Ethics Observations On The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Retreat

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) endured only a day of searing criticism before it removed its racist chart on “whiteness” from  its website. The site replaced the graphic, which Ethics Alarms reproduced here and here and never wants to see again, with this statement:

At the National Museum of African American History and Culture, we believe that any productive conversation on race must start with honesty, respect for others, and an openness to ideas and information that provide new perspectives. In that context, we recently unveiled “Talking About Race,” an online portal providing research, studies, and other academic materials from the fields of history, education, psychology, and human development.Our goal in doing so was to contribute to a discussion on this vitally important subject that millions of Americans are grappling with. Since yesterday, certain content in the “Talking About Race” portal has been the subject of questions that we have taken seriously. We have listened to public sentiment and have removed a chart that does not contribute to the productive discussion we had intended. The site’s intent and purpose are to foster and cultivate conversations that are respectful and constructive and provide increased understanding. As an educational institution, we value meaningful dialogue and believe that we are stronger when we can pause, listen, and reflect—even when it challenges us to reconsider our approach. We hope that this portal will be an ever-evolving place that will continue to grow, develop, and ensure that we listen to one another in a spirit of civility and common cause.

Observations:

  • As I write this, at 4:35 am, only Fox News among the major news outlets has reported the taking down of the chart. I knew about it  seven hours ago. The Times? The Post? Nada. Place this in the intentionally downplayed stories category, and the reason, I can only surmise, is that the episode is embarrassing to race-obsessed, Black Lives Matter -supporting ideologues. The mask came off, everyone noticed, and the fall-back strategy now  is a Jumbo: “Chart on white stereotypes? What chart on white stereotypes?”
  • Yet Fox News is routinely denigrated as adding nothing but right wing bias and disinformation to the news. Add this to the many examples of how Fox News provides a crucial service.
  • The statement itself is Authentic Frontier Gibberish, 359 words that could fairly be translated as “huminahumina.”
  • “[W]e believe that any productive conversation on race must start with honesty, respect for others, and an openness to ideas and information that provide new perspectives. If that’s what you believe, why did the museum publish a chart full of false statements (as in dishonest) like “The King’s English Rules”;  ] promote insulting stereotypes about whites (“bland is best”) and blacks (blacks, by implication, don’t embrace the positive traits and habits that characterize whites); and rely on stereotypes that only provide the “new perspective” that the Smithsonian is promoting racial division and the toxic ideology on racist black activists?
  • Similarly, if that’s what the museum’s curators and leadership believe. why don’t they defend the chart? Can they defend it? Just taking it down while blathering platitudes suggests full knowledge that what the site had posted couldn’t be defended, and was intended to indoctrinate rather than inform.
  • “The subject of questions that we have taken seriously….” but you’re not going to address those questions, or even identify them!  If the idea was to promote “productive discussion,” why is the museum deflecting criticism rather than explaining the justification for the chart? It can’t explain or justify it, because the chart is “critical race theory” that has to be accepted as cant. Where is the evidence that the museum takes the questions, whatever they are, “seriously,” other than concluding, “Oops, we got caught. Better hide this and wait”?
  • “The site’s intent and purpose are to foster and cultivate conversations that are respectful and constructive and provide increased understanding.” Is this the new rationalization to duck accountability for stupid, dishonest and offensive material and statements? I’ve sure been hearing and reading this a lot lately. “Oh no, we don’t really mean that, necessarily; we’re just trying to foster a constructive conversation!”
  • Here, I’ll foster a conversation: who wrote this crap? Who approved it? Who hired them? Why are people that fatuous and bigoted working for the Smithsonian at taxpayer expense? Are there going to be any consequences for their incompetence? I need those questions answered to promote my understanding of what’s going on here…make that what THE HELL is going on here.
  • Don’t allow the museum and the anti-white race mob its administrators represent to sweep this under the metaphorical rug with the assistance of the mainstream media.  The chart wasn’t an anomaly, it was, or should be, a wake-up call. For example, New York City—admittedly a mess, with a crypto-Communist mayor—is training its teachers to root out “white supremacy culture.” Here’s a slide from one of the training presentations:

Slide? What slide?

21 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Retreat

  1. The chart turned out to be a bridge too far, so they are just burying it for now. Either the white community hasn’t been softened up enough to accept it, or a pivot moment has been reached when the white community is starting to say “enough, already.” I’m beginning to think it’s the latter. The same NY police chief who took a knee to mollify BLM protestors was attacked and hospitalized yesterday. Either the “healing” didn’t last that long or it was never what this sustained orgy of “protests” was about. I believe the latter.

    This stopped being about healing or justice in the first 48 hours, but the leadership in this nation, with the exception of the president, let guilt and fear paralyze it. Now the BLM movement thinks it’s untouchable, and so will just keep doing whatever it wants. That includes out and out hatred of the white race. We were already headed in this direction three years ago, but the George Floyd freakout turbo-charged the movement and made the impossible possible. The thing is, the vision of society that those who created that poster embrace, is a vision of a society that does not exist and never has, at least not here. America has never put community first and the individual afterward, or focused on lifting up the underachievers at the expense of holding the high achievers back. America has always relied on the nuclear family as the basic building block of society. America is still a 70% Christian society.

    America is just never going to be one huge community center and garden where there are classes on African pottery, Native American history, Eastern philosophy, and Latino art each night, yoga classes three times a week, feminist book discussions twice a week, Islamic encounter on Fridays, vegetarian potluck on Sundays, childcare freely available almost all the time, and white men either in the background smiling benignly as they follow the dictates of the women or BIPOCs or absent completely.

    • So you’re saying they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar? Jesus, what does that say about these people?

  2. Strip it from the internet and act like it never happened; typical of some of the lefts propaganda. They provided the irrational social justice mobs with more bullet points that they will present as fact and they haven’t stated that any of it is wrong. Like Paul Joseph Goebbels strategy with lies, just give it a little time and it will take root and become main stream “truth” for the irrational social justice warriors. So in today’s world of leftist propaganda, this is another job done well.

    • To back up the Paul Joseph Goebbels strategy I wrote about above I did a little checking on Facebook this morning, here’s what I found.

      1. I checked the profiles of all my known social justice warrior friends including some friends of those friends, some that have unfriended me and some that have blocked me over the last couple of years (I have access to another account to view the profiles of the ones that block me as long as they continue to leave their profiles public) the results are that 71% of them have the whiteness chart posted on their profiles.

      2. Out of the ones that have the whiteness chart posted, just over half of them have posted something in their own words that agrees with the chart.

      3. Out of the ones that have posted their agreement with the chart, five of them have already posted something this morning to the effect that there is some kind of racist conspiracy to remove the information from public eyes.

      4. Two of those five racist conspiracy posters opined that President Trump made the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture take down the chart.

      That’s just the social justice warriors that I personally know of on Facebook and I’m only one person out of over a billion people on Facebook. There is a percentage of that total that are black people and I know that at least one of those black people is an open anti-white racist.

      I’m going to give the news that the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture pulled the chart a few days to migrate across the web and then sometime next week I’m going to go back and check the same Facebook profiles and see if anything has changed.

        • Jack wrote, “Fascinating.”

          I agree.

          I don’t suspect that the numbers will change very much but heck I’ve been proven wrong before.

          I do expect some of the posts to vanish because it’s the normal pattern for some of them to only leave really controversial posts up for a few days, that’s why I’m waiting until next week to look again. Some that didn’t have it posted are usually the ones that typically lag a few days behind others so there could be more. I’ve got the list so I know where to go back to; we’ll see how it turns out. I’ll post the results later next week.

      • As I promised last week, I rechecked this morning and here is what I found.

        1. I checked the same profiles I checked last week and the results are that 44% of them still have the whiteness chart posted on their profiles. Lots of likes on the chart photos, I didn’t dig into checking who liked the chart. One person that had previously blocked me must have changed their profile settings and now their profile is no longer visible by the general public, I eliminated that person from the percentage count above.

        2. Out of the ones that had posted something in their own words that agrees with the chart, only one of them deleted the chart along with their post.

        3. Out of the ones that had posted something about there is some kind of racist conspiracy to remove the information from public eyes, only one had deleted the chart and subsequent comments. There were lots of likes on the conspiracy theory opinions.

        4. The two racist conspiracy posters that opined that President Trump made the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture take down the chart had long comment threads that were full of the usual Trump attacks as being racist/traitor/murderer/homophobic/etc. There were no challenges to the attacks, it was a hive mind, loads of likes and agreement. Just for fun I went to the profiles of some of those that were ranting about Trump and, the ones I could see, were full of anti-Trump accusations; these were not included in the percentages above because they were not in the original counts but a few of them had the chart posted too.

        Based on this little experiment of mine I have a suggestion for everyone using Facebook, it’s way too easy to dig down deep into multiple layers of friends lists. Go right now and make your Facebook friend list not visible by anyone but you, make your photos and posts not visible by anyone but your friends, you can choose when you post photos or profile status updates who you want to see things. Check these settings routinely to see if thy have changed with software updates. If you don’t change your Facebook settings, everything you do is public; it’s better to choose what you want to be public.

  3. The Smithsonian document or list contains a group of generalizations or stereotypes about Whites, about European cultural habits, and about embedded characteristics that have defined both Europe and European America. America is beyond any doubt a creation, as it were, set in motion by English Europeans. In nearly all senses America was — and this is now the operative word — a creation of European man.

    At this juncture in American history, and for all the reasons that are (or should be) self-evident political, social and economic forces have chosen the route of revision. The *idea of America* is now contested though it is true that this process of contestation began long ago. Now I think it is clearly evident that the idea of America, its very definition, is being fought over. An aggressive faction, comprised of the New Demographic (new in the sense that it came to be significantly in the last 50-60 years, and new in the sense that it has become increasingly *empowered*) and supported by internal factions of groups and persons whose interest it is to foster what takes the appearance of a ‘revolutionary’ social and political movement, reveals itself as working hard and *on overtime* to attack every aspect of ‘whiteness’ (their term) imaginable.

    There is no category of social and cultural life where these radicals are operating and will operate. See for example the NYTs today where the realm of classical music as a ‘white sphere’ is being challenged. The entire idea of this, and the movement, is based within *counter-propositions*.

    This activism, if one searches out its causes, and to the degree one can locate them, is said to be ‘Marxist’. But the term Marxist is unfortunately not well defined. The *acids* as I call them of Marxian praxis (praxis = application, activism) are not sufficiently understood I have come to see. Because this is so, or perhaps I should say ‘if what I say here is true’, the idea of Marxism penetrates far and wide because people cannot see its action, or understand its activity, and so they come to accept that action as *part of the normal course of things*. And what I mean is that here, on this blog, among average persons, both ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ those *Marxian acids* are present and do their work.

    One aspect of that *work* is the challenging, and the weakening, and the breaking-down of hierarchies. But especially when those hierarchies are based on Ideas and Ideals. Remember, Marxism is an inversion of Hegelian idealism and Marixism is — but its own definition — anti-metaphysical. That is it denies an outside agent that moves matter, and thus our reality, the reality we live in, and it posits that matter in-and-of-itself is self-directing. This is a far-reaching philosophical idea. It is also a powerful *agent* that is brought out agains those structures and hierarchies that were created by Ideas or by *metaphysical notions* operating as ideas. With this view I present here, it is not hard to grasp Marxism’s core opposition to Christianity as long as Christianity remains metaphyisical and bases itself in transcendental ideas.

    I have to make a rather abrupt jump here. Because I have to, in a short essay, indicate why it is that the destruction of the category of ‘whiteness’ is so crucial to the on-going movement that — literally — stalks & careens across this land. The destruction of the category of whiteness is connected to the larger processes of negation of those categories constructed by Ideas. I am not making this up! I propose that you can notice, and you likely will notice more and more, that this all becomes a complex Idea War. And yet in strict Marxian conception it is a material war. Now do not blame me for *inventing* what I will say next! I merely observe that the Idea of Blackness has set itself up to battle, and contradict, and eventually to supersede, the category of Whiteness.

    And what I propose to you, and I propose this by stressing that you are required to counter-contradict all of it, every last bit of it, is that you hold to and claim the category of Whiteness and defend it against the category of Blackness. I suggest that you recognize the *metaphysical dimension* operating here. I also request that you come to see, and to understand, what you are fighting for and then *why*. But I too make this suggestion: you will not be able to do this unless you actually understand what this *metaphysical* dimension is. Not as an abstract concept, though that is a place to start, but as a living realness.

    I have to admit that I do not understand what is Jack’s point by getting up in arms about this list, and I mean the list in-and-of-itself. If this list is understood to be the focus of the attack (I use this word quite literally) of Blackness against Whiteness, then I do not have any problem. But my endeavor is to point out that the list is a list of *real things*. It took over 1,000 years of cultural processes and paideia to ‘achieve’ the Occidental man (in this sense as Everyman, a general man).

    Now if you were to — honestly — create a list that described Black attitudes in a general sense, How would you write your list? You wouldn’t even try — unless you went down into the depths of your basement with no one watching nor hearing and there recited your *list* — because you are not allowed to see reality. And you do not allow your self to see reality as it really is. Therefore, for you (I speak to this general American) to create that list is nearly an impossible task. Yet you very definitely should make that list! You should be able to see things truthfully, not through lenses of imposed non-truths.

    Now I return to the idea of *the remaking of America*. You must also discover, and in that sense *expose*, who is concocting these Marxian acidic views that are being applied to the category of whiteness and thus to you. If you fail to see the *enemy*, and if you fail to see the revolutionary and destructive conceptual structure that *enemy* uses against you, then you remain powerless. In the sense that you will simply drift along like a leaf on the surface of the water.

    Wake up.

  4. Following up on an old story, the museum recently released the findings of an investigation into a noose found in the building a full three years ago:

    https://amp.dailycaller.com/2020/07/06/smithsonian-noose-no-suspect-video-dna

    Surveillance footage in this very new building was unable to locate a suspect. Amazingly to me, it seems that the FBI did not participate in Park Police’s review. In my Google search, hundreds of stories about the finding of the noose came up before the first story about the outcome of the investigation.

  5. I hadn’t seen that NYC Slide before, and it is every bit as… something… as the Museum graphic.

    I think it ultimately stems from a culture that doesn’t open itself up to scrutiny. Baked into that is a general lack of accountability and a disdain for intellectual rigor. I mean… They pretty much wrap it up with what they say about “Objectivity”. But I want to focus for a second on point 10: Fear of Open Conflict;

    “This comes through when someone overemphasizes politeness, and equates broaching touchy topics with being rude. “The response is to blame the person for raising the issue rather than to look at the issue which is actually causing the problem,” the description says.”

    Let’s put aside that the reference on that slide came from 2001 and demonstrates how long liberal academia has been out to pasture. Can anyone think of a better example of a cast iron pot calling a stainless steel kettle black? *White Supremacists* are the ones overly concerned with politeness? I mean, 2001 was before the left started equating talking about things they didn’t like with violence, but when has Alizia failed to jump hip deep and dump a gallon of digital ink bemoaning the lack of conversation on “touchy subjects”? One might consider a conversation where every other word was a variation of the word “fuck” to be rude, but those conversations still happen. What the hell did these quacks even think they were talking about? And if (as it might be, because I was all of 15 at the time, so I might just not remember this) 2001 was when White Supremacists were busy tone-policing all the black folk out of talking about black issues, anyone want to take a swing on estimating when that sea change happened? Because it sure as hell ain’t the case now.

    • . . . but when has Alizia failed to jump hip deep and dump a gallon of digital ink bemoaning the lack of conversation on “touchy subjects”?

      ::: wakes from profound snooze :::

      “Huh, wha—? Did someone mention my name? Oh, him. The Canadinian.”

      It is not that I myself bemoan the lack of conversation on difficult and repressed conversations, it is that there is an entire movement in ideas which questions and challenges the limited parameters of *acceptable thought* in our neo-Orwellian cultural system.

      I do often say that *many here* show the same tendency to limit intellectual inquiry. And you do it under an ethical mask, as it were, that you are avoiding doing a wrong thing.

      There is a whole realm of things, therefore, that you-pl cannot talk about.

      I suggest 1) getting out from under that coercive power as a personal act and only for your self, and 2) eventually showing the courage to speak about *all of that*.

      I am here to help! Don’t hesitate to call on me if in any way I can help.

      I think it ultimately stems from a culture that doesn’t open itself up to scrutiny.

      Nice! But based on what you write I’d surmise that you have not even a remote idea of *what is going on* and *why it is going on*. And you have no idea as to what to do about it.

      As they say: “There, I fixed that for you…” 🙂

  6. Jack said:

    Similarly, if that’s what the museum’s curators and leadership believe. why don’t they defend the chart? Can they defend it? Just taking it down while blathering platitudes suggests full knowledge that what the site had posted couldn’t be defended, and was intended to indoctrinate rather than inform.

    This.

    What “honest” discussion would allow such a transparently unethical document a prominent place on the public Internet portal of the country’s most important historical museum? Upon what ethical system was the original chart based, and what imperative or ethical issue did it accurately respond to or address? These are to remain, apparently, mysteries known only to the “woke” Smithsonian curators of African American History and Culture.

    How is it that an apology is not in order? Assuming they took it down because of criticism, what did that criticism say? My money is on, “What the everlasting fuck was that about?” Sorry for the profanity, but honestly, that was my reaction, and I consider my reaction pretty mild. More to the point, why isn’t the Smithsonian asking the very same question of their employees who published it?

    I cannot imagine how such a transparently condescending document could ever have been described as “respectful” to non-minority Americans. To the contrary, it was intentionally disrespectful, childish, inaccurate, and inflammatory. To me, that requires and apology — not to “white people,” but to all Americans, who deserve far better from their institutions.

    Honestly, I wish they’d leave it up and tell all us whites to go to hell. That, at least, would be honesty I can appreciate.

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