“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past,” wrote George Orwell in 1984. One person controlling the present at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital — its president, Dr. Betsy Nabel — wants to scrub the past: of white male faces in medicine.
The issue involves portraits of prominent physicians hung in the hospital’s Louis Bornstein Family Amphitheater. The problem? “The portraits are all of men. Thirty are white, and one is Chinese,” the Boston Globe reports. So now Nabel and the rest of the Diversity Police are going to scatter some of them throughout the grounds to make room for, presumably, quota-driven selections as part of an “inclusion” effort.
Here’s Nabel’s reasoning: “I have watched the faces of individuals as they have come into Bornstein,’’ she told the Globe. “I have watched them look at the walls. I read on their faces ‘Interesting, but I am not represented here.’ That got me thinking [that] maybe it’s time that we think about respecting our past in a different way.’’
Now we know why Nabel commands a $1.3 million annual salary: Mind-reading capabilities are mighty hard to come by.
As for the rich president’s last line, American Thinker’s Rick Moran notes, “Sorry, Betsy, but you're not ‘respecting’ the past at all. In fact, you're trying to scrub it clean by disrespecting those who came before you and made Harvard med school the place it is today.”
Quite true. Nabel would deny it, of course, but she’s doing precisely what evil leftist tyrants — such as Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, and Pol Pot — have always done. Since history is not what she’d prefer, she wishes to purge elements of it contrary to her agenda.
This is nothing new, sadly. The drive to compile history based on quota is why we have “Black History Month,” “Women’s History Month,” and “Native American Heritage Month.” It’s why revisionist history reigns in today’s schools. As I reported in 2006, “In the textbook Creating America (A better title would be Creating History), the authors identify 10 representative American heroes. But while neither Thomas Jefferson nor Benjamin Franklin was among them, the list does include: Abigail Adams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida B. Wells, Queen Liliuokalani and … Zitkala-Sa…. Yet another book had five pages about Marilyn Monroe but only five lines about George Washington.”
This is perversion. For what is history? It’s not what some artifice-practiced academic or media manipulator wishes had happened, but this: what happened.
And what happened in Western medicine’s history is that it was created and developed almost entirely by white men, in ancient Greece and Rome and later in the rest of Europe and beyond. This may not be politically correct, but the fact remains that Nabel wouldn’t have her teaching hospital, job, or training were it not for those unfashionable white male creatures.
As for the men hung in the amphitheater and now hanged by prejudices, “They’ve been described as ‘pioneers of medicine,’ and getting a portrait hung there is something great to aspire to, according to the white male doctor who most recently had his image installed, Dr. Ron Walls, founding chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine,” reports the College Fix.
The site continued, “But apparently having a cluster of white male doctors’ portraits — great as they may be — sends a message to employees and students that ‘white men are in charge,’ Dr. Jeroan Allison, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School who researches health disparities, told the Boston Globe…. A hospital official told the Globe removing the portraits will create a ‘sense of belonging’ for women and minority employees and students.”
Question: How far will we take this? Will female faces be introduced into the halls of fame for basketball, football, and baseball? Will we alter the portrayal of Renaissance painters, who were 99-percent male? And what about top male sprinters, not one of whom is white, Asian, or Jewish?
The reality is that the elite in any field never “look like America.” The NBA and NFL don’t look like America, being inordinately black and entirely male. U.S. Nobel Laureates don’t look like America, as 39 percent of them have come from three percent of the population: Jews. Our top table-tennis players don’t look like America; the vast majority are Asian-descent. Looking like America means looking like the average, which elites are not — they’re the best.
Thus will there always be fields in which the best don’t look like us. Yet is it really true that we can only have “role models” who do? Why isn’t the fact that all these honored people are humans, like us, enough? To say this isn’t the case is to tacitly claim exactly what Nabel does: that the notion of “colorblindness” (and “group-blindness” in general) is a lie.
As for the white men being demoted from the Harvard amphitheater, they include “Dr. William Councilman, the first chief pathologist at Brigham Hospital”; “Dr. Henry Christian, Brigham’s first chief of medicine”; and, shockingly, “Dr. Harvey Cushing, the ‘father of neurosurgery,’” reports the Washington Free Beacon. With whom will they be replaced? Can you have a second “first”? Can we change the fact that our first president and every signatory to the Constitution were white men?
History is not a radical egalitarian.
Image: screenshot of brighamandwomens.org