Winnowing but not sifting

No mistake goes unforgiven 

Our apologies to University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. The Werkes called the chancellor a “craven coward” for knowing better but for acceding nonetheless to the Woke cultural vandals by obliterating the name of renowned actor and alumnus Fredric March.

Blank was well aware that, as an undergraduate in the early 1920, the Wisconsin native helped form a club with the unfortunate name of Ku Klux Klan. Realizing their mistake, the name was quickly changed. Those students so long ago engaged in no acts of harassment. March interspersed his stellar career with advocacy for human rights.

The NAACP knows that and, as we related last week, called for their ally’s good name to be restored — having been besmirched “solely by social media rumor and grievously fact-free, mistaken conclusions.”

Fredric March with civil rights leaders

Book burning, too?

66% of college students say shouting down speakers is actually free speech, according to a poll of 37,000 students at 159 top-ranked colleges and universities. Another 23% believe it is appropriate to use violence to cancel speech.

This is the core of the philosophy of the Antifa movement, law prof Jonathan Turley writes.

Eminent historians … say Fredric March
was no racist but a civil rights superstar

“Of all the people chosen to bear the burden of our racist past, Fredric March is the last person that should be asked to do that,” said Raymond Arsenault, the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at the University of South Florida.

“It’s almost tragic, really, that someone who did so much for civil rights would be treated like this. It’s horrible,” Arsenault told Gonis. “The irony is that someone as dedicated as Fredric March to civil rights and human rights could end up as a victim.” — More here.

Exhibiting a fine disdain for the empiric principal, Blank is having none of it. In fact, she doubles down in a letter to the New York Times.

While it is good that March went on to become a fighter for civil rights and equality, the fact remains that while a student here he aligned himself with a student group that echoed the KKK name. There are some things in our country’s history that are so toxic that you can never erase the stain, let alone merit a named space in our student union. Membership in a group with a name like that of the KKK is one of them.

By God if she doesn’t close with a reference to the university’s famed pledge to “sift and winnow” in the pursuit of the truth. Now that, my fine feathered friends, is some graduate-level chutzpah!

Where is the local outrage?

Former Madison mayor Dave Cieslewicz raises his hand:

Let me see if I understand what Blank is saying. If an 18-year old kid joins a group with an offensive name (but which does nothing offensive) and then goes on to spend a lifetime fighting racism, he should still be cancelled. One transgression (even one that does not seem to actually be much of a transgression) may never be forgiven. Do I have that right, Chancellor? And, if that’s the case, what message does that send to anyone who has actually done offensive things? What’s the point in trying to make amends when there are only mortal sins and no absolution?

Good on Citizen Dave. But why has no one else taken up the cause for truth and reconciliation? Where is the thundering WI State Journal editorial? Could The Capital Times just once break with the Woke Wobblies? Where is university system president Tommy Thompson? The UW Alumni Assn.? The Faculty Senate? Anyone in Journalism School? A professor emerita or two?

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Rebecca Blank is not a craven coward. She is a Cancel Culture co-conspirator.

Can YOU fill in the Blank?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Critical Race Theory / Identity politics, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Winnowing but not sifting

  1. Steve says:

    …and don’t forget Blank’s support for removing the racist rock! She lost a lot of cred by her virtue signaling. Total lack of substance. All show. But, maybe it makes her feel better about being white…..


  2. Nancy Germann says:

    ……..wonder if we will hear anything on this from Dylan Brogan (Isthmus) or Chris Rickert (


  3. George Mitchell says:

    Good work Dave


  4. Scott F says:

    Blank is the personification of the “Peter Principle”…


  5. Mike says:

    Using the “logic” of the Left, one could equally argue that ANYONE ever convicted of any crime should be forever doomed to the trash heap of humanity as eternally irredeemable. Careful what you wish for, Lefties, it might just come back to bite you in the butt.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    When a handful of fanatical ideologues (e.g., Black Students Union) were demanding the removal of Fredric March’s and Porter Butts’ name from the Union theatre and art gallery, the current director of the Memorial Union, Mark Guthier, held a public forum where people were invited to voice their opinions on the subject. In the audience were Porter Butts’ daughter and grand daughter, who were obliged to listen as a parade of smug little pricks denounced him as racist without offering a shred of evidence to support this claim apart from his joining (at age 20) an organization that had nothing to do with racism despite its initials. Besides those two, I was the only person to speak against removing March’s and Butts’ names from their venues in the Union. At the time, I asked a question that, not surprisingly, no one answered: “Explain to me how one youthful indiscretion negates a lifetime of service to the University and the Memorial Union.” It soon became apparent that the so-called forum was a typical leftist show trial and that the decision to remove their names was a foregone conclusion.

    Blank’s’ response to the well-deserved hatchet job she got from the NY Times should surprise no one. When was the last time you heard a self-righteous progressive admit wrongdoing of any kind? Now is the perfect opportunity for Tommy Thompson to earn his inflated salary by reinstating March’s and Butts’ names to the Union theatre and art gallery and by censuring Chancellor Blank and Chancellor Leavitt of UW-Oshkosh, who engaged in a puny imitation of Blank’s action by erasing March’s name from the theatre on that campus. Tommy’s e-mail address is:

    Liked by 2 people

  7. fritzderkat says:

    In the 2021 College Free Speech Rankings, compiled and published by RealClear Education, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is 104th of 154 listed. In the Big Ten, only Michigan and Northwestern rank lower.
    The chancellor should be proud to see her school standing tall in the company of such other elite institutions as wokeful as these.


  8. pANTIFArts says:

    You people, having “thoughts”, unfairly discriminates against those who do not THINK!!!

    Equity people, Equity!!!


  9. georgessson says:

    RE: Ms. Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s intransigence…

    Some cynical and possibly misogynist quotes:

    “Women are always right, and if yer smart, you’ll agree…”

    “When women ask fer your opinion, they don’t want to hear yer opinion… They want to hear THEIR opinion inna deeper voice”

    “When you accept the fact that women are always right, only then will you know the meaning of life.”

    “A woman is always right…just sometimes confused, misinformed, rude, stubborn, changeless and senseless… but never wrong.”

    And I leave ya with:

    “Son, remember that women are always right. Even when they’re not right, they are always right. That’s how you get sex.”

    I’ll find my own way out…


  10. Liberty says:

    You can bet that if the March family still had influence at the UW, she’d be singing a different tune. It doesn’t take much courage to attack the character of someone who’s been dead for several decades.

    I think you were right the first time. She’s complicit in cancel culture AND she’s a craven coward.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Michael Leger says:

    Thank you for the link to the Turley article. That, and its local iteration at the UW, is extremely concerning. What I find particularly troubling is the speed of the change.


  12. Jon Burack says:

    See this,

    Please note. Ms. Blank’s next holy war must be with the evil, unwoke, phallic, exclusionary cult of the Jedi warriors. The Force may be with them, but it was also with Frederic March and the Great Rock on the hill. Come on, Rebecca, your work has only just begun.


  13. Liberty says:

    Side note. People took much better care with their appearance back in the day, didn’t they?

    Wish we could back to that and people could show some basic self respect when they leave the house. There are better options than pajama bottoms, bike shorts, yoga pants, and tights that show everything.


  14. Fr Gregory says:

    The Chancellor’s assertion that “There are some things in our country’s history that are so toxic that you can never erase the stain” would reduce us all to our worse day. Besides being manifestly uncharitable, this view undermines civil society. Without forgiveness, there is no reconciliation and so civil society collapses.


  15. Liberty says:

    Under these terms, Blank and every self-righteous leftist is also subject to scrutiny. What will we find in their pasts?

    “Is this another teachable moment? That human beings are fallible?! Dig deep enough you’ll find enough dirt to topple Mother Teresa off her pedestal.”


    • A Voice in the Wilderness says:

      Certainly Mother Teresa detractors are everywhere on the internet. Allow me to direct gentle readers’ attention to a little book (128 pages) titled, “The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice” by Christopher Hitchens, circa 1995. I skimmed this tract when it was first published.


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