What We’ve Been Up To
Are you a teacher with questions or concerns about the educational implications of new active anti-racist initiatives? Or how Critical Race Theory-based curricula and teaching sit with a professional obligation to impartiality? If so we’d love to hear from you! Do get in touch with us if you’d like to explore these issues at a DDU Education meeting on Tuesday 31st August at 10am.
The cabaret artiste, Josephine Baker has been rewarded for her work against the Nazis by elevation to the Pantheon where French heroes are honoured, reports France 24. Mr Kupferman, who petitioned for this move, wrote that Baker “should not be inducted just because she was a woman or because she was black… she should be inducted because of the acts of courage she performed for the country”. Hear hear!
Other women who fought for freedom in WWII, include Ena Collymore Woodstock, a Jamaican who fought for the British Empire and whose comments might come as a surprise to some of the racial justice warriors who would probably find a rude racial epithet for her. In her experience, she said, “People were always willing to help, I had no issues”. Her stories give the lie to those, including some contemporary historians, who only ever paint Britain and its Empire as a story of oppression.
Too male, too pale and too stale, asks The Times? The Globe Theatre, built expressly to celebrate the work and the world of Shakespeare, can’t avoid the urge to suggest that his true genius can only be exposed when he is reinterpreted through the lens of CRT. The acting world seems determined to destroy itself, echoing English Literature departments in the western world where the titans of the western literary canon are under attack. As Professor Poliakoff so justly puts it, “It is just fatuous and presentist. There’s an obsession with finding whatever could possibly seem wrong from a modern perspective, at the loss of all that insight into justice, leadership, morality and so forth”.
Reflecting on Netflix’s new show The Chair, a drama set among the faculty of a minor ‘Ivy League’ American university, Gerard de Groot, Professor (Emeritus) of the University of St Andrews, speaks out in The Times against the cowardice of universities in dealing with the phalanx of woke students who bully others.
“It is not good enough to hire black people, POC and queer people as part of a line-up, if the space we are providing will be filled with the same audience that was alienating to the very people we want to include” say spokespeople from London Throwdown dance competition in a Facebook post – and so they announce the event is cancelled! Seems like the audience too must pass some form of ‘purity’ testing. Wonder if the same test applies to whoever funds them?
Dummy of the Week goes to Zero Tolerance whose co-director, Rachel Adamson, suggests Judith Kerr’s children’s classic story, The Tiger Who Came To Tea, needs to be removed from nurseries, reports The Times, as it promotes what she calls “harmful stereotypes”. Kerr’s father also faced cancellation, but in that instance, it was by the Nazis. In an audit of over 3,000 books, only three were considered to be of an appropriate standard by the bigoted zealots of Zero Tolerance.
The second Brighton meeting, convened by DDU supporter Adrian Hart, takes place this evening at 18:00. If you live locally and you’d like to get involved, drop us a line.
The Education Group will meet on Tuesday August 31st. Monday meetings will resume in the autumn (September 6th). Drop us a line if you would like to take part.
And DDU’s Alka Sehgal Cuthbert will be on Woke Watch with Andrew Doyle on GB News on Sunday evening discussing the Cambridge statues (see first story in News Nuggets).