David Middleton at WUWT: BLM “Cancels” Charles Darwin?
Natural History Museum to review potentially ‘offensive’ Charles Darwin collection
An internal review in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests has led to an audit into some rooms and items
By Craig Simpson, 5 September 2020 • 7:00pm
The Natural History Museum will become the latest institution to review it’s collections after an audit warned its Charles Darwin exhibitions could be seen as “offensive”. An internal review, sanctioned in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, has led to an audit into some rooms, statues, and collected items that could potentially cause offence.The Telegraph
It warns that collections which some may find “problematic” could include specimens gathered by Darwin, whose voyage to the Galapagos Island on HMS Beagle was cited by a curator as one of Britain’s many “colonialist scientific expeditions”.
Museum bosses are now desperately seeking to address what some staff believe are “legacies of colonies, slavery and empire” by potentially renaming, relabelling, or removing these traces in the institution.
The executive board told staff in documents seen by The Sunday Telegraph that “in light of Black Lives Matter and the recent anti-racist demonstrations around the world” the museum would undertake a review of existing room names and “whether any statues (or collections) or could potentially cause offence”
One of the institution’s directors said in internal documents that new action taken to address these issues would alter “the use and display of our collections and public spaces”.
An example of the new thinking to address perceived imperial connections to science was a paper penned by a curator and shared with staff, which claimed “science, racism, and colonial power were inherently entwined”.
The work further argues that “museums were put in place to legitimise a racist ideology”, that “covert racism exists in the gaps between the displays”, and as a result collections need to be decolonised.
The ceiling of the grand Hintze Hall, where Hope the blue whale’s skeleton hangs, could also be problematic for staff.
The painted ceiling contains visual depictions of plants “like cotton, tea and tobacco” which were “the plants that fuelled the British Empire’s economy”, according to the paper shared with staff in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.
Because, science: Stacy McCain ‘All White People Are Racists … Y’all Are Born into a Life to Not Be Human’
Apparently now if you are white, you are considered racist. pic.twitter.com/35nImvVM1Y— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) August 18, 2017