‘A republic, if you can keep it.” Benjamin Franklin’s 1787 quip about the government Americans would have is probably the most popular Founding-era wisdom still with us. Maybe not for long. As if to prove Franklin’s insight about the tendency of republics to self-destruct, a District of Columbia panel has identified Franklin, among other Founders, as a “person of concern,” and recommended his name be removed from D.C. property.
The astonishing proposals come from a Washington, D.C., government committee formed by Mayor Muriel Bowser to re-examine the names of schools, statues and parks in the wake of protests. The committee submitted its report Monday, and Ms. Bowser tweeted “I look forward to reviewing and advancing their recommendations.”
The committee says it hunted for historical figures with “key disqualifying histories, including participation in slavery, systemic racism, mistreatment of, or actions that suppressed equality for, persons of color, women and LGBTQ communities and violation of the DC Human Right Act.” The bureaucrats worked with uncharacteristic dispatch, taking six weeks to render the judgment of history on 1,330 properties named for people.
The committee doesn’t explain its case against Franklin, but we can assume he was judged for once owning slaves. He was later president of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, but anyone who believes the report is a considered historical exercise and not an Orwellian effort in ideological reprogramming has been taken in…
(Hat-tip to Frank R.) This will be a combination of two old posts along with new information. The New info first, and I will date the others. THE DAILY WIRE has the update:
While many have been celebrating the Washington Redskins’ decision to officially change the team nickname into something less triggering, not everyone is happy about the development, including the Native American family of the man who originally designed the NFL team’s logo.
The Redskins logo that America knows today was originally designed in 1971 by Native American Walter “Blackie” Wetzel, whose iconic image depicted John “Two Guns” White Calf, a Blackfeet Chief who also appears on the Buffalo Nickel.
“Wetzel grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana and was eventually elected president of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C.,” WUSA9 reports. “He was instrumental in the Redskins franchise logo change from an ‘R’ to the current depiction of a Native American.”
Wetzel’s son, Lance Wetzel, said the logo evokes pride in Native Americans and should not be considered offensive. Though he understands the decision to change the team nickname, he believes the logo should stay.
“Everyone was pretty upset (about the change),” Lance Wetzel said. “Everyone understood the name change. We were all on board with that. Once they weren’t going to use the logo, it was hard. It takes away from the Native Americans. When I see that logo, I take pride in it. You look at the depiction of the Redskins logo and it’s of a true Native American. I always felt it was representing my people. That’s not gone.”
“The Native Americans were forgotten people. That logo lets people know these people exist,” Wetzel continued. “If it were changed and it removed any derogatory feelings toward any person, then I think it’s a win. I don’t want that logo to be associated in a negative way, ever.”
Earlier this year, the butter company Land O’ Lakes announced that it would be removing the famed “Butter Maiden” – a Native American woman named Mia – from its packaging, a logo designed by Native American artist Patrick DesJarlait. In an article for The Washington Post, DesJarlait’s son, Robert, said his father crafted the logo to “foster a sense of Indian pride.”…..
(June 24, 2014)
I am going to start this post with a very STRONGLY WORDED rant on the asinine political correctness found on the professional Left. Again, language warning, but you should be just as flabbergasted as these men (via THE BLAZE):
Jonathan Turley (via THE WASHINGTON POST) gets into the mix in his now patented warning from the left about the excesses of government size, growth, and overreach. Some of which I have noted in the past HERE. But here is the column from which Dennis Prager touches on, and Goldberg’s will follow:
…It didn’t matter to the patent office that polls show substantial majorities of the public and the Native American community do not find the name offensive. A 2004 Annenberg Public Policy Center poll found that 90 percent of Native Americans said the name didn’t bother them. Instead, the board focused on a 1993 resolution adopted by the National Congress of American Indians denouncing the name. The board simply extrapolated that, since the National Congress represented about 30 percent of Native Americans, one out of every three Native Americans found it offensive. “Thirty percent is without doubt a substantial composite,” the board wrote.
Politicians rejoiced in the government intervention, which had an immediate symbolic impact. As Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said Wednesday: “You want to ignore millions of Native Americans? Well, it’s pretty hard to say the federal government doesn’t know what they’re talking about when they say it’s disparaging.”
For the Washington Redskins, there may be years of appeals, and pending a final decision, the trademarks will remain enforceable. But if the ruling stands, it will threaten billions of dollars in merchandizing and sponsorship profits for NFL teams, which share revenue. Redskins owner Dan Snyder would have to yield or slowly succumb to death by a thousand infringement paper cuts.
The patent office opinion also seems to leave the future of trademarks largely dependent on whether groups file challenges. Currently trademarked slogans such as “Uppity Negro” and “You Can’t Make A Housewife Out Of A Whore” could lose their protections, despite the social and political meaning they hold for their creators. We could see organizations struggle to recast themselves so they are less likely to attract the ire of litigious groups — the way Carthage College changed its sports teams’ nickname from Redmen to Red Men and the California State University at Stanislaus Warriors dropped their Native American mascot and logo in favor of the Roman warrior Titus. It appears Fighting Romans are not offensive, but Fighting Sioux are.
As federal agencies have grown in size and scope, they have increasingly viewed their regulatory functions as powers to reward or punish citizens and groups. The Internal Revenue Service offers another good example. Like the patent office, it was created for a relatively narrow function: tax collection. Yet the agency also determines which groups don’t have to pay taxes. Historically, the IRS adopted a neutral rule that avoided not-for-profit determinations based on the content of organizations’ beliefs and practices. Then, in 1970, came the Bob Jones University case. The IRS withdrew the tax-exempt status from the religious institution because of its rule against interracial dating on campus. The Supreme Court affirmed in 1983 that the IRS could yank tax exemption whenever it decided that an organization is behaving “contrary to established public policy” — whatever that public policy may be. Bob Jones had to choose between financial ruin and conforming its religious practices. It did the latter.
There is an obvious problem when the sanctioning of free exercise of religion or speech becomes a matter of discretionary agency action. And it goes beyond trademarks and taxes. Consider the Federal Election Commission’s claim of authority to sit in judgment of whether a film is a prohibited “electioneering communication.” While the anti-George W. Bush film “Fahrenheit 9/11” was not treated as such in 2004, the anti-Clinton “Hillary: The Movie” was barred by the FEC in 2008. The agency appeared Caesar-like in its approval and disapproval — authority that was curtailed in 2010 by the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.
Even water has become a vehicle for federal agency overreach. Recently, the Obama administration took punitive agency action against Washington state and Colorado for legalizing marijuana possession and sales. While the administration said it would not enforce criminal drug laws against marijuana growers — gaining points among the increasing number of citizens who support legalization and the right of states to pass such laws — it used a little-known agency, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, to cut off water to those farms. The Bureau of Reclamation was created as a neutral supplier of water and a manager of water projects out West, not an agency that would open or close a valve to punish noncompliant states….
Here is the article from THE NATIONAL REVIEW — in part — that has Jonah Goldberg likewise raising alarm about the bureaucracy that Turley speaks to in the above article.
…Now, I don’t believe we are becoming anything like 1930s Russia, never mind a real-life 1984. But this idea that bureaucrats — very broadly defined — can become their own class bent on protecting their interests at the expense of the public seems not only plausible but obviously true.
The evidence is everywhere. Every day it seems there’s another story about teachers’ unions using their stranglehold on public schools to reward themselves at the expense of children. School-choice programs and even public charter schools are under vicious attack, not because they are bad at educating children but because they’re good at it. Specifically, they are good at it because they don’t have to abide by rules aimed at protecting government workers at the expense of students.
The Veterans Affairs scandal can be boiled down to the fact that VA employees are the agency’s most important constituency. The Phoenix VA health-care system created secret waiting lists where patients languished and even died, while the administrator paid out almost $10 million in bonuses to VA employees over the last three years.
Working for the federal government simply isn’t like working for the private sector. Government employees are essentially unfireable. In the private sector, people lose their jobs for incompetence, redundancy, or obsolescence all the time. In government, these concepts are virtually meaningless. From a 2011 USA Today article: “Death — rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs — is the primary threat to job security at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations.”
In 2010, the 168,000 federal workers in Washington, D.C. — who are quite well compensated — had a job-security rate of 99.74 percent. A HUD spokesman told USA Today that “his department’s low dismissal rate — providing a 99.85 percent job security rate for employees — shows a skilled and committed workforce.”
Obviously, economic self-interest isn’t the only motivation. Bureaucrats no doubt sincerely believe that government is a wonderful thing and that it should be empowered to do ever more wonderful things. No doubt that is why the EPA has taken it upon itself to rewrite American energy policy without so much as a “by your leave” to Congress.
The Democratic party today is, quite simply, the party of government and the natural home of the managerial class. It is no accident, as the Marxists say, that the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents the IRS, gave 94 percent of its political donations during the 2012 election cycle to Democratic candidates openly at war with the Tea Party — the same group singled out by Lois Lerner. The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents the VA, gave 97 percent of its donations to Democrats at the national level and 100 percent to Democrats at the state level…
Please tell me how I am an racist? A leader of the Navajo Code Talkers who appeared at a Washington Redskins home football game said Wednesday the team name is a symbol of loyalty and courage — not a slur as asserted by critics who want it changed.
Maybe next you can push to rename Oklahoma ~ which is Choctaw, “okla humma,” which literally means “red people.”
I will let Napoleon Dynamite finish off my thoughts of your post:
Since most Native-Americans vote Democrat (as linked in the above text), and most of them support the Redskins name, thus, making them [Democrats] racist… are they not also racist for supporting Obama in the general election[s]?
Veterans aren’t happy with a recent op-ed by the Washington Post, which charged that the Apache, Comanche, Chinook, Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa military vehicles were a “greater symbolic injustice” than the NFL’s Washington Redskins’ name.
“Even if the NFL and Redskins brass come to their senses and rename the team, a greater symbolic injustice would continue to afflict Indians — an injustice perpetuated not by a football club but by our federal government,” Simon Waxman of the Boston Review wrote for the Post on Thursday.
He added that the helicopter names were “propaganda” that needed to end, because Native American life expectancy statistics indicate the “violence is ongoing, even if the guns are silent.”
Readers at the popular military news gathering website Doctrine Man reacted Friday.
“I suspect that the author is less unhappy that our choppers have Indian names, and more unhappy that there is a U.S. military,” wrote Alex Kuhns.
A palate cleanser via Time, which notes that the “Redskins Facts” site is behind this and that the team itself is apparently behind “Redskins Facts.” (The anti-Redskins ad that inspired this rebuttal is also embedded [at link].) This is really just a taste of what they’ve got cooking; go to their YouTube account and you’ll find interviews with individual Native Americans defending the name. It’s an understandable counterattack — if your critics claim you’re victimizing a group, the natural response is to find members of the group who don’t feel victimized — but realistically we’re past the point of argument on this subject. It’s already reached litmus-test status. If you’re a Democrat, social justice demands that the name be changed lickety split; if you’re a Republican, the line must be held against political correctness. (Dan Snyder, for one, is obviously not giving in.) If you’re an average low-information voter, you probably don’t mind the name but don’t care much either way and will eventually be badgered into grudgingly accepting the bien-pensant position just to make this farking issue go away already.
Douglas Murray shows how the people who are always in favour of the latest woke doctrine are the same people who wanted to bring down Western Capitalism in days gone by. Unregenerate Marxists. You’ll find plenty of them in the academy according to Douglas.
A BILL WHITTLE FLASHBACK
Bill Whittle on The Narrative: The origins of Political Correctness
Yuri Bezmenov (1939 – 1993), known by the alias Tomas David Schuman, was a Soviet journalist for RIA Novosti and a former PGU KGB informant who defected to Canada. After being assigned to a station in India, Bezmenov eventually grew to love the people and the culture of India, but at the same time, he began to resent the KGB-sanctioned repression of intellectuals who dissented from Moscow’s policies. He decided to defect to the West. Bezmenov is best remembered for his anticommunist lectures and books from the 1980s — here are some adapted excerpts:
Social justice. Critical Theory. Are these subjects compatible with Christianity, or not? (As an aside, I am a fan of the Late Dr. Bush. His thinking finished of my first chapter to segue into chapter two.)
On March 3, 2020, Dr. Neil Shenvi came to theL. Russ Bush Center for Faith and CultureatSoutheastern Baptist Theological Seminary to address this important question. In his lecture, he describes Critical Theory, affirms positive aspects, critiques negative aspects, identifies how Critical Theory has infected parts of conservative Evangelicalism, and offers suggestions for moving forward. Dr. Shenvi has a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from UC-Berkeley and an A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton.
“Fossil fuels are literally choking the life from us, that action must be powerful and wide-ranging. After all, the climate crisis is not just about the environment. It is a crisis of human rights, of justice, and of political will. Colonial, racist, and patriarchal systems of oppression have created and fueled it. We need to dismantle them all. Our political leaders can no longer shirk their responsibilities.” — Greta Thunberg
Greta is eleven years old and has gone two months without eating. Her heart rate and blood pressure show clear signs of starvation. She has stopped speaking to anyone but her parents and younger sister, Beata.
After years of depression, eating disorders, and anxiety attacks, she finally receives a medical diagnosis: Asperger’s syndrome, high-functioning autism, and OCD. She also suffers from selective mutism—which explains why she sometimes can’t speak to anyone outside her closest family. When she wants to tell a climate researcher that she plans a school strike on behalf of the environment, she speaks through her father.
The book Scenes from the Heart (“Scener från Hjärtat,” 2018) recounts these medical difficulties and the events that led to Greta Thunberg’s now-famous “school strike for climate,” in which hundreds of thousands of children have refused to attend school to protest about government inaction over climate change. Greta herself strikes every Friday and spent three weeks sitting outside the Swedish Parliament at the beginning of the school year. Written by her family—mother, father, Beata and Greta—the story is told in the voice of Greta’s mother, the opera soprano Malena Ernman, who was a celebrity in Europe long before her daughter’s fame. Although the book is only available in Swedish for the time being, it is already being translated into numerous languages—a development that reflects the global fascination with Thunberg’s campaign.
We are offered a story of “a family in crisis and a planet in crisis”—two phenomena that are presented as inextricably linked. The book posits that oppression of women, minorities, and people with disabilities stem from the same overarching root problem as climate change: an unsustainable way of life. The family’s private crisis and the global climate crisis, the authors argue, are simply symptoms of the same systemic disorder.
Greta is not alone in her mental suffering, according to the book. Her sister Beata, who was 12 when the book was written, lives with ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, and OCD. She is prone to sudden outbursts of anger, during which she screams obscenities at her mother. What would normally be a 10-minute walk to dance class takes almost an hour because Beata insists on walking with her left foot in front, refuses to step on certain parts of the sidewalk, and demands that her mother walk the same way. She also insists that her mother wait outside during class—she isn’t allowed to move, even to go to the bathroom. The child still ends up weeping in her mother’s arms.
I do not wish to suggest that Greta is too young to understand the consequences of her actions, nor that the challenges she faces make her unsuitable to take a stand on political issues, or even to lead a global movement. No one who has heard her address world leaders in impeccable English can doubt that she is very intelligent. Ernman also stresses that her daughter has never felt better than during her campaign for the climate. Greta herself has said that realizing that she could do something about climate change has helped her recover.
I am also not questioning Greta’s role as a public speaker, nor the power of hundreds of thousands of protesting school children, nor that climate change is an existential threat to humankind.
But adults have a moral obligation to remain adults in relation to children and not be carried away by emotions, icons, selfies, images of mass protests, or messianic or revolutionary dreams.
Greta was recently named ”Woman of the Year” by a Swedish newspaper. But she is not a woman, she is a child. It is time we stopped to ask if we are using her, failing her, and even sacrificing her, for what we perceive to be a greater good.
Dennis Prager takes a call from someone who brought up the “Hallmark Channel” controversy (see PJ-MEDIA for more). It is instructive because Prager is good at arguing politely for the ideal to be defended. Which is instructive for us all. (THE COLLEGE FIX has an interesting “Notre Dame” story on this very topic of “heteronormativity”):
Dennis Prager notes in a quick segment that the American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for a nation-wide ban on convertion therapy. What is it? Does it work? Here is an honest article on the issue, as, the author of it went through a version of it: “If We Don’t Ban Fortune Tellers, We Shouldn’t Ban ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’” (THE FEDERALIST). There are gay men and women who hear the call of the Lord and want to serve him in various ways. One is to live as commanded by Scripture, with a family of their own (see my “Gay Christians” ). THEY cannot choose therapy but in a back-alley? We are going to have “back-alley counseling sessions” now? (taken from “back-alley abortions”). Dr. Brown notes well that “Ex-Gay Is Here To Stay“.
The U.S. Department of Education Office has agreed to investigate a violation of girls’ civil rights in Connecticut following a complaint filed in Boston concerning two biologically male transgender teens triumphing over biologically female competitors in high school track.
“The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Wednesday granted the request of three teen track athletes to investigate their allegations of illegal discrimination,” The Alliance Defending Freedom announced in a press release sent to The Daily Wire.
“Ever since the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference [CIAC] adopted a policy that allows biological males who claim a female identity to compete in girls’ athletic events, boys have consistently deprived Selina Soule and two other female athletes of honors and opportunities to compete at elite levels,” the release noted.
ADF is representing the three athletes who filed the complaint in June.
The CIAC policy forced Soule to compete against female-identifying biological males in a high-stakes track competition where two transgender sprinters beat the field, taking first and second place by significant margins. Soule landed in 8th, missing an opportunity to compete in front of college coaches by two places.
“Forcing female athletes to compete against boys is grossly unfair and destroys their athletic opportunities,” she argued. “Title IX was designed to eliminate discrimination against women in education and athletics, and women fought long and hard to earn the equal athletic opportunities that Title IX provides. Allowing boys to compete in girls’ sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women under this law. We shouldn’t force these young women to be spectators in their own sports.”…….