Tuesday, November 2, 2010

MUST READ: Professor Exposes Federally Funded ‘Revisionist’ History Conference



In July, the National Endowment for the Humanities sponsored a workshop on “History and Commemoration: The Legacies of the Pacific War in WWII” for college professors in Hawaii. Professor Penelope Blake, a veteran professor of Humanities at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill., was one of 25 American scholars chosen to attend the workshop, but was reportedly disheartened to find the conference “driven by an overt political bias and a blatant anti-American agenda.”

Professor Blake is now reportedly calling on Congress to implement better oversight over the NEH. In a letter addressed directly to her Illinois congressman, Rep. Don Manzullo, Blake documents conference details and asks him to vote against NEH funding for future events. According to PowerLine, copies of the letter have also been delivered to members of the NEH council and NEH chair Jim Leach.

Full letter follows (emphases hers):

Dear Congressman Manzullo:

As one of twenty-five American scholars chosen to participate in the recent National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Workshop, “History and Commemoration: Legacies of the Pacific War in WWII,” at the University of Hawaii, East-West Center, I am writing to ask you to vote against approval of 2011 funding for future workshops until the NEH can account for the violation of its stated objective to foster “a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups” (NEH Budget Request, 2011).

In my thirty years as a professor in upper education, I have never witnessed nor participated in a more extremist, agenda-driven, revisionist conference, nearly devoid of rhetorical balance and historical context for the arguments presented.

In both the required preparatory readings for the conference, as well as the scholarly presentations, I found the overriding messages to include the following:

1. The U.S. military and its veterans constitute an imperialistic, oppressive force which has created and perpetuated its own mythology of liberation and heroism, insisting on a “pristine collective memory” of the war. The authors/presenters equate this to Japan’s almost total amnesia and denial about its own war atrocities (Fujitani, White, Yoneyama, 9, 23). One presenter specifically wrote about turning down a job offer when he realized that his office would overlook a fleet of U.S. Naval warships, “the symbol of American power and the symbol of our [Hawaiians'] dispossession…I decided they could not pay me enough” (Osorio 5). Later he claimed that electric and oil companies were at the root of WWII, and that the U.S. developed a naval base at Pearl Harbor to ensure that its own coasts would not be attacked (9, 13).

2. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor should be seen from the perspective of Japan being a victim of western oppression (one speaker likened the attack to 9-11, saying that the U.S. could be seen as “both victim and aggressor” in both attacks); that American “imperial expansion” forced Japan’s hand: “For the Japanese, it was a war to defend their unique culture against Western Imperialism” (Yoneyama 335-336); and the Pearl Harbor attack could be seen as a “pre-emptive strike.” (No mention of the main reason for the Pearl Harbor attack: the U.S. had cut off Japan’s oil supply in order to stop the wholesale slaughter of Chinese civilians at the hands of the Japanese military.) Another author argued that the Japanese attack was no more “infamous” or “sneaky” than American actions in Korea or Vietnam (Rosenberg 31-32). READ MORE...

1 comment:

  1. TAXPAYERS FUNDING MILITARY HATE. **** THE DEMOCRATS!

    ReplyDelete