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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 629
Location: B'more Maryland
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
The cultural awareness displayed in this thread does a great job of illustrating why so many organizations have a hard time attracting people born after 1970.


And the stunningly biased and narrowly focused version of "cultural awareness" being exhibited by the loudest sub-segment of the folks born after 1970 goes an incredibly long ways towards demonstrating why actual museums and historical organizations--and the historical education that they are supposed to advance--are in grave peril today.

This works both ways.


By all means then, keep yelling at the cloud.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
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Location: Southern California
Heavenrich wrote:
While there are restrictions on what 501c3 organizations are allowed to do in the political arena, consider the number of politicians who were involved in the celebration in Utah last year !!!
Remember, while the event was recognition of a historic event, the site is a National Park and the various associated events were organized by governmental units or local business organizations. And pigging backing were several historical societies and local museums.

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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9707
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
By all means then, keep yelling at the cloud.


And by all means, keep spouting flippant, disrespectful answers that push us closer to saying "[BLEEP] off!"

It's that very attitude that turns off the people who have "been there" for longer than the "young 'uns" have been alive.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
I think we're missing the point (lesson) that if the issues which are now being promoted had been dealt with in the past without the loss of cooler heads involved, it wouldn't be happening today because it wouldn't be necessary. It isn't like we didn't have time and hadn't tried to grapple with it before.......

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Santayana: "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."
Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 629
Location: B'more Maryland
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
By all means then, keep yelling at the cloud.


And by all means, keep spouting flippant, disrespectful answers that push us closer to saying "[BLEEP] off!"

It's that very attitude that turns off the people who have "been there" for longer than the "young 'uns" have been alive.


That's my point. Assuming that just because you have some experience means you've got all the experience that matters is exactly part of why younger people often dislike associating with people perceived as "crotchety old guys".

Nobody was successful insisting their customers were wrong. Even if they were.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:57 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
choodude wrote:
"And if it had been a BLM poster, nobody would have
bothered it. They would have just left it there and nobody
would have said anything."

is absolutely, utterly untrue.

You are wholly out of touch if you actually believe that. If there'd been such a banner and anyone dared to remove such a banner once in place, for any rason, you'd have heard a lot more about that than as you have for what actually happened.
Sure, it was a silly idea to post any political banner as it lacked context, no question. But anyone who thinks a BLM banner on the locomotive would have gotten the same headlines is really not paying attention right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9707
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
Nobody was successful insisting their customers were wrong. Even if they were.


Hmmmmm...............

[looks directly at network coverage of riots being meekly described as "peaceful protests" stretching into a third month....... and the numerous politicians cravenly capitulating to them.....]

I beg to differ.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 691
I'm not exactly sure what I should be saying here, but I'm quite sure most of the posters here are middle aged (or older) white males who in my experience are mostly Republican in political nature. Some of you know who I am, and that's allright. I'll still railroad with you. I've seen several people who post regularly on that social networking site their political views which run counter to mine by a great deal. To say that those views do not influence who they associate with, who they perform outreach to, or how they interpret a Jim Crow coach or a Pullman car would be hypocritical at best to provide the proper balance, because, frankly, I don't think they can.

There have been places I have wanted to visit which are now permanently off my list because the locomotive was flying Confederate flags or the attitudes were NOT inviting, despite my skills and knowledge. Not the most inviting thing for a man like me to see, or for segments of your target audience or volunteer base which you have permanently alienated.

While I'm on that subject, how many of your organizations have joined in support of Black Lives Matter in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, like so many other organizations and companies have done? This is the ongoing problem. Freedom Train 2.0? Not with this current attitude.

The post above mine concerning the "riots" make my case for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:39 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9707
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Quote:
While I'm on that subject, how many of your organizations have joined in support of Black Lives Matter in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, like so many other organizations and companies have done?


Assuming this is the question to which you seek/demand an answer:

The problem with "joining in support of" this:

What are you "joining in support of"?

Simply uttering a phrase? Anyone can do that, whether they mean it or not.

Or supporting a political movement (strike one) whose core mission has strayed so far from its innocuous and simple meaning that its founders have left, their movement and slogan hijacked by a far-left movement whose mish-mash of objectives a large segment of Americans, if not a huge majority, find patently objectionable (strike two), and whose billion-plus dollars of donations have been channelled exclusively to Democratic politicians (strike three)?

Not only has the phrase become as polarizing as a Trump banner (if not more so) in much of the United States, but as a result of the explicit political actions of a group claiming the phrase, offering public support to the phrase would be as sharply in violation of 501(c)3 "don't get involved in politics" rules as the Trump flags/signs, and therefore must be treated the same way.

Johnny Carson ruled late-night TV for thirty years by being, at least in all appearances, neutral and impartial in politics and religion. As Jay Leno said in an interview Carson told him, "Why do you want to set out to tick off half your potential audience?"

The name of this thread is "Don't Hijack Preservation With Politics".
As much as people might want to allege otherwise, that phrase has become part of the politics to be avoided.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:08 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 720
An article from Good Housekeeping:
What Black Lives Matter Means (and Why It's Problematic to Say "All Lives Matter")


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:50 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:58 am
Posts: 91
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
Nobody was successful insisting their customers were wrong. Even if they were.


Hmmmmm...............`

[looks directly at network coverage of riots being meekly described as "peaceful protests" stretching into a third month....... and the numerous politicians cravenly capitulating to them.....]

I beg to differ.


I have family living in Philadelphia. They have told me the "Riots" in Philadelphia as reported in the mass media were hugely over exaggerated - to the point they didn't recognize their own city that they commuted through to get to their jobs.

I've read reports in other social media from folks living in Portland OR saying the same thing.

A few years back there were pictures of a "huge fire" during protests in Paris France. Later those pictures were discredited when a cell phone video showed reporters lying down on the ground to take the pictures through a tiny camp fire sized "blaze"

It is amazingly easy to use TV cameras to distort reality.

It is my opinion that deploying the Federal DHS secret storm troopers is an unconstitutional abuse aimed at getting you to clutch your pearls and vote for an authoritarian regime.

Edit:

I do not believe there was any "rioting" in New York City today. So why are Storm troopers snatching people off the streets?

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/nyre ... r-van.html

So now we are Chili in the 1970's?

Brian

ps. I would not have posted this over on the Interchange Forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9707
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
I lived in Baltimore, Md. during the riots after the acquittal of police in the Freddy Gray death (due to prosecutorial ineptness, much like the O.J. Simpson trial)--literally between the two epicenters of the violence. I covered specialized aspects of the story for several publications.

In any and every such instance of "civil unrest," there's always the "hype/play down" factor. There are always so many layers to such a story that anyone making broad-brush proclamations is an idiot being played. In the recent politicized coverage, there has been both exaggeration and "spin" on the order of Saddam military spokesman "Baghdad Bob" uttering "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! It's all lies!" stuff in complete denial of what's happening right behind him.

No, all of Baltimore wasn't being torched. The destruction was mostly opportunistic looting (because stealing an entire mall's contents is "justice" for a dead man) and torching businesses (mostly owned by Asians--now, about this "racism"......).
BUT, I also saw the economic devastation as huge numbers of people quit coming even into completely "safe" segments of the city. I watched many bars and restaurants dependent upon tourism close. I saw livelihoods and businesses ruined for no good reason. I saw visitation numbers, and even some volunteer numbers, way down at the three rail-oriented attractions in town and other places like the zoo.

And the Mayor's utterance of "Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well" apparently set the policy playbook for mayors across the nation five years later.
https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/04/ ... o-do-that/

There was one major difference in Baltimore, however:

The National Guard rolled in within 48 hours.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:47 pm
Posts: 23
Until recently I was heavily involved in the restoration of a "Jim Crow" segregated rail car with an eventual goal to discuss the history of segregated passenger trains. We worked closely with leaders in our local Black communities to meet with leaders, historians, activists, concerned citizens, and folks who had traveled in those cars, and listen to their stories, concerns, and priorities. The response we got was enthusiastic and supportive but it was clear that we needed continue earning that support by listening and getting the details right. I don't think that's too much to ask.

I think much of the hand-wringing about those "canceling" history is overlooking a crucial facet: Statues, street names, monuments, etc., are intended to glorify historical figures, not teach about their nuanced history. Those advocating for statue removal often argue that history is learned in books and museums, not statues. They protest that the ugly parts of history have been swept under the rug and demand that the entire story be told. To me, this demand sounds like no-brainer, best-practice museum interpretation.

As long as railroad museums teach history instead of simply glorifying parts of it*, I see little risk of "cancel culture" except from the most misguided activists, and powerful opportunities from working with the majority. After decades of complaining that people don't care about history anymore, suddenly people are paying attention. If we're professional, humble, and willing to listen, this could mean new relevance, visitors, volunteers, partnerships, sponsors, and/or grant money.

Or we could put our heads down and keep shuttling families to the pumpkin patch while lamenting the fact that kids these days don't care about F-units.

*I realize some glorification is inevitable in this community, especially in marketing, but any institution exhibiting a Pullman car and not discussing Porters is doing quite a disservice to American history. This isn't rocket science.

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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:03 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 714
Tyler’s post is 100% spot on.

Has anyone actually visited a history museum in the past 5-10 years? History isn’t being erased. The Henry Ford Museum has Rosa Parks bus, KKK capes, torture devices used on slaves, etc. on display. It’s a major part of the museum. Likewise Greenfield Village has slave quarters as well as the Mattox Family home which depicts African American life after the war.

The American gallery at Epcot recently had African American stories showcased and has now changed to a Native American display. (The gallery rotates every 2 years or so).


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9707
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Tyler Trahan wrote:
I think much of the hand-wringing about those "canceling" history is overlooking a crucial facet: Statues, street names, monuments, etc., are intended to glorify historical figures, not teach about their nuanced history. Those advocating for statue removal often argue that history is learned in books and museums, not statues. They protest that the ugly parts of history have been swept under the rug and demand that the entire story be told. To me, this demand sounds like no-brainer, best-practice museum interpretation.


In my opinion, part of the overall problem is that, as "history is written by the victors," history education has long been used to advance various social and political agendas. Just the story of Christopher Columbus "discovering America," largely relegated to folk-tale status by now, advances (at least in theory) several agendas: the superiority of European Caucasians (what, it wasn't a place until a white person came there?), Italian greatness, Catholic greatness, etc. The stories of English settlers at Jamestown and Plymouth advance similar agendas (skewed English, of course).

In transportation history, this probably reached its epitome with the 1995 controversy over the display of the fuselage of the Enola Gay at the National Air & Space Museum--whether its use ended a huge war and saved soldiers' lives, or whether the bomb was a needless, racist, genocidal attack on civilians. The controversy resulted in the resignation of the Museum's director, Martin Harwit:

Quote:
The dispute was not simply about the atomic bomb. Rather, the dispute was sometimes a symbolic issue in a "culture war" in which many Americans lumped together the seeming decline of American power, the difficulties of the domestic economy, the threats in world trade and especially Japan's successes, the loss of domestic jobs, and even changes in American gender roles and shifts in the American family. To a number of Americans, the very people responsible for the script were the people who were changing America. The bomb, representing the end of World War II and suggesting the height of American power was to be celebrated. It was, in this judgment, a crucial symbol of America's "good war", one fought justly for noble purposes at a time when America was united. Those who in any way questioned the bomb's use were, in this emotional framework, the enemies of America.


As a result of this controversy, when the restored aircraft was finally put on full display in 2003, it was done without ANY interpretive signage whatsoever, pro or con, just raw data. And even that was deemed unacceptable to those with agendas to promote still, most notably anti-war/anti-nuclear advocates.

For far too many of us, there is NO greater agenda in this than "I like trains." But that approach lends itself to being called "big boys playing with trains." But if you attempt to paint any positive agenda, such as "trains helped make this nation, and were to the 1800s what electricity, radio, TV, and the Internet were to later generations of people in transforming society and commerce," in this extraordinarily polarized examination of history today there always stands contrarians ready and eager to tear down your agenda and replace it with their own--and not just out-shout yours, but denigrate and destroy it. (Thus the statue topplings.)

In most cases, there is plenty of room for negotiation and compromise between such divergent avenues of rhetoric. Unfortunately, there are a few prominent exceptions that feel that, for example, the only answer for the existence of a "Jim Crow" car or a statue of anyone with a "skeleton in the closet" is to destroy it--and if you won't, they will.


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