Our friend Kathy Kersten attended a performance of “A Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis last night. She was astonished to find that the theater’s program included a lengthy “land acknowledgement” of the sort that is being promoted by a handful of Native American activists in Minnesota. Click to enlarge:
This is the Native American version of the 1619 Project–a perverted retelling of American history in which everything is extinguished except racism, slavery and oppression. Kathy, who writes for Center of the American Experiment, exposed the phenomenon here. Thus, one of the activists writes in the Guthrie program:
Colonization, history and racism cast a deep shadow over our perspective of land, life, culture and people. We have been exiled to a place of extinction.
“Colonization” means you and me. Kathy writes:
They actually read the land acknowledgment out loud, right before the opening scene in Victorian costume. Ridiculous beyond belief.
What any of this has to do with “A Christmas Carol,” God only knows.
The program includes a reference to “the sacred land on which the Guthrie sits.” But it seems that, if you listen to the activists, all the land in these parts is “sacred.” Thus, Fort Snelling, built after the War of 1812 to protect the territory from British incursion and the single most historic place in Minnesota, is currently the subject of a campaign to rename it “Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote,” on the ground that it, too, stands on “sacred” land. Worse, the Minnesota Historical Society, which operates Fort Snelling, is under pressure to transform it into an Auschwitz-style monument to evil (“colonization”) instead of what it really was, an outpost of peace and a beacon of freedom, as when thousands of Minnesota volunteers mustered there to fight to abolish slavery.
The Guthrie’s land acknowledgement says that “we gather on the traditional land of the Dakota People,” and includes a casual reference to “the Ojibwe and other Indigenous nations.” In fact, the Dakota (Sioux) and Ojibwe (Chippewa) were bitter enemies, and southern Minnesota became a “traditional land of the Dakota People” only recently–the early 18th century–when the Dakota were driven here by the Ojibwe. Warfare between the Dakota and Ojibwe continued well into the 19th century, and keeping the peace between the warring tribes was one of the missions of the soldiers at Fort Snelling.
You may wonder, what is the point? What are the activists after? They want to recast American history–your history and mine, not theirs–as evil. They want to bend the rest of us to their will, by imposing “land acknowledgements” and renaming sites and buildings.
And, of course, as with all political activism of this sort, the day will come when money is expected to change hands.