Slaves to History at Georgetown U

Historians recently discovered that Georgetown University had sold off a number of slaves back in 1838 in order to raise capital needed to insure the school’s survival. This revelation has apparently plunged its present day administrators into paroxysms of guilt-laden remorse and penitential self-flagellation. And while I agree that it is necessary to honestly own up to the events of history, including its more unsavory aspects, too many academic culture warriors of today seem more than willing to dismiss offhand the social context in which those past events occurred.

Today’s historical revisionists seem to expect that what people did in the past ought always to be judged by current-day social and cultural standards. The hypocrisy in this approach lies in the fact that we pretend to remove the speck in our ancestor’s eye while ignoring the beam in our own. Continue reading

Identity, Politics, and Stuff

Politics is the only area of life or nature where failures seems to be consistently rewarded. The more wrongheaded a policy proves to be, the more necessary it becomes for the political class to prop it up, if for no better reason than appearance sake. (It must appear to the voters that I am “doing” something, regardless of unintended, or possibly intended, consequences.) And as a result of many years of thoughtless (and sometimes even malicious) policies, society today is saddled with failed schools, a failing foreign policy, failing criminal justice, and saddest of all a rapidly growing number of failed families, And one has only to observe the present toxic political climate to realize that no meaningful reform is anywhere on the horizon. Too many special interests have doubled down on demands to even permit rational, civilized dialogue, much less any movement towards intelligent reform. Continue reading