Mistaking Cheerleading For Education

Populism is one thing, but the new Museum of the American Indian seems so taken with the idea of pleasing the masses that it has actively ignored any serious discussion of the role of native peoples in the history of America, says Timothy Noah. “The new museum stubbornly refuses to impose any recognizable standard of scholarship, or even value, on the items in its galleries… The museum’s curators regard the very notion of a Native American cultural heritage as anathema because it clashes with the museum’s boosterish message that Native American culture is as vibrant today as it ever was. This isn’t a museum; it’s a public service announcement.”