‘A Bad Influence’

One of the ironies of the Political Correctness movement sweeping Canada is its American origin. After decades – literally, generations — of Canadians jealously guarding our political and social distinctiveness and resenting U.S. influence, a ‘Made-In-America’, Left-wing, Political Correctness ideology is now mainstream in Canada, particularly among the very Canadian youth who loudly decry the United States!

From south of the border, here’s some of the same nonsense that has now infected Canadian university campuses:

“The ‘University of Wisconsin-Stout’ has decided to take down historical paintings that show {peaceful} interactions between white ‘settlers’ and ‘First Nations’ people, because of their potentially “harmful” effects on students and viewers. The move was sparked by complaints from a ‘diversity’ group.

“One of the paintings shows French fur traders {peacefully} canoeing down the Red Cedar River with American Indians; the other is of a French {trading} fort. Both were painted by artist Cal Peters in 1936 and were recently restored with funding by the ‘Wisconsin Historical Society’.

“After 80 years of decorating the university’s ‘Harvey Hall’, the paintings caught the attention of the school’s ‘Diversity Leadership Team’ (DLT), which complained to the administration that this depiction of ‘First Nations’ people reinforced racial stereotypes and promoted “acts of domination and oppression” {How does an image showing them paddling along together represent an act “of domination and oppression”? Could it be the peaceful nature of the painting that aboriginal activists object to, as it undermines their historical narrative of blame?}.

“After a series of consultations with students, Chancellor Bob Meyer announced the works would removed from the first and second floors of ‘Harvey Hall’, as they risked

“having a harmful effect on our students and other viewers” {These aren’t pre-schoolers!}.

“If the paintings are displayed, it should be in a “controlled gallery space”, he said, with appropriate “context” {‘aboriginal narrative’} for viewers…”

–‘College removes paintings of Native Americans after diversity group complains’,
Nahema Marchal, Fox News, August 08, 2016 

Feature IMAGE: ‘French Trappers on The Red Cedar’ by Cal Peters



‘Perrault’s Trading Fort’ by Cal Peters
‘Perrault’s Trading Fort’ by Cal Peters

“The chancellor at UW-Stout in Menomonie said Friday he decided to move two large paintings dating to 1936 from hallways in a much-traveled campus building because they

“stood in the way of an effort to create an inclusive and comfortable environment for everyone.”

“It was not, Chancellor Bob Meyer insisted in a statement, “political correctness” and it was not done without consulting various campus representatives, including faculty and ‘diversity-related’ {‘anti-‘white’} groups.

“Rest assured, political correctness played absolutely no role in this tough decision.” {Yeah, right…}

“Instead, he said, complaints from Native American students {that’s a component of ‘political correctness’: “Native complaints are always valid”…} convinced him the paintings were best stored temporarily and then made available for public viewing in other places on campus.

“The painting “French Trappers on the Red Cedar”, which depicts trappers and Native Americans in canoes, will be moved to the ‘Dean’s Conference Room’, also in Harvey Hall, where it can be viewed “by appointment” {Ridiculous…}.

“And “Perrault’s Trading Fort”, which depicts a frontier fort, will be moved to room 504A in the ‘Robert S. Swanson Library and Learning Center’, which will be under the control of the university archivist {You’d think these were historical weapons, rather than paintings…}.

“The paintings by Wisconsin-born artist Cal Peters were created for the ‘Works Progress Administration’ during the Great Depression.

“Meyer provided quotes from two Native American students who said the paintings “like those in Harvey Hall keep us in the past” and present Native Americans as stereotypes {No more than the ‘white’ men are portrayed as “stereotypes”…}.

“Meyer, a UW-Stout graduate, former professor and dean, said he has

“enjoyed these paintings most of my adult life, and they do belong on campus, but they need to be exhibited where access can be controlled {Why??? Are there young children on campus? Are the images violent?? Are you nuts???} and we provide the proper amount of background and {‘politically-correct’} context ‘they deserve’.”

“The university came in for pointed criticism this week from the ‘National Coalition Against Censorship’ and the ‘Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’, which in a letter decried the decision to remove the paintings and place them in storage. The university said the storage was just temporary {That doesn’t mitigate your censorious behaviour…}

Restoration of ‘Perrault’s Trading Fort’ by Cal Peters (UW-Stout photo by Brett T. Roseman)
Restoration of ‘Perrault’s Trading Fort’ by Cal Peters (UW-Stout photo by Brett T. Roseman)

“It would be good to encourage a dialogue on the issues of stereotypes and historical significance, but

“putting Cal Peters’ 1930s paintings in a closet ends the conversation prematurely and to the detriment of current and future students and faculty,”

wrote Svetlana Mintcheva, the group’s director.

Removing representations of historically oppressed groups from view will not change the facts of history.

“The group said the issue was brought to its attention by UW-Stout English and philosophy professor Timothy Shiell. In a press release, the group quotes Shiell, who has written extensively about free speech issues on campus, as worried the action will set a dangerous precedent:

“Shrouding or moving the painting does not educate anyone or stimulate any learning or dialogue. American history and representations of that history can be ugly and offensive. But hiding them doesn’t change the past or the future.”

“The chancellor said in his statement that

“despite opinions to the contrary, it was never my intent to ‘censor’ these paintings or remove them from public view. I simply wanted to get them into situations where we had some control over who would view them {That’s even crazier than just removing them entirely!}.


“However, they will be made available for public viewing, along with a {one-sided propaganda} document that explains their historical significance and the ‘concerns’ Native Americans have expressed about how they are portrayed in the paintings. After all, a university needs to encourage a free flow of ideas, even if those ideas make some people uncomfortable, as long as we don’t foist those ideas on unaware or unwilling recipients” {Oh, please grow up!}.

“Peters was the only WPA artist to work on campus, according to archives, and he had a studio in Room 29 in the basement of Harvey Hall.”

–‘UW-Stout moves paintings after Native American objections’,
George Hesselberg, Wisconsin State Journal, Aug. 5, 2016

COMMENT: “It seems interesting that a group would want to remove any evidence of two different groups of people working together for the greater good of each other.”
“Why not just burn the paintings? That’s what ‘ISIS’ or the ‘Taliban’ would do.”
“Everyone has a past. A history. What isn’t clear is what in those pictures is historically untrue or grossly insensitive. If we wipe out all historical representations of Native Americans, how will it affect historical narrative? This decision seems imperious and a missed teaching opportunity to learn and act together. Academic and bureaucratic timidity and ignorance at its worst. An insult to the concept of intellectual freedom…”
“Shouldn’t it be clear by now that there is something very wrong about placing fig leaves over the truth and destroying artifacts that don’t jibe with our own narrow views?” 

University of Wisconsin-Stout
University of Wisconsin-Stout

“Chancellor Bob Meyer said some people feel the paintings depict stereotypes of Native Americans while others believe the paintings are historical and show freedom of expression.

“I need to be the referee and make the call,” Meyer said.

“While Meyer said he always has admired the paintings, he admits his view comes from his own perspective as a ‘Caucasian American’ {He has swallowed the poison, and now views himself racially…}.

“Kate Thomas, a U.S. history professor at UW-Stout, said Meyer has made the right decision.

“…All stereotypes, even those meant to honor Native Americans, increase racism because they portray people without a full range of human qualities, research has shown, Thomas said {So, no more paintings of people!}.

“Her concern is the paintings help “whitewash” the violence experienced by Native Americans in colonization…

“In April, while being given a tour of Harvey Hall where her office is, Thomas said she first saw the paintings and raised the issue of having them moved…

{This professor has been widely quoted by the media. Here are some representative student reviews of her classes:

“She’s politically closed-minded and lacks communication skill. Horrible class. Worst class I’ve ever taken, online or classroom. DON’T TAKE IT!!!”

“Made me want to punch myself in the face every day. Contemplated dropping out of school several times. Highlight of my week was the occasional canceling of classes.”

“Worst teacher I’ve ever had. Finals week just started and I just got my first grade back. She is so unclear on the homework… Doesn’t make much sense. Don’t ever take her.”

“She has a terrible teaching ethic. Makes you teach to the class, and has the class teach to you. Also there is one class left in the semester and she STILL HAS NOTHING GRADED. DONT TAKE HER. A useless teacher.”

“Horrible teacher. Don’t take it with her if you don’t have to. Very unclear and does not respond back to emails very promptly.”

“She changes her mind about what she wants and expects from you, I went to her for clarification and she was VERY rude to me.”

“I enrolled in her online ‘HIST 121’ course and was actually excited to learn more about American History. She has completely depleted my excitement and now I dread the class. I DO NOT RECOMMEND!”

“I don’t even understand how she still works here, she should be fired. She doesn’t TEACH.”

“WORST class and teacher I have ever had… DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! This professor should be fired!”
http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=310415 }

“Tim Shiell, a UW-Stout philosophy professor and the former director of the campus ‘Center for Applied Ethics’, is concerned about the process used to decide to take down the paintings. The decision was made over the summer when few faculty and students were around the campus

“The paintings have value in themselves,” Shiell said, noting art is free expression. “Art is in the eye of the beholder. It is Cal Peters’ artistic impression. Art exists for us to look at, think about and learn about.”

–‘UW-Stout’s French fur trade art coming down’,
Pamela Powers, Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Aug. 3, 2016


ERBLWhoOwnsCulture600x600See also:
‘Who Owns Culture?’ {April 5, 2016}:

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