(Lektor Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Princeton University; Foto: JHU)
Berlingskes Bent Blüdnikow fortæller, at New York Times forleden med udgangspunkt i Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfelds udåd, bragte en subjektiv fortælling om Danmarks rolle i den internationale slavehandel. Avisen refererer blandt andet RUC-lektor Lars Jensen, der postulerer at blindheden for den koloniale fortid,“… er med til at skabe holdninger til og behandlingen af migranter og flygtninge nu.”
Meget apropos. Rich Lowry kommenterer hos New York Post, ikke at forveksle med New York Times – The moronic social-justice war on classics threatens our civilization.
“It was only a matter of time before Cicero got canceled. The New York Times the other day profiled Princeton classicist Dan-el Padilla Peralta, who wants to destroy the study of classics as a blow for racial justice. …
The Times reports that the critics believe that the study of classics ‘has been instrumental to the invention of ‘whiteness’ and its continued domination.’ Or as Padilla himself puts it, ’systemic racism is foundational to those institutions that incubate classics and classics as a field itself.’
It is rare to find other fields with scholars so consumed with hatred for their own disciplines that they want to destroy them from within. Presumably, if an ultra-progressive astrophysicist concludes that his field is desperately out of touch with social-justice concerns, he simply goes and does something else for a living, rather than agitating to have students stop learning about space.
One would think Padilla’s own amazing personal journey would, in itself, make the case for the wonders of the classics. He came here as a child from the Dominican Republic, lived in a homeless shelter in New York City, discovered a book on ancient Greece and Rome — and with help from a mentor, got into a prep school and went on to get degrees from Princeton, Oxford and Stanford.
For him, evidently, the classics weren’t very exclusionary, and indeed there’s no reason that they should be.
The rigors of Greek and Latin, the timeless questions raised by Plato and Aristotle, the literary value of some of the most compelling poems, plays and tracts ever written, the insights of early historians Herodotus and Thucydides, the oratory of Pericles and Cicero, the awe-inspiring beauty of the architecture, sculpture and pottery — all of this is available to anyone of any race, ethnicity or creed.
To look at all these marvels and see only ‘whiteness’ speaks to a reductive obsession with race that is destructive, self-defeating and, in the end, profoundly depressing.
The Times complains, paraphrasing the critics, that ‘Enlightenment thinkers created a hierarchy with Greece and Rome, coded as white, on top, and everything else below.’ …
The critics give the Greeks and the Romans the same treatment as the American project, ignoring what was exceptional about them for a monomaniacal focus on their failings, even if the failings were commonplace everywhere else.
They want to impoverish American college students and ultimately the Western mind in an act of ideological sabotage. This is galling enough; it’s even worse that they call it progress.“