Erase Columbus? Why Not Lewis And Clark Too?

Like many Italian Americans I recognize Columbus Day as a way to take pride in my Italian heritage.

Unfortunately, once again this year there are those would like to take Montana in the direction of other states like Hawaii, Oregon and South Dakota, in the elimination of Columbus Day.

Those voices, including the usual state legislators and apparently everyone who works for the Great Falls Tribune, seem willfully ignorant of a couple of important facts.

First, Columbus never set one foot in what we now call America.

Secondly, history is replete with examples of indigenous peoples in America conquering and taking neighboring tribes as slaves, stealing their land, brutalizing and raping women, engaging in human sacrifice and torture as well as committing atrocities including acts of cannibalism.

All of this before any Europeans even knew the New World existed. So, as Zachary Mettler points out is his excellent article, “The Left Hates Christopher Columbus. Here are Five Reasons Why We Should Still Celebrate Columbus Day”, if Columbus is off limits to celebrate, so are indigenous peoples.

No racial or ethnic group is pure and innocent when it comes to treating fellow human beings badly. Those who constantly single out white Europeans as monsters while ignoring the atrocities committed by other groups and individuals do so mostly for selfish political reasons.

Their hypocrisy is clear to anyone interested in the facts.

So I would ask the local Great Falls finger pointers and virtue signalers, like those at the Great Falls Tribune who make money on the Lewis and Clark advertising brand, how they feel about the fact that Clark himself held slaves and the Corps of Discovery helped open up the West to American expansion and the “exploitation” of indigenous peoples?

Where are the calls to eliminate the statues of Lewis and Clark in and around Great Falls?

Where are the demands to get rid of any mention of Lewis and Clark in our local celebrations or in the naming of local restaurants and other businesses and tourist sites?

Please, be consistent or be quiet.

Philip Faccenda – Proud First Generation Italian American

Joe Biden Throws A Temper Tantrum

In Geneva this week, Hunter Biden’s dad grew incredibly angry — at a State TV CNN reporter, incredibly.

Following the summit with Vladimir Putin, CNN’s Kaitlin Collins asked Biden why he was “confident” that Putin would, after meeting with Biden, suddenly change his behavior.

The president lost it, which you can see here (it’s an amusing minute and two seconds):

Biden’s short fuse isn’t a secret to anyone who has been paying attention.

Perhaps in the name of equity, Biden has raged not only at a sympathetic media, but also at voters. Even left-wing Politifact admitted that Joe Biden has called voters “fat”, “a damn liar”, “a dog faced pony solider”, and even challenged an 83 year-old Democrat voter to both an IQ contest and a pushup contest.

What’s more amazing: that Biden becomes so easily unhinged at the obsequious corporate press, or that he tears into voters (something that, for all of his faults, Trump never did)?

Either way, we can at least take solace in the fact that Democrats, after years of grousing about “decorum,” now spare us their faux outrage.

“Public Servants?”

There is an accepted definition of racism in Critical Race Theory (“CRT”) that suggests that, by definition, all whites are racist and people of color cannot be racist. Rather than a ‘color blind’ society (the content of one’s character, and all that), racism has been redefined in Marxist terms to create a neat tautology. You see, according to this theory, all people are prejudiced against those who are different, including by race. In order to be defined as “racism” though, this innate prejudice must be combined with institutional power. The theory further defines institutional power as something only whites have, and something all whites have. Therefore, since all whites have institutional power, and since all whites are prejudiced, all whites are, by definition, racist. On the other hand, since ‘people of color’ do not have institutional power, they cannot be racist. (Of course, dividing people into groups of oppressors and oppressed is nothing more than warmed over Marxism–which has always worked out well in the past.)

Neat trick, huh?  So now you know what they are talking about when they say “reverse racism isn’t a thing.”

Do you accept this definition? Do you have a right not to accept it? Acceptance doesn’t matter to the new thought police—they have decided you are a racist. They reserve unto themselves the right to define the terms and then smear you with them.

Predictably, this new theory, whereby some define others by the color of their skin, is called anti-racism. (Orwell, anyone?)

Now we see CRT moving into the mainstream, in colleges, corporations, and even some local public schools. Almost every day we hear about some new incursion, whether it’s defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, sending its executives to CRT trainingthe introduction of identity-based Marxism into the military, or parents and teachers creating an ‘enemies list’ for those who might oppose “anti-racism.”

It’s probably not a surprise, then, that we are beginning to see pushback from the states, including Iowa, Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Rhode Island, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, West Virginia, North Carolina and yes, Montana.

Superintendent Elsie Arntzen and Attorney General have recently weighed in on the controversy. Reading the article, you can get glimpses of the truth but, for the most part, the CRT advocates adopt an attitude of “what, we’re just teaching history.” Of course they know where they are heading. It’s not “history,” it’s a theory (Critical Race Theory) that suggests that our entire nation was founded on bondage and evil, that throughout history, the USA was a uniquely evil force of malevolence, and that the only way to balance the scales is to recognize that “whiteness” is evil, and that our entire culture is based on overarching “white supremacy.”

CRT is not about challenging our thoughts with “the facts of history.” It is about casting those “facts of history” into a narrative suggesting that racism is the front, center and rear of history. That nothing else happened in this country beyond what can be seen through the lens of racism. We’re not stupid, folks. We get what you are saying. We are not arguing about “facts,” we are arguing about a theory as to what those facts mean.  Might it be correct? Maybe, but there are many competing theories as was made clear after the debunking of the New York Times’ shameful and narrative induced “1619 Project.” (Which, by the way, is now being taught in some schools.)

This quote, from Montana Teacher of the Year, Dylan Huisken, is quite illuminating as you read on: “It will be hard to meet this standard if we can’t be upfront with students on how racism has shaped society and law, especially if broaching such subjects leads to bad faith accusations of indoctrination.”

One advocate for this theory of the USA as built primarily on the oppression of races other than whites, was Howard Zinn who, through the infatuated and widespread adoption of his “People’s History of the USA” by high school history teachers everywhere has gained an outsized voice in discussions of American history. Zinn passed away in 2010, but is still revered as a socialist who was instrumental in the Hate America First movement.

Zinn’s voice lives on in the Zinn Education Project, which is apparently operated by “two non-profit organizations, Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change, that have spent decades developing and providing social justice resources for teachers.” Great. Teachers as social justice activists. Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

But wait, it gets worse. Recognizing that many state legislatures (you know, the people’s branch of government) are moving against the teaching of CRT in public schools, the Zinn Education Project has developed its “Pledge to Teach the Truth.” According to the website:

Lawmakers in at least 15 states are attempting to pass legislation that would require teachers to lie to students about the role of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and oppression throughout U.S. history.

A recent bill introduced in the Missouri legislature exemplifies a rash of similar bills — in Texas, Idaho, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Arizona, and North Carolina — that aim to prohibit teachers from teaching the truth about this country: It was founded on dispossession of Native Americans, slavery, structural racism and oppression; and structural racism is a defining characteristic of our society today.

Specifically, the Missouri bill bans teaching that: identifies people or groups of people, entities, or institutions in the United States as inherently, immutably, or systemically sexist, racist, anti-LGBT, bigoted, biased, privileged, or oppressed.

But how can one teach honestly about the nature of our society without examining how today’s racial inequality is a systemic legacy of this country’s history?

From police violence, to the prison system, to the wealth gap, to maternal mortality rates, to housing, to education and beyond, the major institutions and systems of our country are deeply infected with anti-Blackness and its intersection with other forms of oppression. To not acknowledge this and help students understand the roots of U.S. racism is to deceive them — not educate them. This history helps students understand the roots of inequality today and gives them the tools to shape a just future. It is not just a history of oppression, but also a history of how people have organized and created coalitions across race, class, and gender.

The Missouri bill names these leading social justice education groups as those whose curricula would be banned: 1619 Project initiative of the New York Times, the Learning for Justice Curriculum of the Southern Poverty Law Center, We Stories, programs of Educational Equity Consultants, BLM at School, Teaching for Change, Zinn Education Project, and any other similar, predecessor, or successor curricula.

The proposed legislation fails to name a single lesson that is inaccurate or that misleads students about U.S. history.

We the undersigned educators will not be bullied. We will continue our commitment to develop critical thinking that supports students to better understand problems in our society, and to develop collective solutions to those problems.  We are for truth-telling and uplifting the power of organizing and solidarity that move us toward a more just society.

So far, just short of 2,500 teachers have signed the pledge. I highly encourage you to spend some time reviewing the comments. This is ‘bullet-point history’ at its finest, and most of the comments are dripping with virtue-signaling and self-righteousness. Want to bet how many of these teachers are white? Makes you wonder why they don’t give up their ‘positions of power.’ I did not find any Montana teachers on the list, but Huisken’s comment, above, suggests that similar sentiments to those in the comments can certainly be found in Montana classrooms.

Their self-glorified notions of “the truth” are belied by their own obvious ignorance. These are theoretical discussions. (Critical Race Theory) These Mensa candidates, who are so much smarter than the parents of the children they plan to indoctrinate, and so much smarter than the people who go to work every day to pay their salaries, cannot recognize that what they proclaim as “the truth,” never to be violated, is simply a narrative, or interpretation, of historical events. Their self-delusion is embarrassing. None of this is to say that CRT is or isn’t true, that systemic racism is or isn’t true, or even that white supremacy is or isn’t the truth. But it is not, on the whole, objectively true.

I am actually more concerned, though, with the larger picture. What does it mean when the people who work for the taxpayers feel unconstrained to follow the laws the taxpayers adopt (through their representatives)? When you look at the arrogance of the comments to ‘the pledge,’ about teaching “the truth,” it is not hard to imagine similar arrogance leading to public employees demanding pay and benefits while reserving unto themselves the right to define their own jobs. How long will that last?

Remember Lois Lerner? The IRS official who ‘slow walked’ 501(c)(3) deductions for right leaning groups? She retired on a full-pension. Remember Kevin Klinesmith, the FBI agent who was involved in submitting false FISA applications? He got probation. Now we have teachers who (no doubt) would not hesitate to insist on higher pay and better benefits (or no in-person classes!) pledging to ignore the law and insisting on their ‘right’ to teach “the Truth.”

It’s one more brick in the wall between the so-called elites and those of us who foot the bill.

Police Are Terrorizing Communities?

In the immediate wake of the Derek Chauvin verdict #AbolishThe Police was trending in the top 10 on Twitter.

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Defund the police and return those resources to Black communities as reparations?

That is a totally absurd notion that we’d wager the vast majority of minority communities and individuals wholeheartedly reject.

“…as long as cops exist they’ll continue to terrorize our communities.”???

“Now let’s do the other 999 cops that killed someone last year.”???

It appears that the goal for these Twitter mobsters isn’t ‘justice’ or even accountability. It’s anarchy and mob rule.

Mr. President, Concede The Election But Not The Fight

I suspect that those who are in favor of doing away with the Electoral College haven’t really thought it through.

Come on, man! If we abolish the Electoral College where will future generations of electricians go to learn how to fix our wiring?

All kidding aside, today state electors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia made the final determination of the 2020 election: Joe Biden is now officially the President-elect.

That doesn’t mean that everyone has to personally like, or even accept, the result.

We all know that there are still some folks who still haven’t accepted the fact that Donald Trump is currently the duly elected POTUS – and President Trump will continue to be President Trump until January 20, 2021.

It also doesn’t mean that there wasn’t election malfeasance and fraud. There was. No doubt.

What the decision by the Electoral College today means is that the Constitutional process for deciding who our nation’s President will be for the next four years (starting January 20, 2021) is now over.

President Trump should begin the transition period and he should do so with grace and respect for our system of governance, even though the ‘other side’ refused to do that when Trump was elected.

The President has an opportunity here to be an example of how to do it right, something the Democrats and the previous administration did not do and have not done.

He fought the good fight and exercised his rights to contest the election results. He lost.

Now it’s time for the President and his supporters to focus on the next chapter, which is going to be monumentally important for the future of our country, from outside the White House and the Office of President.

Trump should use his remaining days in office to do everything he can to continue helping our country move forward.

He should concede the election.

But he should never concede the battle to expose corruption and fight the forces that are trying to “fundamentally change America”. And neither should any of us.

Biden Taps Kamala: Brilliant, Pandering, Or Irrelevant Pick?

Joe Biden has selected California Democratic Senator, and former rival for the party’s POTUS nomination, Kamala Harris as his running mate.

After the announcement Harris tweeted, “I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”

What do you think? Take our poll.

[poll id=”26″]

University Of Portland Removes Corps Of Discovery Statue

After we published our two opinion pieces from this week (Should Lewis & Clark’s Names & Statues Be Removed? and Pastor Collins Responds To Lewis & Clark Statue Question) concerning statues and monuments memorializing Lewis and Clark, a reader posted in our comments section this link to an article in the online Oregonian dated June 17, 2020:

The article states, “The University of Portland has removed one figure from its Captain William Clark Monument on its North Portland campus.”

After a little further digging we discovered an update to the statue removal on the KBND Radio Regional News website which states, “The University of Portland has removed the statue of explorer William Clark from its campus.  The school took down the statue yesterday along with the corresponding statues depicting his slave, York, and an indigenous person.  University officials say the statue has been vandalized recently and that it was time for the statues to come down anyway.

The KBND news piece is dated June 19, 2020, two days after the Oregonian article date.

Pastor Collins Responds To Lewis & Clark Statue Question


As we look across the landscape of our American society, and we hear “the deposition” of the many media outlets, it is almost impossible not to take the vantage point that everything is a black or white issue.

Hard to say, but maybe there is a possibility that the racial divide in our nation is more than simply all things black or white.

I understand that we expect our laws to be black and white, our corporate policies and procedures are drafted to be black and white, and Lord knows that seemingly every adverse situation that occurs in society is promulgated as a black and white issue.

Just maybe there is not a black or white answer to the racial issues that our nation, our state, and even our city faces.

Especially, in light of the conflict that rages between the legal and illegal removal of historical statues and monuments across our great nation.

There was a poll taken recently, in connection with a previous article regarding the removal of historical statues and monuments, and upon reading the article my first instinctual thought was, it’s not that black or white, it’s not simply a yes or no discussion.

Here is why, history is vitally important to any culture, and specifically to our American culture. Without history there can be no firm foundation upon which to build, fortify, and advance our future as a nation.

In lieu of that, we must also be willing to open our hearts to a possible perspective that all history must be remembered, but not all history should be memorialized. Case in point, one of the great movements in our 21st century society many would say has been the #MeToo movement, whereby many women and men declare victory over sexual assault in the history of their lives.

Now although many of these courageous women and men remember the events that took place in their lives, many do not want these events memorialized by a statue or a building named after the person who offended them. So, for many African-Americans slavery is our cultural #MeToo moment.

This is due to the fact, that the black culture was raped physically, socially, and psychologically throughout the annals of U.S. History.

Speaking of U.S. History, one of the greatest Americans in our country’s illustrious existence is Alexander Hamilton, the creator of our U.S. banking system. Mr. Hamilton’s face graces the ten dollar bill, one of two non-presidents featured on U.S bills.

Yet, Mr. Hamilton is historically known for being in an adulterous affair with a Mrs. Maria Reynolds, and although this is a part of U.S. history, I would never fathom in a million years that she should be memorialized on the ten dollar bill with him. This is even after many historians believe that this pivotal segment in U.S. History, may have eliminated the possibility of Alexander Hamilton becoming president of the United States.

I guess what I am trying to say is that before we as the citizens of Great Falls allow ourselves to be thrust into the proverbial box of checking yes or no, black or white, maybe there is a third option that the rest of our nation never pondered.

Maybe there is a place in history, meaning right now, where we memorialize the great accomplishments of our nation, while yet remembering the dark era of slavery.

Maybe there is a time in history, meaning now, when we can all drive over the Warden Bridge, look up toward Freedom Hill and memorialize the great expedition of Lewis & Clark, while remembering York who was once there, but because now he is no longer a slave, he has been set free and removed.