BBC continues its DEI-fication of British history with 'racially diverse' series about the Battle of Hastings

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Leftists appear conflicted about Western history. On the one hand, they have endeavored to sever ties with it, tearing down statues, renaming places and species, and digging up graves. Yet, they also appear keen to transmogrify Western history — to rewrite it and reimagine it in order to bolster their contemporary worldview, advance their agenda, or to accommodate the sensitivities of their peers.

This latter impulse to transmogrify history appears to dominate in the United Kingdom where there is a burgeoning genre of revisionist agitprop aimed at either distorting facts to paint Caucasians uniquely as history's villains or to erase Caucasians from the isles' history.

The British Broadcasting Corporation has contributed to this genre for years and has shown no signs of stopping.

The Telegraph recently revealed that a forthcoming BBC historical drama series about the Battle of Hastings — between Anglo-Saxons and Norman-French forces for control of England in 1066 — will be played by a "diverse cast."

"King and Conqueror," a CBS Studios coproduction picked up by the BBC, will apparently feature non-white actors as Anglo-Saxon characters.

"Adding diversity to a high medieval period setting follows the BBC’s 'colour-blind' casting of non-white stars as Tudor courtiers in another upcoming historical drama, Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light," reported the Telegraph.

For instance, Elander Moore, an actor of Trinidadian decent, will play Morcar, son of Ælfgā, the earl of Mercia, and himself an earl of Northumbria, who fought against Viking and Norman invaders.

Jason Forbes, a black English actor from Bristol, will reportedly play a fictional Anglo-Saxon aristocrat named Thane Thomas.

'A cynic might wonder whether such casting is part of a cunning ploy to reinforce the fashionable progressive message that, throughout its history, this country has always been ethnically diverse.'

In the BBC's original announcement of the show, Lindsey Martin, senior vice president of international development and coproductions at CBS Studios — formerly of Netflix — indicated the show would be a "bold and fresh take on a story that has endured for nearly 1,000 years" with themes "as contemporary and relevant as ever."

Historian Zareer Masani told the Telegraph, "Some of us, including people of color, grew up thinking actors ought to look like characters they played."

Masani noted further that it was "absolutely crazy that they've applied this color-blindness to a period when Britain was at its least multicultural, before even the Norman Conquest," stressing further that this approach was "hugely confusing and downright misleading."

David Abulafia, a professor emeritus of history at the University of Cambridge, noted, "Since the whole series will undoubtedly bear little relation to historical fact, I think we shall have to put up with the bizarre notion that there were black earls in Anglo-Saxon England."

"All the more so, since we are no longer supposed to talk about 'Anglo-Saxons,'" continued Abulafia, alluding to the recent name change of University of Cambridge's historical journal Anglo-Saxon England to Early Medieval England and Its Neighbours.

"If they didn't exist, we can do what we like," added Abulafia.

British journalist Michael Deacon noted that, "A cynic might wonder whether such casting is part of a cunning ploy to reinforce the fashionable progressive message that, throughout its history, this country has always been ethnically diverse — which means that, if you object to mass immigration in the 21st century, you're not just racist, but historically ignorant."

Deacon suggested, however, that it is premature to judge the show having not yet seen it but joked about the potential of Harold Godwinson, the last crowned Anglo-Saxon English king, being scripted in the show to dismiss the threat of a Norman invasion as "alarmist nonsense," and stating, "I don't want to hear any more of these far-Right conspiracy theories. In any case, it's vital that we remain open to the world. As any historian worth his, her or their salt will tell you, Britain has always been vibrantly multicultural — ever since the Windrush arrived, in 1948BC.”

'It must not be an up-ended seesaw.'

The casting for "King and Conqueror" is par for the course at the BBC, whose program "Horrible Histories" released a song in 2021 called "Been Here from the Start," which suggested Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, the Aurelian Moors, and the early Britons were black.

The second season of the BBC series "Wolf Hall," an adaptation of the Hilary Mantel novel of the same name about the court of Henry VIII, will reportedly have Edward VI's grandmother Lady Seymour played by an actress of Bahamian heritage. Thomas Wyatt, a Yorkshire man who was the first person to write sonnets in English, will be played by an Egyptian actor.

British author Petronella Wyatt, who claims Thomas Wyatt as a distant ancestor, suggested that "diverse casting, if it is to work at all, must have a logical grounding, particularly in an adaptation of a novel that prides itself on historical authenticity."

"It must also work both ways. It must not be an up-ended seesaw. If the logic of modern casting was followed across the board then white actors should also be given roles on the basis of colour-blindness," wrote Wyatt. "But in our cowardly new world there is no equity or freedom from moral indignation, no all-embracing tolerance, only snorts and objurgations. We have become incapable of imagining honourable intentions in those with whom we disagree."

The genre of revisionist agitprop is not limited to film.

In August 2023, the publisher British Bloomsbury released a children's book entitled, "Brilliant Black British History," which erroneously stated, "Britain was a black country for more than 7,000 years before white people came, and during that time the most famous British monument was built, Stonehenge." The book was promoted in the U.K. by a government-funded group.

Leftists have also not limited their revisionism to matters of race.

Last year, the North Hertfordshire Museum decided to retroactively make Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus "transgender" and assign him female pronouns.

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Disney removes 'problematic' character from meet-and-greets — and no, it's not the park's cross-dressing Evil Queen

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Disney has in recent years reportedly taken to having transvestites assume the roles of certain iconic female characters in its parks. Apparently, the company — growing increasingly synonymous with box office bombs — saw an opportunity to deprive actresses of at least one more female role at the Magic Kingdom: Tinker Bell.

Whereas the company evidently sees no issue with mustachioed men in dresses dealing with young children, it reportedly regards the fictional character from J.M. Barrie's 1904 play "Peter Pan," later made iconic in the 1953 Walt Disney film of the same name, as "problematic."

Branding her as such on account of her interest in a member of the opposite sex and likely her femininity as well, Disney has effectively clipped Tinker Bell's wings and thrown her into storage.

That Park Place's Jonas Campbell told Blaze News, "I suspect that Disney would work harder to keep the character in the parks if the Peter Pan & Wendy film that race-swapped Tinker Bell had been more successful, instead of being dumped onto Disney+ and forgotten."

"That attempt at 'updating' the character did not resonate with audiences, and not long after we see a mainstay meet-and-greet character played by young, athletic, white female performer disappear from Disney's biggest resort," added Campbell.

Background

In 2017, Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors, "We can take those values, which we deem important societally, and actually change people's behavior — get people to be more accepting of the multiple differences and cultures and races and all other facets of our lives and our people."

In the years since, Disney has worked ardently to socially engineer the audience Iger feels it deserves. That campaign has involved transmogrifying Disney's intellectual properties and eliminating nonconforming content.

'These stereotypes were wrong then and are now.'

The so-called experts behind the company's Stories Matter team have thought long and hard about what beloved characters are offensive to postmodern sensibilities.

The New York Times reported in 2022 that the Stories Matter experts' thin skin broke when watching episodes of "The Muppet Show" from the 1970s. The offending episodes, like other older Disney films such as "Dumbo," were slapped with disclaimers indicating they contained "negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures."

"These stereotypes were wrong then and are now," read the disclaimers.

The professionally offended Stories Matter team also took issue with various iconic Disney characters such as Ursula from "The Little Mermaid" — a supposedly "queer coded" character with skin dark enough to prompt concerns about racism, reported the Times.

Captain Hook from "Peter Pan," a film taken off children's Disney+ profiles for "breaching content advisories," was also deemed problematic. Whereas some viewers might conclude from Disney's depiction of a villain missing a hand that amputees can be morally dynamic like everyone else, the Times indicated executives feared Hook could be interpreted as a slight against the disabled.

Tinker Bell was among the characters slated for destruction because she is "body conscious" and desirous of Peter Pan's attention.

Ousting the fairy

Tinker Bell was not only used for decades in Disney advertisements but was a popular meet-and-greet character at Walt Disney World prior to the pandemic. During the pandemic, however, she disappeared along with all other such characters. Although the various costumed cast members ultimately returned to their posts, Tinker Bell was noticeably absent.

'Tinker Bell is significant to many longtime Disney fans because of her direct association with Walt.'

Inside the Magic recently reported that her signage has been officially removed from Town Square Theater, signaling her banishment from the Magic Kingdom's meet-and-greets. Guests apparently can only now meet Disney's iconic rodent at Bell's former stomping grounds.

According to Inside the Magic, Tinker Bell's presence in the park has more or less been reduced to a silent flyby, a mute cameo on a float, and an old statue.

The Plan Disney Committee indicated in February, "At present, Tinker Bell does not hold a 'meet and greet' opportunity at Walt Disney World Resort. Of course, she does make her evening flight over Magic Kingdom Park at the end of the Happily Ever After nighttime fireworks show!"

Outside the Magic Kingdom, there remains the possibility of a meet-and-greet with the fairy at the Disneyland Resort in California, but that too may change.

Jonas Campbell told Blaze News, "Tinker Bell is significant to many longtime Disney fans because of her direct association with Walt and the identity of the company that holds the IP rights to his name."

"If you look at the Disney+ logo graphic of a semi-circle being formed over the name, that's a callback to the Walt Disney Pictures logo of Tinker Bell flying over the castle," continued Campbell. "Tinker Bell used to appear in the Disneyland TV series and the 'Wonderful World of Disney' with Walt during his segments."

Campbell suggested the timing of Tinker Bell's ouster is strategic.

"I think Disney is taking the opportunity while demand is down for the character," said Campbell. "They closed down the division that made the Tinker Bell / Pixie Hollow movies and specials, and they never brought the character back to Walt Disney World for a meet-and-greet. The character is currently appearing in some parades and as part of the nighttime spectaculars, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this aspect updated as soon as the company can find a different character that current Imagineering fits."

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Pentagon gets its way: Reconciliation Memorial will be removed after judge lifts injunction

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Iconoclasts in the previous Democrat-controlled 116th Congress and the Biden Department of Defense are getting exactly what they wanted: the toppling of the Jewish American-designed Reconciliation Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.

While Judge Rossie David Alston Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia temporarily halted the plan to dismantle the 109-year-old monument, he reversed course Tuesday, giving the go-ahead for the Christmastime toppling.

What's the background?

The group Defend Arlington, affiliated with Save Southern Heritage Florida, unsuccessfully sued in the District of Columbia last month accusing the Army, which oversees the cemetery, of violating regulations in an effort to rush the process and get the monument down by January.

There is an apparent need to expedite the process, given the deadline set for the Pentagon by the Democrat-controlled 116th Congress in its National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021. Per section 370 of the NDAA, virtually all military assets even remotely linked to the Confederacy are to be removed by Jan. 1, 2024.

After the D.C. federal court dismissed the heritage group's lawsuit, Defend Arlington tried once more in Virginia.

Contrary to claims made by the cemetery, their lawsuit alleged, "The removal will desecrate, damage, and likely destroy the Memorial longstanding at ANC as a grave marker and impede the Memorial's eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places."

Judge Alston granted the plaintiffs a temporary restraining order, expressing concern over the possibility that neighboring grave sites might be disturbed. He hedged by stating, "Should the representations in this case be untrue or exaggerated the Court may take appropriate sanctions."

The cemetery indicated Monday that the Army had begun "disassembly of the monument atop the Confederate Memorial prior to the court issuing the temporary restraining order," but would comply with the order and halt further work.

— (@)

A vacant plinth for Christmas

Prior to Tuesday's hearing, Alston toured the cemetery and inspected the site, reported the Associated Press.

"I saw no desecration of any graves," said Alston. "The grass wasn't even disturbed."

The Trump-nominated judge subsequently issued an 18-page ruling Tuesday evening lifting the restraining order. Alston indicated the plaintiff's allegations about the removal efforts, specifically the suggestion that graves were being disturbed, "were, at best, ill-informed and, at worse, inaccurate."

During the hearing, Alston also questioned Defend Arlington lawyers' claims about the nature of the monument, stating "a slave running after his 'massa' as he walks down the road. What is reconciling about that?" reported Politico.

John Rowley, a lawyer for Defend Arlington, said in a statement obtained by the New York Times, "While we respect the Court’s decision, we continue to believe the evidence shows that in its haste to remove the Reconciliation Memorial, the DoD failed to conduct the reviews mandated by law regarding historic preservation and environmental impacts."

Kerry L. Meeker, a spokeswoman for the cemetery, told the Times in a statement that the iconoclasm would resume immediately and would be completed by Friday.

"While the work is performed, surrounding graves, headstones and the landscape will be carefully protected by a dedicated team, preserving the sanctity of all those laid to rest," said Meeker.

The monument, designed by Moses Jacob Ezekiel, a Confederate veteran and the first Jewish graduate of Virginia Military Institute, will be thrown into storage "until the final disposition has been determined."

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) previously indicated he intends to move the memorial to the New Market Battlefield State Historic Park in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Reconciliation Monument was approved in 1906 by Secretary of War William Taft; commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1910; designed by Ezekiel; and unveiled in Section 16 of the cemetery by President Woodrow Wilson on June 4, 1914.

Both those supportive of and those opposed to the monument's original construction understood it to be signal reconciliation in the aftermath of the Civil War.

The monument, at least as it stood Tuesday, consists of a bronze female figure crowned with olive leaves atop a 32-foot pedestal. The female figure holds a laurel wreath, a pruning hook, and a plow. At her feet is a biblical inscription that reads, "They have beat their swords into plough-shares and their spears into pruning hooks."

Defend Arlington noted in a Meta post, "We are disappointed that American's [sic] had another breach in upholding the rule of law today. Hon. Rossie David Alston, Jr. visited Arlington National Cemetery ex-parte. We expect the crane is moving over the top of Ezekiel's grave this moment."

Controlling the past

If the past three years provide any indication, the removal of the Reconciliation Monument will not placate the left's desire to erase and revise history.

Since the ruinous 2020 BLM riots kicked off, statues of former U.S. presidents including George Washington, Ulysses Grant, and Theodore Roosevelt have been torn down by leftists, both the kind empowered by politicians and the kind empowered by voters.

Statues of Christopher Columbus were officially removed, toppled, or vandalized nationwide, as were hundreds of other statues commemorating consequential historic figures. Apolitical statues such as theWorld War I memorial in Birmingham, Alabama, and the statue of Polish hero Thaddeus Kosciuszko were afforded no exemption.

There appear to be incentives for iconoclasts to stay the course. For instance, vandals who destroyed the Sacramento statue of a historic Catholic missionary were rewarded last month with a substitute palatable to those antipathetic to the region's Christian heritage.

Efforts to sever the present from the past have gone far beyond statues.

Blaze News recently reported that the American Ornithological Society announced on Nov. 1 that it will begin changing the names of 70-80 birds currently named after people next year.

"There is power in a name, and some English bird names have associations with the past that continue to be exclusionary and harmful today," said AOS president Colleen Handel, a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska.

Biden Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland similarly has been scrubbing place names across the country that include the Algonquin word for woman, as it had been deemed derogatory by activist groups.

Ezekial's erasure wasn't the first and will not be the last under the current administration.

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Judge halts toppling of Reconciliation Monument in Arlington National Cemetery

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A Trump-nominated federal judge has halted the removal of the Reconciliation Monument in Arlington National Cemetery, which the cemetery indicated Saturday would otherwise take place by week's end. While the iconoclasts have been momentarily restrained, the fate of the historic monument, also called the Confederate Memorial, remains uncertain.

The group Defend Arlington, affiliated with Save Southern Heritage Florida, filed a federal lawsuit last month in the District of Columbia accusing the Army, which oversees the cemetery, of violating regulations in an apparent effort to rush the process and get the monument down by January.

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021 requires that the Pentagon remove "all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate Sates of America (commonly referred to as the 'Confederacy') or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America from all assets of the Department of Defense."'

The deadline for such removals is Jan. 1, 2024.

The D.C. federal court dismissed the lawsuit last week; however, Defend Arlington attempted once more to preserve the monument, this time in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, reported the Associated Press.

Their lawsuit reportedly stated, "The removal will desecrate, damage, and likely destroy the Memorial longstanding at ANC as a grave marker and impede the Memorial's eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places."

With ostensibly no movement on the legal front, the cemetery announced over the weekend that the removal of the Reconciliation Monument, also called the Confederate Memorial, was in compliance with both the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act and would be completed by no later than Dec. 22.

Additionally, the cemetery claimed that "[d]uring the deconstruction, the area around the Memorial will be protected to ensure no impact to the surrounding landscape and grave markers and to ensure the safety of visitors in and around the vicinity of the deconstruction."

U.S. District Judge Rossie Alston, Jr., threw a wrench in the removal plans, granting Defend Arlington a temporary restraining order on Monday, barring the Pentagon from tearing down the 109-year-old monument.

Alston was reportedly concerned by the possibility that grave sites might be disturbed — a prospect raised by the lawyer for the plaintiffs. Alston also made clear that just as he takes the possibility of such disturbances seriously, he "takes very seriously the representations of officers of the Court."

"Should the representations in this case be untrue or exaggerated the Court may take appropriate sanctions," added Alston.

David McCallister, a spokesman for Save Southern Heritage Florida, indicated the Virginia case is stronger than the case dismissed in D.C. because there is now evidence that the removal underway disturbs grave sites.

Although it won't bring closure, this turn of events may nevertheless bring some hope to those in both parties who have denounced the effort to remove the monument.

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) and 40 Republicans called on Defense Secretary Austin in a letter last week to suspend all removal activities related to the Reconciliation Monument until Congress finalized the appropriations process for fiscal year 2024.

Clyde stressed that the memorial is exempt from the removal requirement because it "does not honor nor commemorate the Confederacy and that it commemorates reconciliation and nation unity." Additionally, "the Naming Commission's authority explicitly prohibits the desecration of grave sites."

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) indicated in an August Wall Street journal op-ed that the statue's toppling would signify the desire of a "deteriorating society ... to erase the generosity of its past, in favor of bitterness and misunderstanding conjured by those who do not understand the history they seem bent on destroying."

The Reconciliation Monument was approved in 1906 by Secretary of War William Taft; commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1910; designed by Jewish former Confederate soldier Moses Jacob Ezekiel; and unveiled in Section 16 of the cemetery by President Woodrow Wilson on June 4, 1914.

A hearing concerning the removal has been scheduled in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for Wednesday.

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Pentagon to tear down Reconciliation Monument in Arlington National Cemetery by week's end despite protest

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The Department of Defense has dutifully taken part in an iconoclastic sweep of American history that has left graves dug up, statues toppled, animals renamed, busts melted down, and church windows removed.

Despite significant backlash, it appears no exception will ultimately be made for the Reconciliation Monument in Arlington National Cemetery. Workers will remove the 109-year-old monument this week, providing revisionists in the nation's capital with a gift of absence just in time for Christmas.

What's the background?

The Reconciliation Monument, also called the Confederate Memorial, was approved in 1906 by Secretary of War William Taft; commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1910; designed by Jewish former Confederate soldier Moses Jacob Ezekiel; and unveiled in Section 16 of the cemetery by President Woodrow Wilson on June 4, 1914.

The monument consists of a bronze female figure crowned with olive leaves atop a 32-foot pedestal. The female figure holds a laurel wreath, a pruning hook, and a plow. At her feet is a biblical inscription that reads, "They have beat their swords into plough-shares and their spears into pruning hooks."

Another inscription on the memorial states in Latin, "The victorious cause was pleasing to the gods, but the lost cause to Cato."

Thirty-two figures of mythical gods, Southern soldiers, and civilians are depicted around the base, including two black characters — one holding a baby and the other a slave following his owner to war. The memorial also displays 14 shields representing the 11 Confederate states and the border states of Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri.

The memorial was intended as a monument to reconciliation in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Union army veteran President William McKinley, who supported legislation in 1900 to establish a Confederate section in Arlington Cemetery, proclaimed four days after men from former Confederate states ensured America's victory against Spanish forces, "In the spirit of fraternity we should share with you in the care of the graves of Confederate soldiers. … Sectional feeling no longer holds back the love we feel for each other. The old flag again waves over us in peace with new glories."

The American Conservative underscored that it was long understood to be a reconciliation monument, such that "some Confederate groups at the time opposed the statue and memorial precisely because they opposed the reconciliation that it symbolized. At the memorial’s dedication in 1914, President Wilson praised it as an 'emblem of a reunited people.'"

Arlington National Cemetery highlighted the monument's historic value, noting that it "offers an opportunity for visitors to reflect on the history and meanings of the Civil War, slavery, and the relationship between military service, citizenship and race in America. This memorial ... invites us to understand how politics and culture have historically shaped how Americans have buried and commemorated the dead."

Removal

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021, passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress, required the removal of "all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate Sates of America (commonly referred to as the 'Confederacy') or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America from all assets of the Department of Defense."'

Congress established an eight-member commission in 2021 and tasked it with renaming military assets in accordance with this requirement. The deadline for such changes and removals is Jan. 1, 2024.

The commission addressed the Reconciliation Monument in its final report on Sept. 19, 2022, recommending that Arlington National Cemetery "remove the 32 life-sized bronze statues from the top of the monument but not remove the entire monument because doing so might damage graves under the structure."

Arlington National Cemetery indicated in March that it had begun preparations for the "careful removal and relocation" of the monument as required by Congress and demanded by Biden's Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Backlash

There has been significant bipartisan outcry in the face of this particular iconoclastic initiative.

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), cognizant that the memorial was built "with the sole purpose of healing the wounds of the Civil War," stressed in an August opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that the statue's toppling would signify the desire of a "deteriorating society ... to erase the generosity of its past, in favor of bitterness and misunderstanding conjured by those who do not understand the history they seem bent on destroying."

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) was among over 40 Republicans who criticized the iconoclastic initiative, calling on Defense Secretary Austin in a Dec. 11 letter to suspend all removal activities related to the Reconciliation Monument until Congress finalized the appropriations process for fiscal year 2024.

Clyde noted that the memorial ought to be exempt from the removal requirement because it "does not honor nor commemorate the Confederacy; the memorial commemorates reconciliation and nation unity." Additionally, "the Naming Commission's authority explicitly prohibits the desecration of grave sites."

Christmastime iconoclasm

Arlington National Cemetery announced Saturday that the monument had been fenced off and would be removed by no later than Dec. 22. All but the granite pedestal will be taken away.

The cemetery further alleged that the removal is in compliance with both the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, and that no nearby graves or headstones would be damaged during the "deconstruction" process.

"During the deconstruction, the area around the Memorial will be protected to ensure no impact to the surrounding landscape and grave markers and to ensure the safety of visitors in and around the vicinity of the deconstruction," the cemetery indicated in a statement.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) plans to move the memorial to the New Market battlefield state historic park in Shenandoah Valley, reported the Military Times.

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'I is for Intifada': Oakland teachers bombard students with anti-Israeli propaganda, promote Palestinian 'resistance'

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Teachers began bombarding children Wednesday with leftist propaganda denigrating Israel and promoting the Palestinian "intifada" as part of a "teach-in" in Oakland, California.

The local teachers' union, the Oakland Education Association, endorsed the teach-in despite Oakland Unified School District superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell warning that the curriculum, including the anti-Semitic materials therein, was "unsanctioned," reported KTVU-TV.

Johnson-Trammell stressed in a Dec. 4 letter to parents, "The District does not authorize this action. Furthermore I want to make clear that the instructional materials developed and shared by the teach-in organizers are not aligned with the materials and guidance previously provided by our Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Sondra Aguilera."

The superintendent acknowledged that the materials "circulated and promoted as factual" by the leftist teachers were both "harmful and divisive."

The Oakland Education Association for Palestine group has provided teachers with propaganda materials targeting children from junior kindergarten through high school.

One among the recommended presentations details the "Goals of Colonialism," noting the process by which Israel and the United States allegedly steal land, destroy local cultures, dominate, then normalize their behavior.

Another presentation, painting Zionism as genocidal, poses the question to children: "Since Jews experienced centuries of violence and ethnic cleansing, why are Jews in Israel doing the same thing to Palestinians today?"

An art activity originally crafted for American schoolchildren by the activist group Teaching While Muslim has as its stated goal an understanding and celebration of "Palestinian culture and resistance throughout history and in the present, with a focus on Palestinian children's resistance."

The activity for students in pre-K through second grade is to "connect histories of settler colonialism from Palestine to the United States."

As part of this activity, children are to be given this prompt: "75 years ago, a lot of decision makers around the world decided to take away Palestinian land to make a country called Israel. Israel would be a country where rules were mostly fair for Jewish people with White skin. Do you know about any unfair rules where we live?"

A coloring book for children included among the curricular materials states, "Children like me keep having their homes taken by the Zionist bullies. They are always scaring them and arresting them."

"I will never forget that I am Palestinian or give up on my right to return," says a cartoon in the coloring book, designed by the Palestinian Feminist Collective. "I will always try to find a way to help other Palestinians and Free Palestine."

Exercises in the book underscore Palestinians "right" to return to land belonging to the Jewish state.

The New York Times noted that another book recommended by the OEA for Palestine is entitled, "P is for Palestine," which informs young children, "I is for Intifada, Intifada is Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or a grown-up!"

In addition to being asked to draw "Zionist leaders of Israel," students are also prompted to make signs that say, "Palestine will be free," "Free Palestine," and "Let Gaza live."

Teachers were also provided with hundreds of Palestinian "resistance" posters to share with their students as well as a link to a Turkish state media video denouncing Israel for "apartheid."

KTVU reported that the unauthorized curriculum omits any mention of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks on Israel, which amounted to the biggest attack on Jews since the Holocaust.

Despite the materials all advancing an anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian agenda, the OEA for Palestine stated atop its collection of curricular resources, "Our work is not to win our students over to a particular side nor indoctrinate them with our own political perspective on Israel-Palestine."

Local Council on American-Islamic Relations president Zahara Billoo told KPIX-TV, "This is important, this is necessary to teach kids about current events."

Billoo called "Zionist synagogues" and various Jewish groups "enemies" in 2021, reported the Jerusalem Post.

"Oppose the polite Zionists," said Billoo. "They are not your friends."

Billoo indicated the news of the teach-in left her feeling "excited."

Nate Landry, 40, a parent in the district who has spoken on behalf of the organizers of the teach-in, claimed the Palestinian propaganda served as a "corrective" to the approved curriculum, reported the New York Times.

According to Landry, at least 100 teachers were expected to participate.

Jacob Fowler, a teacher at Lincoln Elementary, appears to be one of them, having called on other teachers to participate in a Nov. 26 YouTube video. Fowler claimed that teachers are "fortunate enough to play a small role in helping shape the next generation" and should wield their power accordingly.

After the first series of classes Wednesday, Judy Greenspan, a teacher in the district and teach-in organizer, indicated that "interest is growing by the hour," reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

Shira Avoth, an Israeli-American and mother of a seventh-grader in the district, indicated her son would "show up and represent himself" in defiance of what she deemed "misinformation."

Avoth noted that this is hardly the first time teachers in the district have confronted her son and other children with anti-Israeli propaganda in recent weeks. According to the mother, her son's English teacher exhibited a post with the caption, "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," signaling a desire for Israel's ruin.

Rabbi Dovid Labkowski of Chabad Oakland told KPIX, "It's devastating to Oakland families, especially Jewish families."

"Education is about teaching right from wrong, morals and values. When you decide you don't like something happening in the world and you decide to put together a curriculum that's going to teach about hating other people, that's what this is about, this is about hating Jews," said Labkowski.

Josh Diamant, a teacher in the district, told KTVU, "My biggest concern is that we're raising a generation of anti-Semites."

KTVU indicated it remains unclear if teachers participating in the teach-in will face any repercussions.

As of 2022, there were over 34,000 students in the district and 1,861 teachers.

According to the Public School Review, public schools in the district have an average math proficiency score of 21% and a reading proficiency score of 56%.

Oakland union endorses pro-Palestine teach-in, says they won't be intimidatedyoutu.be

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This Truthsgiving, I'm thankful for European settlement

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Cranks come out of the woodwork ahead of every holiday to tell the masses they're celebrating the wrong thing or wrong to celebrate anything at all. Cynical liberal publications dutifully spin off the cranks' latest insights, which are inevitably just old envies and prejudices repackaged for new audiences.

We're told Christopher Columbus is genocidal; the Fourth of July is a celebration fit only for jingos, sexists, and racists; Christmas is environmentally ruinous; and Father's and Mother's Days are hurtfully exclusionary to the reality-averse. Thanksgiving enjoys no exemption.

In its ritual exhibition of late-November ingratitude, the Nation ran a two-stage article by failed Democratic congressional candidate Chase Iron Eyes and Sioux chef Sean Sherman explaining why Americans should either "decolonize" Thanksgiving or replace it with "Truthsgiving."

It is critical to decolonize the day, Sherman suggested, because Thanksgiving's roots are "intertwined with colonial aggression." His preferred decolonized substitute apparently has blessed roots that managed to grow for millennia without absorbing blood from the intertribal wars, slavery, and human sacrifice the Americas were home to prior to European settlement.

According to Sherman, decolonization "means centering the Indigenous perspective and challenging the colonial narratives around the holiday (and every other day on the calendar)." It also apparently means "resisting the dominance of colonial influences."

A decolonized Thanksgiving is apparently one where we racialize our gratitude, resist the urge to give thanks for the myriad gifts handed down to us from settlers from Britain and Europe, and adopt a "clearer lens" to see that anything capable of inspiring pride in post-17th-century America isn't worth celebrating.

Iron Eyes underscored in his argument for canceling Thanksgiving that we can be thankful so long as we're thankful to the right people. "Give thanks to the Native nations who created the world that we inherit today," he wrote.

Iron Eyes' talk of inheritance and Sherman's call for selective remembrance prompted me to think about the world we actually inherit this Truthsgiving and those to whom we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude but are now asked to discount.

More than for property rights, the free market, and the wheel, this Truthsgiving I'd like to express my gratitude to the decentered settlers for their gift of the written word and a functional alphabet, which enable cranks to air their grievances but also preserve Indian languages and traditions for the benefit of future generations.

I am thankful for the settlers' science — the European origin of which the late sociologist Rodney Stark noted was the result of Abrahamic peoples' belief in a rational God whose creation was likewise rational and therefore replete with discernible truth — which has extended Indian and European lives alike and provided us with dominion over a wilderness once worshipped.

I am thankful for the salvific faith settlers brought over to the New World, which not only affirms human beings' inviolable dignity, the eternal love of God, and the promise of life after death but has informed the culture, customs, and ethic that have helped make America the envy of the world.

I am thankful for the imported rule of law, which spares us all from the tyranny of chieftains and the impulses of the mad mob.

I am also thankful for a society prototyped overseas that is so accommodating and tolerant as to put up, year after year, with blood libels and putdowns from its many beneficiaries.

Iron Eyes concluded his argument with, "Let's tell a different story by dropping the lie of Thanksgiving and begin a Truthsgiving."

Instead, let's drop the lie that European settlement wasn't, at least in the long run, an absolute blessing and acknowledge that the imperfect cast of characters responsible for the society we've inherited don't need our condemnation or praise but rather our understanding and thanks.

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Museum rankles historians with dubious claim that a Roman emperor was trans

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A British museum has decided to retroactively claim a Roman emperor for the LGBT community, suggesting — on the basis of an apparent 3rd century character assassination justifying an actual assassination — that Marcus Aurelius Antonius was a "transgender."

The North Hertfordshire Museum has conferred female pronouns to Antonius, better known as Elagabalus, citing a classical text alleging he asked to be called a "lady" and wanted mock female genitals crafted, reported the Telegraph.

The retroactive transitioning is driven by an apparent desire on the part of the museum to be "sensitive" to the emperor's disputed wishes as well as an outreach policy demanding representation of "different groups through exhibitions dealing with Black History, LGBTQ+ History and so on."

Elagabalus ruled as emperor of Rome from 218 until his assassination at the age of 18 in 222. He was succeeded by Roman emperor Alexander Severus. Both men shared a power-hungry grandmother in common, Julia Mamaea.

Mamaea — who ultimately wielded much of the real authority during her son's fruitless reign — is suspected of prompting the Praetorian Guard to murder Elagabalus. Since Mamaea had previously persuaded Elagabalus to name his cousin as an heir, Severus was able to nominally take power without incident following the assassination.

The museum has based its opportunistic claim on a text from Cassius Dio, a Greek senator and "slapdash" chronicler who held a consulship with Alexander Severus. Extra to having a possible motive in both denigrating his boss' predecessor and justifying his assassination, Dio apparently had a rather loose relationship with facts.

Oxford Reference indicates Dio's writing, like that of other chroniclers of his time, "is often thin and slapdash; errors and distortions are quite common, and there are some surprising omissions. However, Dio does show much independence, both in shaping his material and in interpretation: he freely makes causal links between events and attributes motivations to his characters, and many of these explanations must be his own contribution rather than drawn from a source."

Dio reportedly claimed the emperor was "termed wife, mistress and queen"; told one lover, "Call me not Lord, for I am a Lady"; and asked for female genitalia to be made for him.

Christian Laes, a University of Manchester classicist, stressed that classical accounts about Elagabalus should be taken with "a huge pinch of salt," stressing, "Most of this is related to the aristocratic and senatorial disdain for the emperor's oriental origins and beliefs."

There are numerous stories telling of the emperor's degeneracy and cruelty. For instance, he is said to have freed poisonous snakes at the gladiatorial games, maiming and killing various audience members. In another apocryphal telling, Elagabalus is said to have thrown gold from a high tower in order to watch the mob below tear itself apart for the promise of enrichment, reported the Daily Mail.

Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, a Cambridge classics professor, told the Telegraph that Elagabalus was a Syrian, not a Roman, so behind Dio's claims "there's racial prejudice going on there too."

The historians agreed that claims about feminine behavior and lady-identification were likely attempts at character assassination.

"The Romans didn't have our idea of 'trans' as a category, but they used accusations of sexual behaviour 'as a woman' as one of the worst insults against men," said Wallace-Hadrill.

"As regards trans, this was of course never seen as a category by the Romans," said Laes. "But it remains the case that in times of troubles and crisis, so-called transgressors of the sexual norms were subject to scapegoating."

Severus' reign was marked by troubles and crisis. During his 13 years as emperor, trust in government dwindled, anarchy prevailed, Roman territory was swallowed up by invading forces, and his attempts to militarily restore confidence proved disastrous, partly because those under his command refused to heed his orders.

Nevertheless, on the word of Severus' consul, the council-run museum has determined the emperor was body dysphoric and a member of the ancient LGBT community.

The museum notes on its website that it is in possession of a "broken base denarius of Elagabalus." Plural pronouns are used when referring to the emperor in the museum's description of the coin and its significance.

"The Emperor was long regarded as mad and one of the worst Roman emperors, but is perhaps now best thought of as a transgender teen, who referred to themselves as 'lady' and 'queen,'" says the description. "The Roman world did not have a transgender category, but the phenomenon of those assigned male at birth transitioning to female to become priestesses of Cybele is well known."

The North Herfordshire Museum is reportedly committed to using pronouns in displays that "the individual in question might have used themself" or whatever pronoun "in retrospect, is appropriate."

The Telegraph indicated the museum looks to the radical LGBT activist group Stonewall and the LGBT wing of the trade union Unison for guidance on how best to ensure its "displays, publicity and talks are as up-to-date and inclusive as possible," meaning its framing of history is being used for activistic purposes.

Keith Hoskins, a leftist councilor with sway on the North Herts Council overseeing the museum, said, "Elagabalus most definitely preferred the she pronoun, and as such this is something we reflect when discussing her in contemporary times."

"We try to be sensitive to identifying pronouns for people in thee past, as we are for people in the present," said Hoskins. "It is only polite and respectful. We know that Elagabalus identified as a woman and was explicity about which pronouns to use, which shows that pronouns are not a new thing."

The coin has apparently been sued in multiple LGBT-themed displays.

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'The start of a new era': Iconoclasts rewarded with an Indian statue after tearing down statue of Christian missionary



The iconoclasts who unlawfully torched and toppled the Sacramento statue of a historic Spanish missionary in 2020 were rewarded Tuesday with a substitute evidently palatable to those antipathetic to the region's Christian heritage.

Where the statue of Junípero Serra once stood now stands the likeness of Miwok elder William J. Franklin, an Indian elder known in some circles for preserving traditional dances.

Jesus Tarango, the chair of the Wilton Rancheria tribe in Sacramento County, said, "Today's unveiling signifies the start of a new era here in California at our state Capitol — one where we stop uplifting a false narrative and start honoring the original stewards of this land," reported the Associated Press.

Despite Tarango's insinuation that the truth has prevailed, the initiative to replace the Serro statue appears to have been largely premised on blood libels and falsehoods.

What's the background?

Junípero Serra was the first Catholic saint canonized on American soil. A statue was erected in his honor near the California Capitol in Sacramento in 1965, commemorating his work not only as a Christian missionary who had a hand in establishing California's 21 Spanish missions, including the nine built during his lifetime, but also as an advocate for Indian rights.

Despite Serra's track record for standing up to the Spanish military on behalf of native peoples and defending Indian property rights, leftists and other revisionists have long characterized Serra as a villain, taking issue in particular with his evangelical efforts.

Democrats fully embraced this antipathy toward Serra, accusing the missionary of overseeing "enslavement of both adults and children, mutilation, genocide, and assault on women" in a piece of legislation that Gov. Gavin Newsom ratified on Sept. 24, 2021.

Omitting any mention of a possible spiritual context for Serra's work or his proposed native bill of rights, AB 338 alleged that the missionary, responsible for bringing Christianity to multitudes of Indians, had a leading role in the "devastation" of native communities in the state.

The legislation, which Newsom claimed served to underscore the state's "values of inclusion and equity," deleted the legal requirement that the Serra statue be maintained.

Evidently tired of the smears against Serra, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco noted in a September 2021 Wall Street Journal op-ed, "None of that is true."

"While there is much to criticize from this period, no serious historian has ever made such outrageous claims about Serra or the mission system, the network of 21 communities that Franciscans established along the California coast to evangelize native people. The lawmakers behind the bill drew their ideas from a single tendentious book written by journalist Elias Castillo," wrote the prelates.

"Serra was a complex character, but he defended indigenous people's humanity, decried the abuse of indigenous women, and argued against imposing the death penalty on natives who had burned down a mission and murdered one of his friends," they continued. "How we choose to remember the past shapes the people we hope to be in the future. We can think of no better symbol for this multiethnic state committed to human dignity and equality than to place two statues at the California Capitol — one celebrating the living heritage of California’s indigenous peoples, another reflecting the faith and leadership of their defender St. Junípero Serra."

The archbishops evidently failed to convert the revisionists.

Toppling history

During the 2020 BLM riots, radicals inflicted billions of dollars of damage across the country. During the destructive campaign, hundreds of statues and historical monuments were toppled, including Serra's statue in Sacramento's Capitol Park.

KXTV-TV reported at the time that hundreds of demonstrators had swarmed the statue, spray-painted it, attempted to set it on fire, then used heavy-duty tow straps to pull it down.

Bishop Jaime Soto, the head of the Diocese of Sacramento, said in response, "The group's actions may have been meant to draw attention to the sorrowful, angry memories over California's past, but this act of vandalism does little to build the future."

"The strenuous labor of overcoming the plague of racism should not be toppled by nocturnal looting. Dialogue should not abdicate to vandalism," added Soto.

A statue with the iconoclasts' blessing

State lawmakers, tribal leaders, and activists celebrated the unveiling of the eight-foot bronze statue of Miwok leader William Franklin Tuesday in the park where Serra's likeness once stood.

KXTV indicated that Franklin strived during his lifetime to revive traditional Miwok and Nisenan songs and dances. In addition to being a member of the California Native American Heritage Commission, he also worked to establish the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990.

At the groundbreaking ceremony last year, his grandson Louie Brown said, "He's going to be happy that he's out here in the park amongst the trees because he was an outside type of guy."

"Finally, the California Indian people will have a monument here on the Capitol grounds for all those visiting to know that we are still here," said Assemblyman James Ramos, the Democratic lawmaker behind AB 338. "We're here because of the resiliency of our elders and ancestors."

Chris Gallardo, a Wilton Rancheria government relations staffer linked to the statue initiative, said, "What this statue is replacing, the pain and suffering under Serra, it's a huge blessing," reported the Sacramento Bee.

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'Anne Frank' kindergarten is being renamed for the sake of diversity: 'We wanted a name without a political background'

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A school in northern Germany has decided it's high time for a name change. For over 50 years, the kindergarten in the town of Tangerhütte has been called the "Kindertagesstätte 'Anne Frank'" after the Jewish German girl who provided future generations with a firsthand insight into life in hiding under Nazi occupation. She was ultimately captured, taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, and murdered along with her sister.

Parents and school officials no longer feel the Holocaust victim's name is diverse or inclusive enough for their institution. They would rather the school be called "World Explorers" to both evoke a sense of international diversity and accommodate immigrants' preferences.

Linda Schichor, the director of the kindergarten, told the local newspaper Volksstimme, "We wanted a name without a political background."

Schichor indicated that not only was Anne Frank's story difficult to explain to children, it did not resonate with immigrant families who had "often never heard of her."

One local suggested to the German paper Bild that this explanation failed to pass muster, noting, "Here in Tangerhütte we mainly have Ukrainians and Russians – hardly any Arab roommates."

Officials have nevertheless stressed that such a name change would move the needle on emphasizing the "self-determination and diversity" of the children at the center, reported the Telegraph.

Mayor Andreas Brohm, an initial supporter of the change, said, "It is important to the institution to make this conceptual change visible to the outside world."

"If parents and employees want a name that better reflects the new concept, that has more weight compared to the global political situation."

Christoph Hebuner, the deputy head of the International Auschwitz Committee, has implored the local council to reverse the decision, criticizing the apparent eagerness "to forget one's own history so easily, especially in these times of renewed anti-Semitism."

The country has recently seen a significant spike in anti-Semitic violence. Extra to the massive anti-Israel protests that have popped up across Germany following the savage Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks, there have been reports of radicals once again marking the residences of Jewish citizens as part of a broader intimidation campaign.

Max Privorozki, chairman of the State Association of Jewish Communities in Saxony-Anhalt, told Bild, "I am not sure that now is the right moment to change the name of the day-care center, which has existed for more than 50 years."

"The reference to the parents with a migrant background, who often cannot do anything with the name of Anne Frank, is the best argument against the name change," added Privorozki. "This argument means that the integration of these parents into German society is failing."

In the face of mounting outrage, the town noted in a Monday statement, "These discussions are still ongoing without a decision being made at the moment."

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