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calendar   Friday - August 01, 2014

today’s equality activists …. some brit history of interest

Read this story in the morning paper today. Was so impressed I had to boot this thing and share with anyone interested in history, and also to show how far the left is willing to go to screw their own country and wreck it’s heritage.

To be fair of course, it must be admitted that Florence Nightingale was guilty of being white.

Anyway ... be sure and read all of it at the link. The photos and illustrations are there as well.

Lessons in lies: How the BBC, school text books and even exam boards have twisted history to smear Florence Nightingale and make a saint of this woman

Site for memorial statue of Mary Seacole was blessed in London last month
Seacole has been treated with huge reverence - but is surrounded by myth
Presented as medical pioneer - though she was never even a nurse
Even school exams award marks for repeating falsehoods about Seacole
Florence Nightingale - an actual pioneer - is often denigrated in comparison

By Professor Lynn Mcdonald

Across the river from the Houses of Parliament in London, a small yet significant ceremony took place last month.
As a few dignitaries looked on in the gardens of St Thomas’ Hospital, a Church of England chaplain blessed the ground where a 10ft statue is to be erected next summer.

While few public artworks are treated with quite such reverence, all the great and good who gathered for the event were conscious that the £500,000 bronze will be the first public memorial to celebrate the ‘black pioneer nurse’ Mary Seacole.

As actress Suzanne Packer, of the TV hospital drama Casualty, unveiled a plaque to mark the spot where the statue will stand, she warmly declared: ‘It makes me proud, as a black woman, to have such a powerful and courageous role model.’

Sceptics, however, have been quick to point out another, more controversial, reason why the actress’s involvement in the ceremony may have been fitting.
Packer’s TV role, as nurse Tess Bateman, is of course fictional - and so, too, I am afraid to say, are most of the claims made for Mary Seacole.

Indeed, the planned statue might better be viewed not as a monument to a giant of nursing, but as a symbol to the way in which history is being twisted, even falsified, to fit a political agenda.

In the case of Mary Seacole, the cause is to promote her as an early black heroine who lovingly tended British troops in the Crimean War.
Indeed, Seacole’s supporters, including the BBC, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), reputable publishers and school exam boards, seem determined to elevate this Victorian businesswoman and adventurer almost to the status of a modern-day saint. But the truth is that she was never a nurse.

Although school history books now treat her as an equal to Florence Nightingale, Seacole never nursed in a hospital, did not start a nursing school, never wrote books or articles on nursing. Indeed, she never did anything to rival Nightingale’s truly pioneering work to improve healthcare.

Yet while her modern cheerleaders champion Seacole as ‘the real angel of the Crimean War’, and the RCN parades her as a role model, Florence Nightingale, who founded the nursing profession, is being increasingly undervalued and even denigrated.
As an academic who has edited Nightingale’s writings, I have been left baffled, frustrated and wearied by the refusal of the pro-Seacole lobby to recognise historical facts.

It was Nightingale who reformed hospital practice and went on to save countless millions of lives with her bold reforms.
But in the name of political correctness, nursing’s greatest figure is depicted as a stick-in-the-mud and even a racist, while Seacole’s undoubted qualities of kindness and compassion are over-praised.

And woe betide those who dare to raise the question of accuracy.
When, as Education Secretary, Michael Gove tried to have Seacole removed from the curriculum last year, he came under concentrated fire from opponents who accused him of wanting more ‘white British males’ in the syllabus.

So, who was Mary Seacole?

Born in 1805, she came from a fairly privileged background. Though she is now described as a black Jamaican, she was three-quarters white, the daughter of a Scottish soldier and a mixed-race Jamaican woman who ran Blundell Hall, one of the more salubrious hotels in the Caribbean island’s capital, Kingston.

Despite efforts to portray her as an early black heroine, she had a white husband, a white business partner and white clientele.

As for her ‘nursing’ prowess, the young Seacole learnt herbal healing from her mother, who worked as a ‘doctress’ (healer), and gleaned informal tips from doctors staying with her family.
Her expertise in this area, however, can only be taken on faith. There is no hard evidence.
As for the herbal ‘remedies’ she used for cholera, for instance, she described in her memoirs how she added lead acetate and mercury chloride. Both are highly toxic, cause dehydration and produce the opposite effect to the treatments used by doctors today.

Mary married a merchant, Edwin Seacole, and after she became a young widow, opened the grandly-titled British Hotel in Panama - actually a ramshackle building with a large dining room, one bedroom and a barber’s shop.

Much of her custom came from Americans heading for the Gold Rush and crossing the Panama isthmus as a quick route from the east coast of the U.S. to the goldfields of California.

An enterprising woman, Seacole put some of her profits into gold stocks and, when these started to fail, decided to go to London to investigate why.

It was only after two months without success in the gold business that she decided to try for a job as an army nurse - motivated by an impulse to help and to become, as she put it, a ‘heroine’.

But it was too late to join Nightingale and her team of nurses or even attach herself to the second group that went out to the Crimea.

She then hit upon a scheme for a ‘British Hotel’ near Balaclava in Crimea, well-situated to serve British officers involved in the siege of Russian-held Sevastopol as the Crimean War raged.  Instead of gold prospectors, her clients would now be army officers.

The less heroic reality is that she went to Crimea in the spring of 1855 to set up a provisions store that sold luxury items (such as tinned lobster) to officers, and a restaurant and bar where they could dine and drink champagne.

It was hardly fare for rank and file soldiers.

Rather than ministering to the sick and wounded, Seacole’s main work by day was food preparation.

LOTS MORE TO READ AND SEE

One has to be so very careful what and how one says things these days.  I’m struck by the way Prof. McDonald pulls back a bit here and there so as not to, it seems to me, offend the politically correct too terribly much.

I have read something similar with regard to the subject.  It almost always ends the same. That is, anyone who questions the left wing version is a misogynist and a racist. 


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/01/2014 at 01:08 PM   
Filed Under: • History •  
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