Wednesday, May 30, 2018

History of smart people doing dumb things with good intentions

The Canadian Historical Association, meeting in Saskatchewan, has voted to remove the name of John A. Macdonald from its premiere prize, the one for the year's best work in Canadian history.  In the name of the good cause of reconciliation, though removal of names and statues was not one of the long list of projects the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has put forward as useful steps toward that goal.

Naming this prize for Macdonald has always seemed a bit odd, since he was not a scholar or a historian and did not donate the prize himself.  So there may have been a more appropriate name to be found all along, and indeed the CHA will now simply call it the CHA Prize. But removing the old name punitively....  Well meant, but not wise, I'd say.

[Hat tip to Allen Levine for the link.]
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