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Race Hustling at the Smithsonian

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Smithsonian’s budget for this fiscal year is $1 billion.  

Of that, $32.6 million is designated for the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). 

Instead of defunding police, we should be defunding this entity over its disgusting mantra of racism.  

In the website’s “Talking About Race” section, an article about “Whiteness” includes numerous statements condemning the United States as a racist society. It reeks of hatred against whites. But its pièce de la résistance was an infographic that should enrage non-whites much more than whites.

I say “was” because, after they got caught this past week and thrashed by liberals and conservatives alike, the museum took down the infographic.  

Adapted from Judith Katz’s “Some Aspects and Assumptions of White Culture in the United States,” the graphic lists characteristics or beliefs of the “dominant culture of “whiteness,” such as “self-reliance;” “the nuclear family;” “hard work is the key to success;” “work before play;” “be polite;” “respect authority;” “plan for future;” “delayed gratification;” “scientific method,” and even “decision-making.”

This implies that anyone else is rude, lazy, anti-family, anti-science, anti-punctuality and anti-rational thought. After all, the opposites of these are supposed to be “white” virtues.   

Talk about the soft bigotry of lowered expectations. It’s right in line with the Left’s expressed belief that minorities are incapable of acquiring IDs in order to vote.  

The graphic also identifies “whiteness” this way: “Christianity is the norm.” “Anything other than Judeo-Christian tradition is foreign.” “No tolerance for deviation from single god concept.”  

That would be news to the millions of Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims who live in America and who value their marriages and families, the rewards of hard work, show up on time, play by the rules, respect authority and achieve considerable success.  

Here are some more aspects of “whiteness” that should send any self-respecting minority thinkers and scientists up the wall: “Emphasis on scientific method: objective, rational linear thinking; cause and effect relationships and quantitative emphasis.” 

What would Ben Carson and countless other accomplished minority doctors and scientists think about this?

The graphic was so revealing of the Left’s current racialist obsession that the museum issued this statement: 

“Since yesterday, certain content in the “Talking About Race” portal has been the subject of questions that we have taken seriously. We have listened to public sentiment and have removed a chart that does not contribute to the productive discussion we had intended.”

Translation: we got caught and had to ditch this before even our Leftist media figured out how offensive it was.  

The Smithsonian has been at the racialist game for a while. As the website boasts, “In 2014, we launched our signature program, 'Let’s Talk! Teaching Race in the Classroom.'” 

The rest of the “whiteness” pages reek of the class consciousness and race-baiting typical of what’s dished out by Black Lives Matter, which was founded by three Marxist women, two of whom identify as “queer” revolutionaries. BLM, which advocates for socialist revolution and the destruction of the nuclear family, now has a k-12 school curriculum that recruits children to be Marxist activists.  

For outside credit, perhaps they could go to the Smithsonian’s “Talking about Race” section, where they learn that “in the United States, systems of oppression (like systemic racism) are woven into the very foundation of American culture, society and laws.” 

On the Smithsonian’s “Whiteness” web page, a 22-minute video, “Deconstructing White Privilege,” features leftist author Robin DiAngelo (“White Fragility”). The professor, who has a Ph.D. in Critical Multicultural Education and Whiteness Studies from the University of Washington, says, “I try to help white people understand that racism is the very fabric of our society.” Remember, you’re paying for this.

The Smithsonian budget calls for $15.6 million to “Preserve our National and Cultural Heritage,” or less than half the money allocated for the African American History Museum, which is apparently recasting America’s history as one long, racist narrative, like the New York Times’ "1619 Project."

The Smithsonian is the largest museum and research complex in the world. It has 19 museums and galleries, including the Air and Space Museums; the National Zoo; and nine research facilities. Political correctness of varying degrees is scattered here and there. But most of the Smithsonian is excellent, something for which Americans can be proud. The red-brick “castle” on the national mall is iconic.

In 1846, it was “established as a trust instrumentality of the United States, to be administered by a Board of Regents and a secretary of the Smithsonian,” according to its website.  

Taxpayers provide 62 percent of the Smithsonian’s budget through congressional appropriation and federal grants and contracts. The rest comes from foundations, other donors and sales of goods. 

The current president is Lonnie G. Bunch III, who was appointed in June 2019 after serving as director of the African American History Museum since its inception in 2005.

Mr. Bunch reports to a Board of Regents consisting of “the Chief Justice of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, three members of the United States Senate, three members of the United States House of Representatives and nine citizens. The Board of Regents meets at least four times each year.”

Perhaps they might want to meet soon to do some more damage control.  


Robert Knight is a Townhall contributor. His website is roberthknight.com.  

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