Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Lying old Leftist broad

As a professional historian she should know better in defending BBC misrepresentation about Roman Britain.  So I will simply repeat what I said previously:

It is true that the legions Rome sent to Britannia were not Italian.  It seems likely that they were mostly in fact from neighboring Gaul (France).  But there were certainly men from all over the empire.

BUT:  The picture objected to is clearly of a black father -- a sub-Saharan African. And the Roman empire did NOT cover any part of sub-Saharan Africa!

She quotes reports of NORTH Africans in Roman Britain but North Africans were then and still mostly are:  WHITE. Algerians tend to be quite racist about being white, in fact. Blacks are not welcome there.

And recent DNA studies have shown that even the ancient Egyptians were typical Mediterraneans -- like Lebanon, Greece, Italy etc.  They were not black. See here

It is of course possible that there was somewhere in Roman Britain at some time one or two blacks but to represent blacks as typifying Roman Britain is absurd to the point of dishonesty.

Popular historian Mary Beard found herself the target of bitter social media abuse after defending the authenticity of a BBC animation featuring a black Roman soldier.

Critics branded the educational video ‘politically correct’ and claimed it was part of an agenda to ‘pretend Britain always had mass immigration’.

The leading Cambridge classicist and expert in Ancient Rome took to Twitter to defend the film, pointing out there was extensive evidence of Romans originating in Africa coming to Britain – unwittingly unleashing a torrent of attacks branding her ‘a batty old broad’ and ‘a pretentious know-nothing’.

It is far from the first time that the outspoken academic has been targeted by Twitter trolls. In 2013, she was attacked for her looks on TV and she retweeted a message from a former public schoolboy who called her ‘a slut’ to her 42,000 followers.

This time she was supported by others who have also been trolled, including the author JK Rowling who tweeted in her defence.

The video at the centre of the row has been on the BBC schools website for three years and focuses on the family of a fictitious high-ranking Roman soldier overseeing the construction of Hadrian’s Wall.

However, the fact that he and his ‘typical’ family are portrayed as black became a topic of debate after American ‘alt-Right’ blogger Paul Joseph Watson last month described it as an example of ‘the Left… literally trying to rewrite history’.

Professor Beard replied on Twitter that she believed the video was ‘pretty accurate’, pointing out that a Roman governor of Britain came from what is now Algeria.

But her intervention sparked a fierce backlash from detractors – some of whom openly admitted to never having read a book on ancient history.

In a blog for the Times Literary Supplement, Professor Beard wrote how she was subjected to ‘a torrent of aggressive insults, on everything from my historical competence and elitist ivory tower viewpoint to my age, shape and gender’.

Among those who waded in to attack her as a ‘politically correct gestapo’ was US economics professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a former broker whose books have attracted a cult following among Wall Street financiers.

Professor Beard wrote that many of the attacks were misogynistic in tone, with posters referring to ‘Prof Taleb’ while pointedly calling her ‘Ms Beard’.


Even a popular member of Britain's parliament - Jacob Rees-Mogg -- is not allowed to say critical things about Islam

Reading between the lines, the cops were so overawed by a very brainy and distinguished man that they became incoherent.  They knew that any argument they advanced would be promptly demolished.  Rees-Mogg is sometimes described as the brainiest man in the House of Commons

UK: National Trust backs down over gay campaign after threat of volunteers' boycott

The National Trust has reversed a decision to bar volunteers from public-facing duties at a Norfolk stately home if they refuse to wear rainbow sexual equality symbols.

Staff at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk were offered behind-the-scenes roles after saying they were "uncomfortable" wearing multicoloured badges and lanyards for a "Prejudice and Pride" event marking 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

The decision came after a new film made by the National Trust revealed that Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, the hall's last owner who bequeathed it to the nation, was gay.

The land and home conservation charity said on Saturday that wearing the badges was now "optional and a personal decision" for volunteers and staff.

A trust spokesman said: "We remain absolutely committed to our Pride programme, which will continue as intended, along with the exhibition at Felbrigg.

"However, we are aware that some volunteers had conflicting personal opinions about wearing the rainbow lanyards and badges. That was never our intention. "We are therefore making it clear to volunteers that the wearing of the badge is optional and a personal decision."

The change followed an announcement on Friday by Annabel Smith, the trust's head of volunteering and participation development, who said that volunteers uncomfortable with the badges had been offered "the opportunity to take a break from front-facing duties if that's what they would prefer".

She added: "Relating specifically to the Prejudice and Pride programme, we do recognise that some volunteers may have conflicting personal opinions. "However whilst volunteering for the National Trust we do request and expect individuals to uphold the values of the organisation."


Watching Dunkirk, I realised we need to help our kids harden up

Angela Mollard

IF Dunkirk is a movie about an extraordinary event in history, it’s also a snapshot into the values of another era.

There are the young soldiers full of courage and camaraderie; fighter pilots sacrificing themselves for their countrymen; jolly nurses setting out on boats to tend the injured but unsure if they’ll ever make it home.

Then there’s the ordinary people, the owners of the private vessels who set out to help with the evacuation and would later be heralded as heroes for their bravery.

Of course Dunkirk is a dramatisation but it’s not a stretch of the imagination to believe in characters such as fishing boat skipper Mr Dawson and his son Peter who show fearlessness, tenacity, understanding and kindness in rescuing dozens of soldiers and a drowning Spitfire pilot.

I won’t give away the plot but there’s a scene of such empathy from young Peter that I dare any parent to leave the cinema at least a little reflective about the generation we are now raising.

Dunkirk — and the youth it showcases — has lingered with me all week as I’ve watched the hand-wringing over the reported sexual assault crisis in our universities, the fall in our children’s writing standards and a decision by a primary school to stop girls and boys playing together.

Add to it the fears that the use of fat models endorses obesity, our compensation culture and the under 30s lamenting that they can’t afford inner city homes and it all adds up to a monumental whinge. In the 77 years since Dunkirk, it’s as if the “V” for victory has been replaced with a “V” for victimhood.

To watch the ABC this week was to believe that the report by the Human Rights Commission had unearthed endemic sexual assault in our universities. On 7.30, two women were trotted out as alleged victims of this alleged terrible culture.

The report lacked balance and rigour. There was no explanation of the definition of sexual harassment or that fewer than 10 per cent of students responded to the survey. Further, of the 6.9 per cent of students who reported being sexually assaulted in the past two years, only a small fraction of those said it happened in a university setting.

Likewise, there was no reporting of the fact that 94 per cent of those who said they’d been harassed and 87 per cent of those assaulted did not report it because they didn’t feel it was serious enough or because they didn’t need help. Instead, the report finished with a question as to whether schools needed to do more work on issues like attitudes to women.

Seriously? As we also learned this week, schools can’t teach kids to write because, as one education boss pointed out, they were too busy teaching “bike education, pet education, grooming, financial literacy, drug education, stranger education, bushfire awareness”.

The fact is our future pivots on two pillars: good parenting and self-determination.

Good parents, like Mr Dawson in Dunkirk, teach their kids good values. They teach respect for the opposite sex, they discuss pornography and consent, they imbue their daughters with a sense of worth beyond their looks.

But more than just teach, they live their values: they uphold rather than denigrate their children’s teachers; they respect rather than abuse from the sporting sidelines; they listen to others’ views with curiosity and tolerance. They understand that you need to be a decent parent to raise a decent child.

Further, they encourage independence and self-determination in their children. Sexually harassed at university? Call it out and embarrass the perpetrator. Assaulted? Go to the police. Find writing difficult? Practice. Can’t buy a house in your preferred suburb? Buy one somewhere else.
Decades on from the event that inspired the movie, we must remember the “Dunkirk spirit”. (Pic: Warner Bros)

Suffering body image issues because the models are too skinny or too fat? Foster a self worth founded on who you are and what you do, not what you look like.

Our children are growing up victims because we’re failing to show them another way. That life is what they choose, not simply what happens to them. That resilience is not genetically bestowed but a habit and practice that can be improved.

Hope, gratitude, love, optimism, a positive identity, good relationships, empowerment, sound health and determination are not concepts that airily float round like butterflies choosing who’ll they’ll land on. They’re within us if only we’re taught how to seize them and use them.

As Andrew Fuller, psychologist and director of Resilient Youth, writes: “Life is an improvisational art. At times we need to shape and reshape ourselves to bring the best of life into view.” If you’re a parent who feels ill-equipped to teach this stuff there’s books and experts aplenty. Seek them out.

Amid the hand-wringing and horror this week there was one story that barely gained attention. A 14-year-old boy, Lochlan Brodie, fell off his grandad’s boat and survived in the water for two hours without a lifejacket before being picked up by a passing charter vessel.

How did he survive? By dog-paddling like buggery, throwing his arms in the air and screaming his nut off. Decades on from Dunkirk, there’s still evidence of a fighting spirit.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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