We read stories in the Virginia Gazette and Daily Press about Colonial Williamsburg operating at a loss, year to year, and continuing to want bail out money from taxpayers in the form of the now infamous “Tommy Tax” along with grants from the City of Williamsburg. But what will cause real change within the organization?
Let’s look at one of the main causes for low attendance. Is history fun? Sit in on any public school history class and all you will hear is how awful our founding fathers were. They were oppressive, slave owning, white men. Who wants to visit a place to learn the negative things about history and none of the positive? Teachers are more outspoken on their personal views of this country and incorporate it into their lesson plans whenever they get a chance. And it’s not a good look.
If you do make it to the historic area in person, word on the street is that they aren’t teaching much when you arrive either.
And now the historic site is on a mission. As outlined in this article by Daniel Kaufman, “Last year, Colonial Williamsburg launched an effort to research and reveal the area’s untold, if not purposely forgotten, 18th century “queer legacies.” A dedicated research committee dug “through court records, historical accounts, and other forms of documentation pertinent to the era of the museum in order to better understand and communicate the lived experiences of people who did not conform to the gender or sexual norms of the time,” Archinect reported.”
Do donors know that this is the direction the Foundation is heading? Kaufman also writes “The move is just one of many at Colonial Williamsburg that reflect America’s current atmosphere of cultural reconsideration. Exhibition labels, for instance, will now clearly and intentionally honor enslaved people—who in some cases created and used the items themselves. The museums will also more accurately convey the experiences of enslaved people in its historic reenactments, along with those of America’s original, Indigenous inhabitants.”
I’m all for the telling of history. ALL HISTORY. But when there is a collective education bias towards America and that bias comes across as disdain for the Founding Fathers, impressionable young minds can’t help but grow up thinking, “Why would I ever want to visit such a terrible place?”
In order for Colonial Williamsburg to thrive, enthusiastic educators must play a larger role in shaping the minds of their young students and convey how unbelievably fortunate we are to live in America. It’s a miracle that this great country exists and we should be eternally grateful for such courageous Founding Fathers. Instead kids are taught “white men were bad” and here are examples of how they were bad. Are you kidding me? If you can’t find anything good to teach about American History, then maybe you shouldn’t be a history teacher.
Here is an article by Colonial Williamsburg donor, Robert Knight, “The “woke” movement hates America. It hates America’s founding, its leadership role in the world, the nuclear family, and, above all, America’s success as a self-governing nation.”
And here we are in another fiscal year for the City of Williamsburg. And who has their hands out yet again to the tune of 1.5 million taxpayer dollars? You guessed it. The historic area that is ashamed of its history so it has to pander and self-deprecate. Yet it expects its revenues to soar. Good luck with that.