“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
The book 1984 by George Orwell was published back in 1949 as a work of fiction. Replace the word “Party” in the quote with “Left” and today it might well be considered accurate news reporting.
In recent years we have seen history being rewritten through the infusion of Critical Race Theory or its precepts, and the New York Times disgraceful 1619 Project in our public schools. Statues of consequential historical figures have been removed. Military bases and other public facilities are being renamed.
Using the Orwellian concept of Newspeak a complicit legacy media proclaims cleverly named mis-directions such as “Affordable Care Act” and “Inflation Reduction Act” as actual fact hiding from the people the true intent and impact of legislation and other official government actions.
And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute.
Here in Penn’s Woods the latest example of the Orwellian march to erase and sanitize history has been put into effect by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. This is particularly egregious in that the mission of that commission is to preserve and protect actual history.
Pennsylvania is known as the “Keystone State” for very good reasons. It’s not just that geographically we are located in the middle of what were the 13 original colonies. A walk back through history finds that many of the most significant developments in the birth and growth of our nation happened here: from the Declaration Independence and Constitution being written and adopted in Philadelphia, to the pivotal Civil War battle at Gettysburg, to the tragic crash of Flight 93 in Somerset County Pennsylvania has been – often unwillingly – at the center of the action.
This experience tells us that history is not always good. And sometimes, as with the horrifying institution of slavery, our nation has been on the wrong side of history. But, far more often than not America has been an instrument of good and the world has benefitted greatly from the inherent industry and benevolence of our people.
All too often that history has been violent. Our forefathers fought a war to gain independence from Britain. As the powers of Europe sorted out their claims to territory in the “New World” there were skirmishes. We fought a great Civil War. And from time to time there has been strife in the streets to achieve rights and to right wrongs.
This history should be neither sanitized nor rewritten. But that is what the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is doing.
In what is now a quiet field in Westmoreland County the Battle of Bushy Run was fought in August of 1763. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review “the battle was part of Pontiac’s War, a pan-Native campaign that opposed British settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. The British routed members of the Seneca, Cayuga and Lenape nations . . .”
For decades the Bushy Run Battlefield Historical Society has staged re-enactments of that battle. They may never happen again. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has imposed a so-called “no force-on-force” policy, meaning you can’t have two sides shooting at one another. Obviously, you cannot re-enact a battle without two sides shooting at one another, so the event – which served as the society’s largest fundraiser – cannot be held.
Even more egregious than the adoption of this woke restriction is the fact it was imposed not by legislative action, not by vote of the Historical and Museum Commission, but put into place by staff – the deep state bureaucrats who act unencumbered by due process, public opinion, or any sort of accountability to the taxpayers who pay their salaries.
All of this is symptomatic of a larger problem, which is that the legislature creates these commissions and then provides little or no oversight allowing the bureaucrats to promulgate regulations designed to further their ideological agendas.
The bottom line is the very organization tasked with preserving and protecting our nation’s history is now perverting it in an Orwellian drive to fit the Left’s agenda. It is now time for the legislature to do its job and provide the oversight needed to rein in this rogue agency before our history is lost to the ages.
(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly American Radio Journal and Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is [email protected].)
Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.