There are now over 40 academics who have come together as a force to stop the “abuse of history” for political purposes.
According to The College Fix, the academics who are mostly from the United Kingdom, have started a website called “History Reclaimed.” The site explains that “History has become one of the major battlegrounds in the culture wars that are causing anger and alarm across the democratic world.” The focus of this “abuse” is particularly in North America, Britain, and Australia.
On the website, there are articles and columns from scholars who are discussing the negative effect of Critical Race Theory and other ideologies that have become prominent in many public schools and universities.
Leading the group is Robert Tombs, a Cambridge University Emeritus Professor of French History. He released this statement when launching the website: “The abuse of history for political purposes is as old as history itself. In recent years, we have seen campaigns to rewrite the history of western democracies in a way that undermines their solidarity as communities, their sense of achievement, even their very legitimacy.”
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It was also reported in The Fix that other academics who have joined in with “History Reclaimed” include: Cambridge historian David Abulafia, Oxford ethicist Nigel Biggar, Stanford academic and author Niall Ferguson, Irish writer Ruth Dudley Edwards, educational researcher Alka Cuthbert, and historians Lawrence James, Zareer Masani and Andrew Roberts.
One of the current articles on the website was written by former University of Kent professor Joanna Williams. In this article, she says this in her criticism of the Critical Race Theory: “We have a new elite that uses not racism but anti-racism to invent differences between people which it exploits for its own ends. These radicals do not want to end racism but for it to continue indefinitely. They must not be allowed to get away with this.”
Andrew Roberts, a British historian who published a biography of Winston Churchill, wrote an article that focused on the many incorrect and even offensive statements made during a February event at Churchill College. These remarks characterized the former British prime minister’s accomplishments as racist.
“Many factually incorrect, deeply offensive and ignorant remarks were made” at the event, Roberts writes, adding, “this constitutes, in my view, a new low in the current vogue for the denigration in general of British history and of Sir Winston Churchill’s memory in particular.”
Roberts concluded, “This is now sadly quite common. But I never would have expected Churchill College to participate in it.”
Elizabeth Weiss is a tenured professor of anthropology at San Jose State University. She is one of the few Americans who joined History Reclaimed. Weiss told The Fix that she hopes the website becomes “a resource for those who are looking to understand the past rather than to use history for propaganda or as a weapon.”
Weiss also made these pointed comments: “There is a movement to erase art that depicts history in what may be perceived as a politically correct manner.” She explained that the murals at George Washington High School in San Francisco, which were created by Russian immigrant Victor Arnautoff in the 1930s, depicted George Washington as a slave owner and showed the killing of Native Americans. She said, “In our current environment this is seen as harmful and several organizations, such as the American Indian Parent Advisory Council, said that students should not be forced to see that history.”
This isn’t the first time Weiss has been willing to be controversial among her peers, she had previously received public scorn from her department because she challenged the notion that scholars should try to cite others based on race.