herd of two million get run off a bluff (Which was not really widespread as a hunting technique as a whole, the plains being somewhat... flat) and 40% get wasted because they cant carry the hides and meat... Well, the proof that it was balance is the fact that the herds were still there and limiting themselves with disease when the populations got too big.


Actually the natives were the "natural" predators of the buffalo. Their numbers skyrocketed after smallpox wiped out about 95% of the native population without a shot being fires. My source for this is Mann's excellent 1491 OK. Not at all sure what the heck what you posted there has to do with what I said about ecosystems and balance, but groovy. Lets consult Mr. Mann...

From Mann's 1491: Mann discussed the evidence that Native Americans not only created (by selective use of fire) the large grasslands that provided the bison's ideal habitat but also kept the bison population regulated. In this theory, it was only when the original human population was devastated by wave after wave of epidemic (from diseases of Europeans) after the the 16th century that the bison herds propagated wildly. In such a view, the seas of bison herds that stretched to the horizon were a symptom of an ecology out of balance, only rendered possible by decades of heavier-than-average rainfall.

What point were you trying to make exactly and how did it relate to my response to your notion that the native americans caused "massive waste and ecological devastation" with primitive hunting techniques? The waste was tolerable because they hunted like that for centurys and the bison populations were not endangered. Where I said that the herd's limited themselves with disease when the populations got too big? Thats because thats what HAPPENS in large animal populations when they get too large, like CWD in deer in the midwest. Before the introduction of more complex technology there was no way they were going to DEPLETE the herds, so the main pressure was from over-breeding in good times. The ecological devastation came after the introduction of horses, disease and fire arms to the mix. I never said that they WERENT the bison's natural predators so Im not even sure why you dragged 1491 into it since my point was that disease and natural predation kept what the tribes couldn't manage with primitive hunting (including corral and chute/cliff hunting) down to ecological tolerances.



Originally Posted by asdf2231
Nobody ever claimed they were ecological Gods. They were however a metric butt load more in tune with the relationship between themselves and the living world then we have ever been. And if they want to bitch a little I'm perfectly willing to give them the opportunity given the fact that we did kill a huge fuckin' passel of them while claiming our manifest destiny.


Your need to add foul language in my response to my very civil post (one of my few posts that is at all civil in fact) shows the weakness of your argument.

That was an OPINION there where I used foul language genius. And it had no relation to what went before other than to point out my opinion of what you offered as your seemingly overpowering disdain and great distaste for the collective opinions on their historical treatment by a group of populations that were conquered and subjugated. Im living on what used to be their property right now personally. So if they want to have a museum where they can bitch about the white eyes and how crappy we are, I (Note the "I" statement there indicating a personal opinion?) am pretty much okay with that.

I wouldnt post weak and flawed junk like you did and then get all hurt-butt because someone used naughty words as part of their post when expressing a personal opinion. Fine. my toilet words weakened the defensability of my personal opinion that the natives we conquered deserve a place to bitch while displaying examples of their native culture. Mea Culpa.

Novaheart
04-06-2010, 05:23 PM
The ones who pioneered powered flight.

Yeah them. Gay.