Forums - Politics Discussion - Political Correctness and History

This is not just about political correctness. It's about changing society radically. Taking away power from those who are seen as oppressors and giving it to those who are seen as oppressed.


This museum has completely been taken over by the woke mob. And the pattern is the same that we've seen hundreds of times in the past few months.

From their own news release September 14:

"At the Pitt Rivers Museum, we condemn racism in the strongest terms; we work towards becoming an anti-racist institution and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. As a museum, we know it is important not to be silent and to lend whatever support we can, both to our own staff members, and to the broader communities that are impacted by institutionalised, everyday racism and other exclusionary practices. We express our solidarity and our recognition of how museums like ours, and collections likeours, cannot be separated from the ongoing violence and systemic racism happening in Oxford, in the UK, in the US, and elsewhere."


It's right there in its mission goal. Western society is systemically racist. The (new) purpose of Oxford Museum is to be actively anti-racist and work for communites who suffer from "institutionalised racism" and "exclusion".



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donathos said:
MrWayne said:

I wonder if you read the article you posted as your source because they clearly state why they will remove the shrunken heads and other pieces from the next exhibition.

Spoiler!
It has nothing to do with "Political Correctness"

They remove these pieces from the next exhibition (btw it's completely normal that museums remove and add pieces to an exhibition because they have much more exhibits than they can actually display) because they think these exhibits don't teach the visitor something about the people they are coming from but instead paint those people in a wrong picture.

So their goal is to actually present these people and cultures more accurately than in past exhibitions. Of course we will se if they achieve their goal but to judge that, we would have to a) see the new exhibition and b) be actuall experts on the topic.

So cool down and let to poor old Orwell rest for a bit, he gets used way to often nowadays.

Of course I read it. Your reply is both condescending and off-base, because my source does clearly state why they will remove the shrunken heads -- and it has everything to do with "political correctness."

1) Yes, museums routinely remove and add pieces to their displays. That has nothing to do with the article which states that the museum "has removed 1230 human remains from its display as part of a museum-wide effort to 'decolonize' the institution" (emphasis added). That's not simply the cycling out of a few pieces, to put up a new display, to freshen up exhibits, or whatever. That's an explicitly political effort. Further, this began with "an ethical review of its artifacts" due to "the derogatory language used in the historic case labels," which I think sits comfortably with what we all understand as political correctness. (So maybe cool it with the obnoxious "spoiler tag" kind of cleverness, and maybe spend that time making sure you've understood what you've read, instead?)

The heads, "one of the museum's most popular attractions since the 1940s," are being removed to soothe the sensibilities of guests who find those remains "a testament to other cultures being ‘savage’, ‘primitive’ or ‘gruesome'," per the museum director, as quoted in the article. She goes on to say, as I'd quoted initially, that "the displays reinforced racist and stereotypical thinking that goes against the Museum’s values today." So that's the point: to combat "racist and stereotypical thinking," because people find the heads "savage," "primitive," and "gruesome," not to "actually present these people and cultures more accurately," as you have represented. (It could be that a culture is presented completely "accurately," however that is measured, and yet some people might still judge that culture as "gruesome," or whatever. That's people, you know? Always having opinions.)

2) Further, the museum has complete control of presentation: so if this were really about simply presenting "these people and cultures more accurately," it could always provide additional information to help visitors understand the artifacts or further contextualize them, with additional displays, pamphlets, lectures, etc. Museums do that all the time; plenty of historical artifacts are strange or upsetting to modern eyes, and require additional information or context to be properly understood. In a way, that's a museum's entire job (vis a vis display) and how they educate and inform. They are choosing instead to hide genuine artifacts from view (one of their most popular attractions, mind), because they do not like how people respond when provided with the actual evidence of earlier cultures.

Not only is it perverse for a museum to hide information from its visitors rather than provide the same (I could as easily have referenced Bradbury as Orwell; it's as backwards as his "fire department"), but it is both insulting and controlling. The visitors cannot be expected to understand what they're seeing. They cannot be allowed to reach their own conclusions.

And speaking of conclusions, how is it you (who questioned whether I'd read the article) managed to read it and present it so dishonestly? Or maybe you are simply so blinded by your political perspective (because anyone who takes aim at "political correctness" must be the enemy, I'm sure) that you cannot see this straight. But yes, when a museum begins removing artifacts from display because the people who view them form "incorrect" opinions, that's a problem. We do not employ museums to hide from us the evidence of the past, but to show it to us.

1) Ok let's first talk about this " 'decolonize' the institution". You have to know that Historical science for the longest time was not used to find some truth about the past but to legitimise the power of the powerful. The British Empire did this too, they used museums and exhibitions to convince the people and themself that the people they're colonizing are stupid savages who are better of if they rule over them. 'decolonizing' is the attempt to remove this colonial lens in order to truly understand who these people were.

I'm also surprised that you find this part so controversial: "the displays reinforced racist and stereotypical thinking that goes against the Museum’s values today.", racism and stereotypical thinking are of course not part of the museums values. There is a large academic consensus that racism and racial science is nothing but pseudoscience, again invented to justify the rule and extermination of other people, stereotypical thinking is self explanatory. And yes, if the museum thinks that "savage," "primitive," and "gruesome," are the wrong conclusions they should change the exhibition so visitors come to the right conclusion.

2) Neither of us knows why they chose to remove these exhibits vom the exhibition, maybe they couldn't find a good way to present them or they have better exhibits they want to show, we just don't know but please stop with this "omg they hiding exibits from us, they hiding the truth", first of all, historians are still able to examine the removed pieces and secondly, again there are hundreds of thousands of historical pieces lying around in museums who get never shown to the public.

It also seems like you don't understand what a museum is supposed to do. A museum should educate the visitor, it should present the current state of research among historians, what a museum should not do is showing historical piece without context so the visitor have to figure it out on its own and come to its own conclusion. It is also simply impossible to show everything to the visitor, the museum always has to pick and choose exhibits and they have to pick those who overall present the most accurate picture to the visitor.

It is absolutely possible that after the exhibition started well-known historians start criticising the museum for its decisions but until then I will trust the museum to do the right thing because the people at the museum are historians and I'm not.

You however seem to be absolutely convinced that this is a huge scandal and I wonder what expertise you have for such a harsh judgment?



I don't like political correctness all that much.
Or to put it another way, and to use a very unpolitically correct phrase that was popular 20 or so years ago which I like to use out of nostalgia - political correctness is gay.



MrWayne said:
donathos said:

Of course I read it. Your reply is both condescending and off-base, because my source does clearly state why they will remove the shrunken heads -- and it has everything to do with "political correctness."

1) Yes, museums routinely remove and add pieces to their displays. That has nothing to do with the article which states that the museum "has removed 1230 human remains from its display as part of a museum-wide effort to 'decolonize' the institution" (emphasis added). That's not simply the cycling out of a few pieces, to put up a new display, to freshen up exhibits, or whatever. That's an explicitly political effort. Further, this began with "an ethical review of its artifacts" due to "the derogatory language used in the historic case labels," which I think sits comfortably with what we all understand as political correctness. (So maybe cool it with the obnoxious "spoiler tag" kind of cleverness, and maybe spend that time making sure you've understood what you've read, instead?)

The heads, "one of the museum's most popular attractions since the 1940s," are being removed to soothe the sensibilities of guests who find those remains "a testament to other cultures being ‘savage’, ‘primitive’ or ‘gruesome'," per the museum director, as quoted in the article. She goes on to say, as I'd quoted initially, that "the displays reinforced racist and stereotypical thinking that goes against the Museum’s values today." So that's the point: to combat "racist and stereotypical thinking," because people find the heads "savage," "primitive," and "gruesome," not to "actually present these people and cultures more accurately," as you have represented. (It could be that a culture is presented completely "accurately," however that is measured, and yet some people might still judge that culture as "gruesome," or whatever. That's people, you know? Always having opinions.)

2) Further, the museum has complete control of presentation: so if this were really about simply presenting "these people and cultures more accurately," it could always provide additional information to help visitors understand the artifacts or further contextualize them, with additional displays, pamphlets, lectures, etc. Museums do that all the time; plenty of historical artifacts are strange or upsetting to modern eyes, and require additional information or context to be properly understood. In a way, that's a museum's entire job (vis a vis display) and how they educate and inform. They are choosing instead to hide genuine artifacts from view (one of their most popular attractions, mind), because they do not like how people respond when provided with the actual evidence of earlier cultures.

Not only is it perverse for a museum to hide information from its visitors rather than provide the same (I could as easily have referenced Bradbury as Orwell; it's as backwards as his "fire department"), but it is both insulting and controlling. The visitors cannot be expected to understand what they're seeing. They cannot be allowed to reach their own conclusions.

And speaking of conclusions, how is it you (who questioned whether I'd read the article) managed to read it and present it so dishonestly? Or maybe you are simply so blinded by your political perspective (because anyone who takes aim at "political correctness" must be the enemy, I'm sure) that you cannot see this straight. But yes, when a museum begins removing artifacts from display because the people who view them form "incorrect" opinions, that's a problem. We do not employ museums to hide from us the evidence of the past, but to show it to us.

1) Ok let's first talk about this " 'decolonize' the institution". You have to know that Historical science for the longest time was not used to find some truth about the past but to legitimise the power of the powerful. The British Empire did this too, they used museums and exhibitions to convince the people and themself that the people they're colonizing are stupid savages who are better of if they rule over them. 'decolonizing' is the attempt to remove this colonial lens in order to truly understand who these people were.

I'm also surprised that you find this part so controversial: "the displays reinforced racist and stereotypical thinking that goes against the Museum’s values today.", racism and stereotypical thinking are of course not part of the museums values. There is a large academic consensus that racism and racial science is nothing but pseudoscience, again invented to justify the rule and extermination of other people, stereotypical thinking is self explanatory. And yes, if the museum thinks that "savage," "primitive," and "gruesome," are the wrong conclusions they should change the exhibition so visitors come to the right conclusion.

2) Neither of us knows why they chose to remove these exhibits vom the exhibition, maybe they couldn't find a good way to present them or they have better exhibits they want to show, we just don't know but please stop with this "omg they hiding exibits from us, they hiding the truth", first of all, historians are still able to examine the removed pieces and secondly, again there are hundreds of thousands of historical pieces lying around in museums who get never shown to the public.

It also seems like you don't understand what a museum is supposed to do. A museum should educate the visitor, it should present the current state of research among historians, what a museum should not do is showing historical piece without context so the visitor have to figure it out on its own and come to its own conclusion. It is also simply impossible to show everything to the visitor, the museum always has to pick and choose exhibits and they have to pick those who overall present the most accurate picture to the visitor.

It is absolutely possible that after the exhibition started well-known historians start criticising the museum for its decisions but until then I will trust the museum to do the right thing because the people at the museum are historians and I'm not.

You however seem to be absolutely convinced that this is a huge scandal and I wonder what expertise you have for such a harsh judgment?

1) You're making the case for political correctness here, for the museum to make these sorts of decisions for political ends. That's fine: you're entitled to your opinion on that, wrong as it might be. But your earlier attempt to make this seem like it was all somehow outside of politics, that it was just moving pieces in and out of display, like museums do, and that I was the one supplying the political angle, was completely disingenuous. And then to imply that I must not have read the article, that I just didn't get it? You're a damn fraud. You should be ashamed.

And no, sorry, the museum is powerless that some of its visitors will conclude that a certain group, custom or culture was "gruesome," or whatever. Give people information and they will form opinions on it, not alone from the information you've provided, but based upon their own background, knowledge and perspective. It's how it all f-ing works, dude: all of people, all the time. Cannot be changed, not by the wokest bro in the sociology seminar.

For example, if you told people about, like, Muhammad's polygamy, some people are going to react negatively to that based on current cultural perspectives. If you wanted to curb Islamophobia, you might present that information in some greater context -- but some people are still going to walk away with a negative impression, whether we judge their reaction to be "right" or "wrong," no matter what additional efforts you undertake. So the solution, then, is to hide information about Muhammad's life, so people don't get "the wrong idea"? Gross. Doubly gross from the perspective of anything resembling an educator, and triply gross from any kind of educational institution.

Some people are going to have a negative, visceral reaction to "shrunken heads," of course. Lots of cultures throughout history -- and especially early human history -- have had practices that some people (or even many, or even most) would now regard as "savage," "primitive," or "gruesome": cannibalism, ritual sacrifice, slavery, forced marriage, the list goes on and on and on. But we're going to hide that information now, in an effort to control peoples' opinions, so that "visitors come to the right conclusion"? I wasn't wrong to compare this to Orwell; that was Winston Smith's job, too.

2) "Neither of us knows why they chose to remove these exhibits vom the exhibition"...? You mean apart from them explaining why they chose to remove these exhibits, and the very source of our discussion? Yeah, we do know. That's what the article is about. You speculate that "maybe they couldn't find a good way to present them," as though we're not talking about an elite-level museum with all of the resources in the world which have had these artifacts on display for decades. Further, "finding a good way to present" such artifacts happens to be their job, maybe even their cultural responsibility. Hiding the artifacts instead is a default on that job at the least, on that responsibility.

And yes, "there are hundreds of thousands of historical pieces lying around in museums who get never shown to the public," but typically those pieces aren't being held back, or removed from display, for the bald purpose of manipulating political opinion. You would see this more clearly if we were talking about this from a different perspective, I'm sure. Imagine that the curators were conservative Christians, and they elected to hide dinosaur remains to prevent visitors from forming "incorrect opinions" about the age of the earth, or about creation. That they would be specifically wrong about the underlying matter is true, but besides the point: the point is that a museum ought not seek to manipulate people and their opinions in that fashion.

"It also seems like you don't understand what a museum is supposed to do." I can't respond to this here in the manner you deserve, except to say that if I listed all the things it seems like you don't understand, we'd be here a while. But here, specifically, you say that what a museum should not do "is showing historical piece without context so the visitor have to figure it out on its own and come to its own conclusion"? Because you think that's what I'm advocating? (And how do we explain that grammar? Are you running this through a translator? Because that might explain something.)

Did you read what I'd written? You must have, right? Because you've quoted me, and you're replying to me, so you must have taken the time to read what I'd written and understand it. Yeah? So when you read me saying (emphasis added) that the museum "could always provide additional information to help visitors understand the artifacts or further contextualize them, with additional displays, pamphlets, lectures, etc.," and that "plenty of historical artifacts are strange or upsetting to modern eyes, and require additional information or context to be properly understood," you thought I was saying they should present these things without context?

The problem we're having is not alone that you're wrong (you are), but that you're dishonest.



donathos said:
MrWayne said:

1) Ok let's first talk about this " 'decolonize' the institution". You have to know that Historical science for the longest time was not used to find some truth about the past but to legitimise the power of the powerful. The British Empire did this too, they used museums and exhibitions to convince the people and themself that the people they're colonizing are stupid savages who are better of if they rule over them. 'decolonizing' is the attempt to remove this colonial lens in order to truly understand who these people were.

I'm also surprised that you find this part so controversial: "the displays reinforced racist and stereotypical thinking that goes against the Museum’s values today.", racism and stereotypical thinking are of course not part of the museums values. There is a large academic consensus that racism and racial science is nothing but pseudoscience, again invented to justify the rule and extermination of other people, stereotypical thinking is self explanatory. And yes, if the museum thinks that "savage," "primitive," and "gruesome," are the wrong conclusions they should change the exhibition so visitors come to the right conclusion.

2) Neither of us knows why they chose to remove these exhibits vom the exhibition, maybe they couldn't find a good way to present them or they have better exhibits they want to show, we just don't know but please stop with this "omg they hiding exibits from us, they hiding the truth", first of all, historians are still able to examine the removed pieces and secondly, again there are hundreds of thousands of historical pieces lying around in museums who get never shown to the public.

It also seems like you don't understand what a museum is supposed to do. A museum should educate the visitor, it should present the current state of research among historians, what a museum should not do is showing historical piece without context so the visitor have to figure it out on its own and come to its own conclusion. It is also simply impossible to show everything to the visitor, the museum always has to pick and choose exhibits and they have to pick those who overall present the most accurate picture to the visitor.

It is absolutely possible that after the exhibition started well-known historians start criticising the museum for its decisions but until then I will trust the museum to do the right thing because the people at the museum are historians and I'm not.

You however seem to be absolutely convinced that this is a huge scandal and I wonder what expertise you have for such a harsh judgment?

1) You're making the case for political correctness here, for the museum to make these sorts of decisions for political ends. That's fine: you're entitled to your opinion on that, wrong as it might be. But your earlier attempt to make this seem like it was all somehow outside of politics, that it was just moving pieces in and out of display, like museums do, and that I was the one supplying the political angle, was completely disingenuous. And then to imply that I must not have read the article, that I just didn't get it? You're a damn fraud. You should be ashamed.

And no, sorry, the museum is powerless that some of its visitors will conclude that a certain group, custom or culture was "gruesome," or whatever. Give people information and they will form opinions on it, not alone from the information you've provided, but based upon their own background, knowledge and perspective. It's how it all f-ing works, dude: all of people, all the time. Cannot be changed, not by the wokest bro in the sociology seminar.

For example, if you told people about, like, Muhammad's polygamy, some people are going to react negatively to that based on current cultural perspectives. If you wanted to curb Islamophobia, you might present that information in some greater context -- but some people are still going to walk away with a negative impression, whether we judge their reaction to be "right" or "wrong," no matter what additional efforts you undertake. So the solution, then, is to hide information about Muhammad's life, so people don't get "the wrong idea"? Gross. Doubly gross from the perspective of anything resembling an educator, and triply gross from any kind of educational institution.

Some people are going to have a negative, visceral reaction to "shrunken heads," of course. Lots of cultures throughout history -- and especially early human history -- have had practices that some people (or even many, or even most) would now regard as "savage," "primitive," or "gruesome": cannibalism, ritual sacrifice, slavery, forced marriage, the list goes on and on and on. But we're going to hide that information now, in an effort to control peoples' opinions, so that "visitors come to the right conclusion"? I wasn't wrong to compare this to Orwell; that was Winston Smith's job, too.

2) "Neither of us knows why they chose to remove these exhibits vom the exhibition"...? You mean apart from them explaining why they chose to remove these exhibits, and the very source of our discussion? Yeah, we do know. That's what the article is about. You speculate that "maybe they couldn't find a good way to present them," as though we're not talking about an elite-level museum with all of the resources in the world which have had these artifacts on display for decades. Further, "finding a good way to present" such artifacts happens to be their job, maybe even their cultural responsibility. Hiding the artifacts instead is a default on that job at the least, on that responsibility.

And yes, "there are hundreds of thousands of historical pieces lying around in museums who get never shown to the public," but typically those pieces aren't being held back, or removed from display, for the bald purpose of manipulating political opinion. You would see this more clearly if we were talking about this from a different perspective, I'm sure. Imagine that the curators were conservative Christians, and they elected to hide dinosaur remains to prevent visitors from forming "incorrect opinions" about the age of the earth, or about creation. That they would be specifically wrong about the underlying matter is true, but besides the point: the point is that a museum ought not seek to manipulate people and their opinions in that fashion.

"It also seems like you don't understand what a museum is supposed to do." I can't respond to this here in the manner you deserve, except to say that if I listed all the things it seems like you don't understand, we'd be here a while. But here, specifically, you say that what a museum should not do "is showing historical piece without context so the visitor have to figure it out on its own and come to its own conclusion"? Because you think that's what I'm advocating? (And how do we explain that grammar? Are you running this through a translator? Because that might explain something.)

Did you read what I'd written? You must have, right? Because you've quoted me, and you're replying to me, so you must have taken the time to read what I'd written and understand it. Yeah? So when you read me saying (emphasis added) that the museum "could always provide additional information to help visitors understand the artifacts or further contextualize them, with additional displays, pamphlets, lectures, etc.," and that "plenty of historical artifacts are strange or upsetting to modern eyes, and require additional information or context to be properly understood," you thought I was saying they should present these things without context?

The problem we're having is not alone that you're wrong (you are), but that you're dishonest.

Yes I'm using a translator, english is not my first language and I don't have the time to look things up in my grammar books. Do you have a problem with that?

1) You misunderstood me, I've never denied that the museum is acting politically, in fact I believe that everyone is acting political in a way. It is naive to believe that either one of our positions is unpolitical. I just fail to see how all of this has anything to do with political correctness. 

If you could demonstrate for example that the people who made the shrunken heads are indeed "savage," "primitive," or "gruesome,". Then I would concede that you were right and that the museum is indeed trying to hide the historical facts from the visitor but I fear you don't have the historical expertise to do so.

In all the examples you give in 1) you always use "some" and I agree with you. Some people will always think what they want, some people are never willing to get educated but as we say it in my country "Exceptions confirm the rule".

2) No we don't know, the museum director doesn't get ask why they didn't choose an alternative to removing the exhibits.

"Imagine that the curators were conservative Christians, and they elected to hide dinosaur remains to prevent visitors from forming "incorrect opinions" about the age of the earth, or about creation." In this case I could demonstrate the curators hiding important historical facts, can you do the same about the case you're so upset about?

Look you can call me whatever the hell you like but so far you have failed to demonstrate that the new exhibition, due to removing the 1230 human remains, will fail to inform the visitor about the historical facts. Without that your accusation against the museum are void.



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MrWayne said:
donathos said:

1) You're making the case for political correctness here, for the museum to make these sorts of decisions for political ends. That's fine: you're entitled to your opinion on that, wrong as it might be. But your earlier attempt to make this seem like it was all somehow outside of politics, that it was just moving pieces in and out of display, like museums do, and that I was the one supplying the political angle, was completely disingenuous. And then to imply that I must not have read the article, that I just didn't get it? You're a damn fraud. You should be ashamed.

And no, sorry, the museum is powerless that some of its visitors will conclude that a certain group, custom or culture was "gruesome," or whatever. Give people information and they will form opinions on it, not alone from the information you've provided, but based upon their own background, knowledge and perspective. It's how it all f-ing works, dude: all of people, all the time. Cannot be changed, not by the wokest bro in the sociology seminar.

For example, if you told people about, like, Muhammad's polygamy, some people are going to react negatively to that based on current cultural perspectives. If you wanted to curb Islamophobia, you might present that information in some greater context -- but some people are still going to walk away with a negative impression, whether we judge their reaction to be "right" or "wrong," no matter what additional efforts you undertake. So the solution, then, is to hide information about Muhammad's life, so people don't get "the wrong idea"? Gross. Doubly gross from the perspective of anything resembling an educator, and triply gross from any kind of educational institution.

Some people are going to have a negative, visceral reaction to "shrunken heads," of course. Lots of cultures throughout history -- and especially early human history -- have had practices that some people (or even many, or even most) would now regard as "savage," "primitive," or "gruesome": cannibalism, ritual sacrifice, slavery, forced marriage, the list goes on and on and on. But we're going to hide that information now, in an effort to control peoples' opinions, so that "visitors come to the right conclusion"? I wasn't wrong to compare this to Orwell; that was Winston Smith's job, too.

2) "Neither of us knows why they chose to remove these exhibits vom the exhibition"...? You mean apart from them explaining why they chose to remove these exhibits, and the very source of our discussion? Yeah, we do know. That's what the article is about. You speculate that "maybe they couldn't find a good way to present them," as though we're not talking about an elite-level museum with all of the resources in the world which have had these artifacts on display for decades. Further, "finding a good way to present" such artifacts happens to be their job, maybe even their cultural responsibility. Hiding the artifacts instead is a default on that job at the least, on that responsibility.

And yes, "there are hundreds of thousands of historical pieces lying around in museums who get never shown to the public," but typically those pieces aren't being held back, or removed from display, for the bald purpose of manipulating political opinion. You would see this more clearly if we were talking about this from a different perspective, I'm sure. Imagine that the curators were conservative Christians, and they elected to hide dinosaur remains to prevent visitors from forming "incorrect opinions" about the age of the earth, or about creation. That they would be specifically wrong about the underlying matter is true, but besides the point: the point is that a museum ought not seek to manipulate people and their opinions in that fashion.

"It also seems like you don't understand what a museum is supposed to do." I can't respond to this here in the manner you deserve, except to say that if I listed all the things it seems like you don't understand, we'd be here a while. But here, specifically, you say that what a museum should not do "is showing historical piece without context so the visitor have to figure it out on its own and come to its own conclusion"? Because you think that's what I'm advocating? (And how do we explain that grammar? Are you running this through a translator? Because that might explain something.)

Did you read what I'd written? You must have, right? Because you've quoted me, and you're replying to me, so you must have taken the time to read what I'd written and understand it. Yeah? So when you read me saying (emphasis added) that the museum "could always provide additional information to help visitors understand the artifacts or further contextualize them, with additional displays, pamphlets, lectures, etc.," and that "plenty of historical artifacts are strange or upsetting to modern eyes, and require additional information or context to be properly understood," you thought I was saying they should present these things without context?

The problem we're having is not alone that you're wrong (you are), but that you're dishonest.

Yes I'm using a translator, english is not my first language and I don't have the time to look things up in my grammar books. Do you have a problem with that?

1) You misunderstood me, I've never denied that the museum is acting politically, in fact I believe that everyone is acting political in a way. It is naive to believe that either one of our positions is unpolitical. I just fail to see how all of this has anything to do with political correctness. 

If you could demonstrate for example that the people who made the shrunken heads are indeed "savage," "primitive," or "gruesome,". Then I would concede that you were right and that the museum is indeed trying to hide the historical facts from the visitor but I fear you don't have the historical expertise to do so.

In all the examples you give in 1) you always use "some" and I agree with you. Some people will always think what they want, some people are never willing to get educated but as we say it in my country "Exceptions confirm the rule".

2) No we don't know, the museum director doesn't get ask why they didn't choose an alternative to removing the exhibits.

"Imagine that the curators were conservative Christians, and they elected to hide dinosaur remains to prevent visitors from forming "incorrect opinions" about the age of the earth, or about creation." In this case I could demonstrate the curators hiding important historical facts, can you do the same about the case you're so upset about?

Look you can call me whatever the hell you like but so far you have failed to demonstrate that the new exhibition, due to removing the 1230 human remains, will fail to inform the visitor about the historical facts. Without that your accusation against the museum are void.

I don't have a problem with your using a translator, as such, but as I said, it might explain something. Your responses to me do not indicate that you have understood me or the arguments I've made. I don't know your capacities here or how translation might affect this conversation, but I'm glad to now know that there might be... extenuating circumstances for some of this apparent lack of understanding. It softens my frustration, just a bit.

That said, you still fail to see how this has anything to do with political correctness? The museum's process was triggered by a review of "derogatory language used in the historic case labels," for instance. They are removing these exhibits, in part, because people are sensitive to them, because they dislike the opinions of those who look at these exhibits and conclude that they're evidence of "savagery." Do you understand what "political correctness" is or means? What does that term mean to you?

Regardless, originally you tried to argue that this wasn't political in nature -- that it was simply the routine, normal thing for museums to do, to shift exhibits in and out of display, and that they were simply trying to present these people and cultures "more accurately." That isn't true; that's not what's going on here at all. It wasn't true when you said it, and I have to believe that you were aware of it. You accused me, on that basis, of not even having read the article. (Not that you were even forthright in doing so; you insinuated it.) I don't think even "translation difficulties" explains or justifies this. You were being dishonest, and quite frankly, a jerk. And then, in your subsequent reply, you questioned whether I understood "what a museum is supposed to do." You then argued that "context" is necessary, as a demonstration of how I'm misguided, as though I hadn't argued at length for context and education in the very post of mine you were quoting and responding to. Again, you were being dishonest. I'm not "calling" you anything that you haven't earned. If you don't want to be identified as dishonest, then start dealing with people honestly.

And no, I don't have to do any such thing as demonstrate that the people who made these shrunken heads are or were "savage," or anything else. That's now how I would characterize them in the first place, and in the second place it's a value judgement, not a matter of objective fact, but in the third place it's utterly besides the point. The museum's role is not to dictate to the public the opinions that we "ought" to reach, but to provide the factual record, ideally in context, so that it can be understood. The conclusions that I then draw are my own, just as your conclusions are yours.

We will inescapably see the very same things differently, because we are different people. Some people are bound (yes, "some people," I'm sorry if you don't like that word choice, but it's necessary; it's true) to look at shrunken heads and see "savagery." That's not a matter of people who are educated versus the ignorant masses (and incidentally, the folk who would tour an anthropological museum at Oxford are not exactly your lowest common denominator): even educated people will reach different conclusions, sometimes wildly different. Many of the people who engineered Nazi Germany, for instance, were highly educated. Education is no barrier against holding horrendous opinion.

In addition, you keep referencing this idea of "expertise," as though the validity of my argument (or yours, or anyone else's) is a function of our education, or job title, or anything else. Does it matter that I have a degree in history, or that I'm a professional educator, or a published author? No: "argument from authority" is regarded as fallacious for good reason. (Though perhaps it would go some way of explaining why I feel passionately about the subject. This seems like maybe a pissing contest for you in these absurd "culture wars," but for me this is actually a serious thing.) What matters is that a museum is electing to hide its collection from display because it doesn't wish to cause offense, because it believes that when people see the artifacts in question, they form opinions that the museum considers unacceptable. I consider that unacceptable.

Finally, if you can see why it would be inappropriate for a museum to hide dinosaur remains for the sake of a pro-Christian agenda, then perhaps that's a gateway for you to eventually understand my point. These shrunken heads are primary evidence of earlier societies and cultures, and the different ways humans have lived on this planet; it is the very fruit of archaeology and anthropology, which are the disciplines to which this museum is supposedly dedicated. The further "importance" of the collection is relative and perhaps somewhat personal (there are going to be some people to whom dinosaurs do not matter at all) -- but the evidence of their importance to many is perhaps found in the enduring popularity of the collection, and also the fact that the museum has hosted it for so long.

That removing an exhibit will necessarily fail to inform the visitor about that exhibit is true on its face. In very, very brief, the museum is poorer for this decision, and its visitors are subsequently poorer for it, too -- but worse still is the thinking behind the decision which, as it spreads, will continue to impoverish our educational institutions.

I will leave the conversation here, lest I repeat myself further. Good luck.



donathos said:
MrWayne said:

Yes I'm using a translator, english is not my first language and I don't have the time to look things up in my grammar books. Do you have a problem with that?

1) You misunderstood me, I've never denied that the museum is acting politically, in fact I believe that everyone is acting political in a way. It is naive to believe that either one of our positions is unpolitical. I just fail to see how all of this has anything to do with political correctness. 

If you could demonstrate for example that the people who made the shrunken heads are indeed "savage," "primitive," or "gruesome,". Then I would concede that you were right and that the museum is indeed trying to hide the historical facts from the visitor but I fear you don't have the historical expertise to do so.

In all the examples you give in 1) you always use "some" and I agree with you. Some people will always think what they want, some people are never willing to get educated but as we say it in my country "Exceptions confirm the rule".

2) No we don't know, the museum director doesn't get ask why they didn't choose an alternative to removing the exhibits.

"Imagine that the curators were conservative Christians, and they elected to hide dinosaur remains to prevent visitors from forming "incorrect opinions" about the age of the earth, or about creation." In this case I could demonstrate the curators hiding important historical facts, can you do the same about the case you're so upset about?

Look you can call me whatever the hell you like but so far you have failed to demonstrate that the new exhibition, due to removing the 1230 human remains, will fail to inform the visitor about the historical facts. Without that your accusation against the museum are void.

I don't have a problem with your using a translator, as such, but as I said, it might explain something. Your responses to me do not indicate that you have understood me or the arguments I've made. I don't know your capacities here or how translation might affect this conversation, but I'm glad to now know that there might be... extenuating circumstances for some of this apparent lack of understanding. It softens my frustration, just a bit.

That said, you still fail to see how this has anything to do with political correctness? The museum's process was triggered by a review of "derogatory language used in the historic case labels," for instance. They are removing these exhibits, in part, because people are sensitive to them, because they dislike the opinions of those who look at these exhibits and conclude that they're evidence of "savagery." Do you understand what "political correctness" is or means? What does that term mean to you?

Regardless, originally you tried to argue that this wasn't political in nature -- that it was simply the routine, normal thing for museums to do, to shift exhibits in and out of display, and that they were simply trying to present these people and cultures "more accurately." That isn't true; that's not what's going on here at all. It wasn't true when you said it, and I have to believe that you were aware of it. You accused me, on that basis, of not even having read the article. (Not that you were even forthright in doing so; you insinuated it.) I don't think even "translation difficulties" explains or justifies this. You were being dishonest, and quite frankly, a jerk. And then, in your subsequent reply, you questioned whether I understood "what a museum is supposed to do." You then argued that "context" is necessary, as a demonstration of how I'm misguided, as though I hadn't argued at length for context and education in the very post of mine you were quoting and responding to. Again, you were being dishonest. I'm not "calling" you anything that you haven't earned. If you don't want to be identified as dishonest, then start dealing with people honestly.

And no, I don't have to do any such thing as demonstrate that the people who made these shrunken heads are or were "savage," or anything else. That's now how I would characterize them in the first place, and in the second place it's a value judgement, not a matter of objective fact, but in the third place it's utterly besides the point. The museum's role is not to dictate to the public the opinions that we "ought" to reach, but to provide the factual record, ideally in context, so that it can be understood. The conclusions that I then draw are my own, just as your conclusions are yours.

We will inescapably see the very same things differently, because we are different people. Some people are bound (yes, "some people," I'm sorry if you don't like that word choice, but it's necessary; it's true) to look at shrunken heads and see "savagery." That's not a matter of people who are educated versus the ignorant masses (and incidentally, the folk who would tour an anthropological museum at Oxford are not exactly your lowest common denominator): even educated people will reach different conclusions, sometimes wildly different. Many of the people who engineered Nazi Germany, for instance, were highly educated. Education is no barrier against holding horrendous opinion.

In addition, you keep referencing this idea of "expertise," as though the validity of my argument (or yours, or anyone else's) is a function of our education, or job title, or anything else. Does it matter that I have a degree in history, or that I'm a professional educator, or a published author? No: "argument from authority" is regarded as fallacious for good reason. (Though perhaps it would go some way of explaining why I feel passionately about the subject. This seems like maybe a pissing contest for you in these absurd "culture wars," but for me this is actually a serious thing.) What matters is that a museum is electing to hide its collection from display because it doesn't wish to cause offense, because it believes that when people see the artifacts in question, they form opinions that the museum considers unacceptable. I consider that unacceptable.

Finally, if you can see why it would be inappropriate for a museum to hide dinosaur remains for the sake of a pro-Christian agenda, then perhaps that's a gateway for you to eventually understand my point. These shrunken heads are primary evidence of earlier societies and cultures, and the different ways humans have lived on this planet; it is the very fruit of archaeology and anthropology, which are the disciplines to which this museum is supposedly dedicated. The further "importance" of the collection is relative and perhaps somewhat personal (there are going to be some people to whom dinosaurs do not matter at all) -- but the evidence of their importance to many is perhaps found in the enduring popularity of the collection, and also the fact that the museum has hosted it for so long.

That removing an exhibit will necessarily fail to inform the visitor about that exhibit is true on its face. In very, very brief, the museum is poorer for this decision, and its visitors are subsequently poorer for it, too -- but worse still is the thinking behind the decision which, as it spreads, will continue to impoverish our educational institutions.

I will leave the conversation here, lest I repeat myself further. Good luck.

My reading capabilities are a lot better than my writing capabilities (in every language lol), so don't get too soft.

Now I have to concede that in my head I always had a stricter definition of political correctness than apparently most other people, from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary:

"political correctness noun: the principle of avoiding language and behaviour that may offend particular groups of people"

So I will concede that what the museum is doing is indeed political correctness, however I still heavily disagree that the actions of the museum are necessarily problematic. For me political correctness becomes problematic when truths get hidden because of it and no the information alone that they removed 1239 pieces from the exhibition is not enough evidence that they are misrepresenting or distorting history.

What you consider unacceptable is the job of museums and all other education facilities. The number one priority of a museum is to educate people about history. As long as that main goal is achieved they have to make sure that they aren't reinforcing racial stereotyps.

Now it seems to me that you're accusing the museum that they fail to met their number one priority, to educate people about history because they are "hiding" exhibits from the public. I think that is not sufficient to make such a judgment, we have to look at the bigger picture but in order to do so we would have to see the exhibition and have some expertise about the topic. This isn't a "appeal to authority" fallacy, it is the basis for a productive conversation.

This is my biggest problem with your initial post, this outrage on the basis of an incredible meager article.



ironmanDX said:
Agreed.

How can humanity learn from it's mistakes if we remove the lessons, no mater how harsh?

This has been my main rationale for stuff like statue teardown. 

People do realize this means erasing the past over time... right? 



It was Britain, it is America, tomorrow France and next year, the world... 

Warning: This poster has a very negative opinion of Sony and Nintendo, Idea Factory and companies Tecmo Koei, EA, BioWare, Blizzard, Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Kadokawa and Sega. If you have very positive views of these and a negative view of Microsoft or Bethesda Game Studios, AVOID ENGAGEMENT AT ALL COSTS! 

    SanAndreasX said:

    If you think cancel culture is bad now, you'd have hated living in the United States in the 1950s, when Congress was actually throwing people in prison for thinking the wrong way.

    What exactly is your point here? "As long as there was some place and time in history where things were even worse than now, nobody should complain"?

    SanAndreasX said:

    You also wouldn't have liked the 1980s, when the Religious Right was carrying on a less harsh version of the House Un-American Activities Committee with Reagan's blessing.

    I lived through the whole 80s, just not in the US. Trust me, they were an absolute bliss compared to the situation now. The intolerance and oppression of free speech in recent years is far, far worse than at any other point of time in the last 40 years.