“This is not history; it is a remnant from a bygone era.”
—–San Francisco School Board Member Alison M. Collins, expounding to the New York Times and expressing her displeasure with the school board’s vote to nullified an earlier vote to spend over $600,000 to paint over Depression-era school murals depicting slavery and the deaths of Native Americans.
I love this unethical quote; it might be my favorite of all the unethical quotes Ethics Alarms has ever featured. It tells us so much in so few words.
Ethics Alarms wrote about the school board’s earlier vote that this one, for now, at least, undid, last June, noting,
The San Francisco school board unanimously voted this week to spend at least $600,000 of taxpayer money to eliminate the “Life of Washington,” a 13-panel, 1,600-square-foot mural that has been on view in the city’s George Washington High School since 1936. It was considered politically incorrect at the time, but in a way that explicated American history rather than whitewashing it. Among the mural’s many scenes is one depicting slaves picking cotton at Mount Vernon and Virginia colonists walking past a dead Native American. The Horror. Although these scenes are historically accurate as well as provocative, “The truth will make you free” has been substantially abandoned by the Left in the U.S. Taking their cues from the dead and rotten Soviet Union and “1984”, the new slogan is George Orwell’s “Who controls the past controls the future.”
Ms. Collins’ classic quote perfectly expresses how her city, her party and her ideological clones reached the state of delusion and the worship of manipulated reality (remember, the Democratic Party’s leading contender for the White House “gaffed” by admitting last week that “we choose about truth, not facts”) that have so many of our political leaders flirting openly with totalitarianism.
The idea is to prevent young citizens (and older ones too) from acquiring the kind of messy information that requires critical thought to sort out, the information known as “history”and “life.”Without forceful filtering, people of sound and open minds are liable to reach conclusions that don’t advance those of the ascendant (they think) re-engineers of American values and culture. Those poisoned by the past and traditional American values might be willing to treat with fairness and respect, rather than contempt and abuse, those who hold non-conforming, non-woke positions and policies. They might tolerate the rebels and iconoclasts who refuse to follow in lock-step their betters of superior virtue and wisdom .
On a more basic level, the quote exposes a woman responsible for the education of San Francisco’s children who doesn’t know what history is, can’t speak coherent English, and doesn’t have the grounding in basic logic to immediately react, having heard such gibberish exit her mouth, by immediately saying, “Wait! I’m sorry, that isn’t what I meant.”
Tragically, it is what she meant. And what she meant is echoed by doctrinaire progressives all over America, who are tearing down statues, destroying art work and censoring and editing our culture because they don’t understand it, and want to install something simpler that they can control.
Allison Collins isn’t unusual; I’m sure of it. School boards across the nation are teeming with people like her. She was badly educated, and now she is doing her best to make certain that the rising generations are just as intellectually handicapped as she is. Her attitude toward history represents an existential threat to the United States and its Constitution. History isn’t competently taught or objectively taught; students are not imbued with an interest and appreciation of history, in part because teachers do not possess either themselves, being supervised by the likes of Ms. Collins.
Her statement immediately reminded me of a funny line in the black comedy “In Bruges,” when one of the hit men hiding out in the ancient Belgian city says, “I used to hate history. It’s all a lot of stuff that’s already fuckin’ happened.”
He’s an idiot, but still has an edge on Allison: at least he knows that all that stuff that fuckin’ happened is history.