Category Archive 'Cancellations'

19 Sep 2020

Then, They Came for the Shrunken Heads

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The Pitt Rivers Museum is removing a popular exhibit precisely because it tells the truth about primitive people. Yahoo:

The University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum has removed a collection of shrunken heads on display over concerns that they “reinforced racist and stereotypical thinking.”

On Monday, the acclaimed museum shared in a statement that visitors will see a number of “contentious displays” removed from its exhibits when its doors reopen to the public on Sept. 22.

The museum — which is one of the leading museums of anthropology, ethnography, and archaeology in the world — has removed 1230 human remains from its display as part of a museum-wide effort to “decolonize” the institution.

According to The Washington Post, decolonizing is described as “a process that institutions undergo to expand the perspectives they portray beyond those of the dominant cultural group, particularly white colonizers.”

Among the remains removed are the South American tsantas, also known as the “shrunken heads,” which were acquired by the museum between 1884 and 1936.

While the heads have been one of the museum’s most popular attractions since the 1940s, museum director Laura Van Broekhoven said that many visitors found the remains as “a testament to other cultures being ‘savage’, ‘primitive’ or ‘gruesome’.”

According to the museum, during the 19th and 20th centuries, the shrunken heads were collector’s items and were often traded by colonialists. These exchanges led “to a steep increase in violent warfare” at the time.

“Rather than enabling our visitors to reach a deeper understanding of each other’s ways of being, the displays reinforced racist and stereotypical thinking that goes against the Museum’s values today,” she continued. “The removal of the human remains also brings us in line with sector guidelines and code of ethics.”

RTWT

You have to admire the weaseley attribution of the responsibility for head hunting to capitalist colonialist collectors.

16 Sep 2020

Columbia University Marching Band Votes to Disband After 116 Years

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Columbia University Marching Band.

Readers need to be aware that for many decades, going back to at least the late 1960s, a number of Ivy League colleges’ bands (including Yale’s as well as Columbia’s) went completely tongue-in-cheek, and instead of delivering half time performances of college fight songs, began competing with one another and themselves to achieve higher levels of outrageous and off-color humor.

In recent years, clearly the Columbia Band carried on its tradition of satire offending the tender sensibilities of the Wokenati. Epataying the bourgeoisie’s old time standards of speech involving obscenity and sexuality used to be looked upon as progressive and cool. But you mess with politically correct taboos connected with Identity Groups and the Politics of Victimization at your peril.

The Columbia Spectator reports that the famous Columbia Marching Band has been obliged to make an apology Japanese-style.

The self-proclaimed “cleverest band in the world” voted to disband the organization on Saturday evening after 116 years of performing music, making controversial jokes, and disputing with both Columbia’s administration and the student body.

In a statement provided to Spectator by band leadership, the club’s leadership, known as the Bored, wrote, “The Band has unanimously and enthusiastically decided to dissolve. The Columbia University Marching Band will not continue to exist in any capacity and will no longer serve as a Columbia spirit group.”

This announcement came after a year of transition for the CUMB. Three days before Columbia football’s 2019 home opener, Columbia Athletics stripped the band of the remainder of its University funding. One year prior, Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science withdrew their portion of the CUMB’s funding in response to the band storming Butler Library during Orgo Night in December 2017. The athletic department informed the band that in order to maintain the band’s funding from the department, it must become a recognized group. The marching band did not submit its paperwork for recognition and was subsequently financially cut off from the University and prohibited from performing or bringing instruments to any official athletic events.

The marching band protested this decision by holding weekly field shows on Low Steps and starting a GoFundMe, which raised over $25,000 in less than a week. The marching band and the athletic department agreed that the CUMB would play at Homecoming, putting to rest the latest iteration of a decades-long struggle between the band, the University, Columbia Athletics, and the student body.

The internal movement to disband the CUMB began when five former and current members wrote a letter to the remaining members of the Bored. The members called to dissolve the band in all capacities, arguing that alleged traditions of misconduct were too steeped into the band’s culture and reformation could not remove the traces of the harm those practices caused.

In response to those confessions, the Bored released a statement on Sept. 2, writing, “The CUMB has very serious problems when it comes to racism, sexual assault, and alcohol culture.” The statement was followed by multiple Bored member resignations and repeated calls to dissolve the organization.

It remains up in the air whether the marching band will lose its funding through dissolution. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not an official marching band exists is up to the discretion of Columbia Athletics, which has not responded to a request for comment. Without sporting events until at least January, the CUMB cannot play this fall.

“The current Band hopes that the Band’s dissolution will provide relief to the present suffering of the Columbia community and time to heal from the decades of harm caused by this organization. We also hope that the CUMB’s disbandment can create a space that allows for the formation of a new spirit group that will provide a safe and inclusive outlet for students to play music at Columbia,” the Bored wrote in a statement.

RTWT

13 Sep 2020

Obviously, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh Did None of the Things I Suggest Below

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David Hume Monument, Edinburgh.

If I were Professor Peter Mathieson MBBS(Hons)(London), PhD(Cambridge), FRCP(London), FRCPE, FMedSci, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, before I renamed the David Hume Tower, I would read his Treatise of Human Nature (1739–1740), his Enquiries concerning Human Understanding (1748) and concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), his six volume History of England, and his posthumously published Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779), and I would compare Mr. Hume’s achievements and contributions to Humanity to my own and I would tremble with embarrassment at the very notion of such an insignificant contemporary pygmy and nobody as myself setting up in business to pass judgment on a demigod and giant, one of my own country’s greatest all-time thinkers and very possibly my university’s greatest single alumnus.

I would additionally have taken pains to read Adam Smith’s Letter on the Death of David Hume, which concludes:

I received the following letter from Doctor Black.

    ‘Edinburgh, Monday, 26th August, 1776.

    Dear Sir,

    Yesterday about four o’clock afternoon, Mr. Hume expired. The near approach of his death became evident in the night between Thursday and Friday, when his disease became excessive, and soon weakened him so much, that he could no longer rise out of his bed. He continued to the last perfectly sensible, and free from much pain or feelings of distress. He never dropped the smallest expression of impatience; but when he had occasion to speak to the people about him, always did it with affection and tenderness. I thought it improper to write to bring you over, especially as I heard that he had dictated a letter to you desiring you not to come. When he became very weak, it cost him an effort to speak, and he died in such a happy composure of mind, that nothing could exceed it.’

Thus died our most excellent, and never to be forgotten friend; concerning whose philosophical opinions men will, no doubt, judge variously, every one approving, or condemning them, according as they happen to coincide or disagree with his own; but concerning whose character and conduct there can scarce be a difference of opinion. His temper, indeed, seemed to be more happily balanced, if I may be allowed such an expression, than that perhaps of any other man I have ever known.

Even in the lowest state of his fortune, his great and necessary frugality never hindered him from exercising, upon proper occasions, acts both of charity and generosity. It was a frugality founded, not upon avarice, but upon the love of independency. The extreme gentleness of his nature never weakened either the firmness of his mind, or the steadiness of his resolutions. His constant pleasantry was the genuine effusion of good-nature and good humour, tempered with delicacy and modesty, and without even the slightest tincture of malignity, so frequently the disagreeable source of what is called wit in other men. It never was the meaning of his raillery to mortify; and therefore, far from offending, it seldom failed to please and delight, even those who were the objects of it.

To his friends, who were frequently the objects of it, there was not perhaps any one of all his great and amiable qualities, which contributed more to endear his conversation. And that gaiety of temper, so agreeable in society, but which is so often accompanied with frivolous and superficial qualities, was in him certainly attended with the most severe application, the most extensive learning, the greatest depth of thought, and a capacity in every respect the most comprehensive.

Upon the whole, I have always considered him, both in his lifetime and since his death, as approaching as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man, as perhaps the nature of human frailty will permit.

I ever am, dear Sir,

Most affectionately your’s,

ADAM SMITH.

13 Sep 2020

Then, They Came for David Hume

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Irish Examiner:

The University of Edinburgh has renamed its David Hume Tower over the philosopher’s “comments on matters of race”.

The building, which will be used as a student study space in the current academic year, will now be known as 40 George Square.

An online petition claiming David Hume “wrote racist epithets” was set up in the summer calling for the building to be renamed and has been signed more than 1,700 times.

The university announced the move in a statement on the work of its Equality and Diversity Committee and its Race Equality and Anti-Racist Sub-committee.

It said its work had been “energised” since the death in the US of George Floyd and campaigning by the Black Lives Matter movement.

“It is important that campuses, curricula and communities reflect both the university’s contemporary and historical diversity and engage with its institutional legacy across the world,” the statement said.

“For this reason the university has taken the decision to rename – initially temporarily until a full review is completed – one of the buildings in the central area campus.”

It added: “The interim decision has been taken because of the sensitivities around asking students to use a building named after the 18th century philosopher whose comments on matters of race, though not uncommon at the time, rightly cause distress today.”

It remains a mystery how, practically universally, the people who have risen to the top in the West’s most elite institutions are all such idiots and cowards that they will instantly surrender to the insolent and irrational demands of students intoxicated with a contemptible and pernicious ideology. Somehow it has happened that the responsibility for transmitting and preserving knowledge has been placed in the hands of people who are incapable of, and indifferent to the moral obligation of, distinguishing irrationality and barbarism from the fundamental values of liberal education.

Why aren’t there grownups in charge?

10 Sep 2020

Then, They Came for Millard Fillmore!

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The Hill has the bad news for all seriously committed Whigs.

Lawmakers in Buffalo, N.Y., approved a motion to remove the name of the 13th U.S. President Millard Fillmore from properties owned by the city.

The Buffalo Common Council is seeking input from residents as to what name should replace Fillmore’s on city property, local ABC affiliate WKBW reported.

The motion was voted on after Buffalo residents voiced concerns about keeping Fillmore’s name over his role in signing into law legislation that represented the Compromise of 1850.

Those bills allowed California to enter the union as a “free” state with no slavery, but also included a fugitive slave act that required officials and citizens in states where slavery was outlawed to help in the return of escaped slaves.

The motion follows the University of Buffalo’s decision to remove Fillmore’s name from the campus in August.

Residents are urged to contact the city council for nominations of new names to replace the old.

The Community Development Committee of the Buffalo Common Council is slated to convene Tuesday to deliberate the proposal of replacing Fillmore’s name.

During our Second Reconstruction, retrospective failure to have been as radical as Thaddeus Stevens or Charles Sumner will receive condign punishment.

HT: JWB.


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