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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:43 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 726
To answer Alexander’s “what should they do?”

Well... start by creating a welcoming atmosphere for a diverse group of employees and volunteers. Not just ethnic diversity but also gender and sexual orientation. It’s 2020 and all should be welcomed. (I’ve heard some truly awful things regarding women in the cab of steam locomotives or behind the controls of a streetcar).

Beyond that... every organization will have a different story to tell. You brought up Cass...did Cass have a history of African American loggers? I’m currently studying the little river line and I’ve yet to see any mention of African Americans but it does say the men in Townsend TN that went to fight in the civil war fought on the union side.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 721
From the Trains magazine Newswire:
Quote:
[General manager of the Boone & Scenic Valley Travis Stephenson] said the banners were placed by the moving company early in the morning, before he and members of the Rotary Club arrived. “We both requested that the banners be removed, and explained that no matter what party they represent, we don’t get involved in politics,” Stevenson said. “They told us that they were waiting for a family member to come for a photo, and they would be removed after that before the move began. Several of us saw them remove the banners, but we didn’t notice that they left the one on the rear of the cab until things were moving. That flag was removed promptly upon arrival at the site.”

While the engine and tender came from B&SV, they were no longer the railroad’s property, having previously been donated to the Rotary Club and City of Boone. “We were not the ones paying for the move,” Stevenson said. “That gave us no legal or ‘remove it or you won’t get paid’ stance to pressure the removal of the flag.”

The negative online reaction has Stevenson “concerned about the idea that railfans will stop supporting our railroad preservation based on the actions of a group outside of the actual railroad museum. I hope they understand that the actions of others was beyond our control.

“Not visiting our museum due to the flag being on someone else’s equipment would be the equivalent of not purchasing a vehicle from a car dealer because you saw a vehicle with a bumper sticker you didn’t agree with that was purchased there,” he said. “We can’t let this cause the preservation of Iowa railroad history to fade, especially in these time of the pandemic where preservation groups are holding on by a thread.”
Link to the full article, which appears to be outside their paywall:
Iowa steam engine move caught in political storm - Tourist railroad GM concerned about fallout from banner displayed by moving company


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:50 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:07 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Utah
msrlha_archivist wrote:
Txhighballer wrote:
My comment concerning whether your organization stands in support of BLM is more about are you willing to admit that there is systemic racism, that there is major work which needs to be done to bring true equality to everyone, and your organization will commit itself to bring that inclusion? If so, put that message on your website, in your newsletters, or even in a press release. Then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!


Jacob Lyman: Please elaborate more on ideas in your call for action. Saying "DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT" is vague and not necessarily as effective as outlining what that "something" is. Thanks.


You have the wrong person. Txhighballer is not Jacob Lyman. From what I gather, there is almost half a country separating the two individuals.

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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5841
Location: southeastern USA
I think he outlines his approach ahead of his plea for action, at least that's my reading. First believe it, then articulate it, but that's not worthwhile unless you act on it.

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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: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9707
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
Well... start by creating a welcoming atmosphere for a diverse group of employees and volunteers. Not just ethnic diversity but also gender and sexual orientation. It’s 2020 and all should be welcomed. (I’ve heard some truly awful things regarding women in the cab of steam locomotives or behind the controls of a streetcar).


If you find a venue that is NOT creating a "welcoming atmosphere for ALL" and is really and truly discriminating against groups or "categories" in some fashion, BY ALL MEANS call them out on it. Publicly. Not just a Yelp review.

But to confront or condemn everyone as "guilty until proven innocent" intentionally creates antagonism where it most likely isn't warranted, at least in our field.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:13 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 691
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
To answer Alexander’s “what should they do?”

Well... start by creating a welcoming atmosphere for a diverse group of employees and volunteers. Not just ethnic diversity but also gender and sexual orientation. It’s 2020 and all should be welcomed. (I’ve heard some truly awful things regarding women in the cab of steam locomotives or behind the controls of a streetcar).

Beyond that... every organization will have a different story to tell. You brought up Cass...did Cass have a history of African American loggers? I’m currently studying the little river line and I’ve yet to see any mention of African Americans but it does say the men in Townsend TN that went to fight in the civil war fought on the union side.


Now you are getting the gist of what I'm talking about. Every region has a story to tell which can be uncovered with a little work and research. Community leaders can be of great help in sourcing out such things should one choose to seek them out...


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 691
David Dewey wrote:
I think what we all need to be aware of is the fluid nature of the current social changes going on. BLM was a small splinter, somewhat radical "group" that has shortly evolved into a "socially acceptable" movement. Personally, I think "ALL Lives Matter" but that is irrelevant to the situation now.
What we do need to avoid and prevent is what I understand has happened in South Africa where steam trains (and maybe all trains) are considered to be "White Man's Toys" and are to be eliminated. Preservation of history is at stake here, and keeping history itself relevant to the new generations is critical to Preservation's survival.
The idea of eliminating "bad times" in history threatens the whole reason to study history--so we don't repeat mistakes and civilization can move forward, not backward. How that can best be done is a matter of great debate, but the debate needs to happen.


Mr. Dewey:

Imagine you were born into a race of people who had been brutalized, tortured, killed, and had your land taken away from you. Then to make things worse, they set up a system in which you literally had no rights. A system called apartheid. Then you were drafted to build railroads to pillage your natural resources to increase their wealth. If you used these same railroads it was in a segregated coach. You couldn't buy a ticket on the famed Blue Train or any other deluxe accommodation.

Then came the end of apartheid. You still needed the railroads but not the valued symbol...the steam locomotive, a machine which you were not allowed to fire or drive or be hired to do so. The steam locomotive to them was to be relegated to the past, just as the formerly racist system was.

I don't know where you got the term " white man's toy" from, but I do know a well known racist on another forum uses that term to describe the dearth of steam operation in South Africa. Perhaps if that term can be accurately put to someone who actually made it with SAR perhaps it might have some validity.

If you are truly concerned with the state of steam in South Africa, write or phone them and tell them you would be interested in helping to make steam a reality again. Tell them you will help them train those who were once barred to run and operate the locomotives. Then back it up with a plan, then execute that plan.

Until you become part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Which side of the tracks will you choose to be on?


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9707
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Txhighballer wrote:
I don't know where you got the term " white man's toy" from, but I do know a well known racist on another forum uses that term to describe the dearth of steam operation in South Africa. Perhaps if that term can be accurately put to someone who actually made it with SAR perhaps it might have some validity.


This is one of those terms no one is personally going to own up to in a public forum. But I have been told the mentality in question is not a joke or exaggeration. The South African rail preservation movement is indeed jeopardized, seriously, by this prevalent mentality.

Quote:
If you are truly concerned with the state of steam in South Africa, write or phone them and tell them you would be interested in helping to make steam a reality again. Tell them you will help them train those who were once barred to run and operate the locomotives. Then back it up with a plan, then execute that plan.

Until you become part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Which side of the tracks will you choose to be on?


Whom should he write?

Seriously, freaking whom?

THIS, below, is what you're up against. And rest assured, these are NOT cherry-picked, isolated incidents.

Quote:
A priceless collection of steam locomotives has been cut up for scrap in Johannesburg after suffering irreparable damage at the hands of scrap thieves.
The 27 locomotives, which belonged to South African National Rail and Steam Museum, a nonprofit preservation group, were gifts from the former South African Railways and various mining houses and industries that had once used them on their private railways. The collection had been stored on tracks on an open space near an industrial township west of Johannesburg.


https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... by-thieves

Quote:
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is mandated by government to provide passenger rail services across South Africa. In recent history, it has been brought under a huge amount of pressure, due to sabotage and arson. Since 2016, over 140 carriages have been destroyed by arson, with only a small number of vandals being prosecuted. To make matters worse, and as a result, it is common practice for carriages to be overloaded with commuters using rail to travel to and from work. This causes damage to train carriages’ structures and suspensions. There is also strong evidence of general vandalism and theft.


https://www.globalrailwayreview.com/art ... cognition/

Quote:
Thousands of Metrorail commuters were left stranded on Wednesday morning after train services in the Naledi corridor, Soweto, were disrupted following cable theft.
Gauteng Metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said overhead catenary wires were cut off and stolen between the Dube and Ikhwezi train stations, on both the up and down line.
Mofokeng said the trains could not move in the Johannesburg direction until technicians had replaced the stolen cables.
She said the disruption affected more than 60,000 train commuters in Naledi, New Canada and the Kazerne West corridor.


https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south- ... ble-theft/

Oh, you say that's "old news"?

https://allafrica.com/stories/202006260658.html

Quote:
The Western Cape Police Ombusdsman (WCPO) has found that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has demonstrated a lack of efficiency and inability to prevent vandalism and arson on the province’s rail service.
There have been a plethora of incidents in which carriages were torched and trains vandalised to the point that they become unsuitable for the public to board, and complaints have flooded in regarding passenger safety on the Metrorail service.


https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/we ... june-2020/

"Metrorail to return with an even worse service after lockdown vandalism"

https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/wh ... -lockdown/

And the country in general, as reported from Australia:
https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy ... 61b617d8ac


Let's make no "bones" about this:
South Africa, for whatever political, social, and cultural reasons, is in utter, complete social, political, and economic turmoil.

This is NOT something you address by writing a couple letters or training a few railway people with different skin colours.

Image

(Lest you think the above photo is an isolated incident: The number is now over 1,400:
http://news.searchsa.co.za/news/1388-tr ... alism.html )


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:45 pm
Posts: 187
I've tried to stay out of this, posting only a comment or two about the need to share information about what is going on and the impact on museums.

However, I do want to make a few statements.

First, there seems to be some thinking here that this is one movement. It is not. A movement that started as looking at police brutality has been mostly taken over by white liberals who want to overthrow many of the norms of American society - good and bad. If you don't thin so, look at the protesters in most places.

Two, what this means is that multiple actions need to be taken - both working with people and with additional security. If the protests are about white power, why were statues of Frederick Douglas, black civil war veterans, and other black leaders also torn down, as well as a large percentage of black businesses looted and burned?

Finally - there were a few comments about how the violence has been overstated. In reality, the violence has probably been greatly under reported, and where the violence is taking place has been glossed over. I work with product distribution, and the stories about the challenges of getting product to and from places are sickening. How many of the so-called "random" attacks against businesses and museums come about because others want to join in the fun?

One source everyone should read is Michael Tracey. He has spent time traveling the country and interviewing people where the riots have taken place. He is a liberal, so no claiming coverup here, he claims that enough about the major networks and media sources. The article is a fairly long read with plenty of photos.

https://medium.com/@mtracey/two-months- ... a7e3e4e006

One of things that should be noted is the fear that many in these communities have, and what many consider to be the totally illogical actions that are taking place.

Enjoy - and may the political differences continue - but with respect and no violence.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:35 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:48 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Watchung, NJ
Wow, .... I'm stunned to see this thread go this far off the rails .....

In reading many of the posts so far in this thread, it is now painfully obvious that the recent political weaponizing of racism in a Presidential Election year is clearly producing dividends for those who feel they cannot achieve elected office without manipulating the population to such a horrific degree.

Folks, this thread is about politics... It is painfully clear that many of you are falling victim to the mass-media propaganda being spewed about current race relations in the United States.... Please take a step back from the proverbial yellow line and watch out for the approaching trains. Racism is not the train which is fast approaching the station platform. Racism is being used as a weapon to keep your attention divided so you don't see what is really happening at the station platform.

Folks, if we are to be true preservationists and historians of railroad history, we need to all be honest and forthright chroniclers of facts. I do not care if you are a Republican, a Democrat, a black man, a white man, a gay man, a straight man. etc. What I care about is :

Are you telling me the truth about what happened in the past accurately?

I personally feel that there is a much higher standard that we all (as both human beings as well as railway historians) should strive to live up to:

Are we collectively bearing false witness against our neighbors (our fellow citizens) by failing to tell the historical record honestly and accurately, without malice and with compassion, to the best of our abilities?

The thread has taken the predictable turn towards the pathway and end-goal that the manipulators wanted us to take; specifically, we are now discussing the issue of how do we interpret and present the facts of the past? We are being collectively pushed towards a position of needing to change the facts in order to fit a crafted narrative which furthers the political ambitions of the manipulators.

Folks, I should not need to remind a single person in this forum of the old saying - "Those who do not heed history's warnings are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past."

When you chronicle history truthfully (with warts and all) and present it straight up to your audience and allow them to make their own choice (which is the core principle of self-governance), most people will see the dangers and mistakes and try to avoid making the same mistake twice.

Politicians are always trying to manipulate you into giving them your loyalty, your vote and your voluntary or involuntary servitude to them, in order for them to stay in power. Today however, they now are going even further. They are now openly demanding that you either re-write history (by saying America is a racist nation), or you become an evil racist by promoting our horrible rotten past by recording and reminding people of said past accurately.

Do you notice the classic "damned if you do, damned if you don't" position that you are being manipulated into?

By manipulating all of you into a classic "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario, the manipulators goal is achieved by putting you into internal conflict. When faced with two bad choices, what do most people do? They will seek to avoid the conflict by simply staying silent. Care to guess what the goal of the manipulation was in the first place?

Now, I would love to say this is a new concept in manipulation; however, it is sadly not a new phenomena. This kind of manipulation has gone on for centuries. And why is that? .. Well, because it is usually quite effective, unless there is a well known way to avoid or thwart such tactics.

Do any such examples of thwarting this type of manipulation exist in history? ... The answer is: There sure are!

The most famous example was recorded in a well-known book nearly 2000 years ago. Depending on your religion, you were undoubtedly taught that example from when you were a young child, and reminded of that example throughout adulthood.

Of course today, the manipulators have managed to convince many people to avoid such places and practices through a variety of means and ways..... Not surprisingly, many young people today have not heard the story, nor the lessons found in Matthew 22:1-46 (KJV) After all, the manipulators do not want you to learn from the past. Today they want you to live only to serve at their command and blindly obey them without question.

2000 years ago, the manipulators were called Pharisees. Today the manipulators are the names you've likely read throughout this thread so far.

So with that folks, I will close out this post for now.... I really do hope that we can put this racism red-herring onto the back burner for the moment and return to the politics that we should be discussing in this thread.

Now, can I get an "Amen" please?

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CNJ Rail Corporation


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:05 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1928
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
Txhighballer makes a valid point. In reality the nation of S. Africa has MUCH BIGGER issues to deal with. The country ( and the rest of the African continent) are basically falling apart at the seams and headed for failed state status.

Sadly, railway preservation is way down on the list of critical issues they're confronting.

Sad but true. Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:48 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 799
Well stated Eric Strohmeyer. To add an example: Prosecution, "have you stopped beating your wife", just answer the question"? Just answer the question dude.

Lemmings running to the sea. Don't question just follow the herd.

Regards, John.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:35 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5841
Location: southeastern USA
Bartman-TN wrote:
I A movement that started as looking at police brutality has been mostly taken over by white liberals who want to overthrow many of the norms of American society - good and bad. If you don't thin so, look at the protesters in most places.


Are you saying that only black people can legitimately protest police brutality and all white people protesting have no dog in the fight?

_________________
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: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9707
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Eric S Strohmeyer wrote:
Folks, if we are to be true preservationists and historians of railroad history, we need to all be honest and forthright chroniclers of facts. I do not care if you are a Republican, a Democrat, a black man, a white man, a gay man, a straight man. etc. What I care about is :

Are you telling me the truth about what happened in the past accurately?

I personally feel that there is a much higher standard that we all (as both human beings as well as railway historians) should strive to live up to:

Are we collectively bearing false witness against our neighbors (our fellow citizens) by failing to tell the historical record honestly and accurately, without malice and with compassion, to the best of our abilities?


Here's an example directly applicable to us:

Someone comes to your trolley museum, and asks, "So why aren't we riding trolleys today if they are so efficient/fun?" (That question arises almost every weekend at one operation with which I am familiar.)
So, while you attempt to deliver a nuanced, carefully balanced answer incorporating everything from changing traffic patterns to the Model T to the costs of maintaining infrastructure, another volunteer chimes in with a shorter version: "Buses are cheaper and allow for easier changes in traffic, routes, and detours." Then along comes another volunteer spouting the National City Lines conspiracy to the letter (never mind NCL never operated a property in your state), then another one comes along with a theory about how "racist" city leaders dumped the old broken-down cars on minority neighborhoods while improving equipment running to white neighborhoods..........

All of the above may be based on fact. All four may have "scholarly" sources to fall back on ("Watch the PBS documentary!"). But some of them may be advancing someone's hidden agenda by selectively "misleading" even if they're "truthy."

People have been taught, over decades by now, to fixate on "sound bites" and simplistic answers. They get badly dissatisfied with "It's complicated....." answers that are most likely to be the most accurate.

So how do you address the docent that is "evangelizing" a misleading or even totally inaccurate version of history to your visitors, whatever the agenda may be?

And if someone comes along insisting you now teach a woefully biased version of history to satisfy some "greater good," do you resist? Ignore them? Go along lest you be "blackmailed" by the "boycott" crowd?


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 Post subject: Re: Don't Hijack Preservation with Politics
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:58 am
Posts: 91
If folks have time for some reading, I found this article applys to several of the topics in this thread, even though it is not about railroad history:


https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/ ... yne-373011

Brian


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