Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Mary Seacole deserves her London statue for being a pioneering black female entrepreneur rather than for being a lovely, warm-hearted black pseudo-nurse

I only became aware of the cult of the black Crimean War "nurse" Mary Seacole when some right-wing scribbler ranted about her on the Telegraph website six or seven years ago. Apparently schoolchildren were being taught that this mixed-race Jamaican immigrant was at least as significant in terms of her contribution to nursing British soldiers as that boring old white woman Florence Nightingale, who had basically stolen Nurse Seacole's thunder due to (what else) - racism! I did a trawl online and found that this was indeed the multiculti narrative being peddled for all it was worth by PC "diversity" enthusiasts. Here, for example, is what the BBC was telling children:

Why is Mary Seacole famous? 
What she did 
Mary Seacole went to the Crimean War, to help British soldiers. She nursed sick and wounded soldiers. When battles were raging, she gave everyone food, blankets, clean clothes and kindness. The soldiers called her 'Mother Seacole'.
When she lived 
Mary was born in 1805, on the Caribbean island of Jamaica. She first visited Britain as a young woman. Later she ran a hotel in Panama. After her adventures in the Crimean War (1854-1856), she lived in Britain. She died in London in 1881.
Why we remember Mary Seacole 
Mary Seacole did what few other women did in the Victorian age. She was a traveller. She ran a business. She went to a war. If people refused to help her, perhaps because of racial prejudice, she still did what she believed was right. She risked her life to help others.
When a statue of Mary Seacole, paid for by a £500,000 public subscription and lauded by the usual suspects, was erected in June in front of St. Thomas's Hospital, opposite the Houses of Parliament, Nightingale fans objected. It was, they argued, a bit of a cheek to place a 10ft version of Ms Seacole (a woman who didn't spend a single day working in a hospital) in front of the hospital where Florence Nightingale has set up her nursing school. In 2013, Michael Gove planned to remove Ms Seacole from the national curriculum - but, after a protracted bout of frenzied virtue-signalling by the multiculti establishment (including a letter to the Times from none other than the noted American race hustler, Rev. Jesse Jackson) the then Education Secretary relented.

The Florence Nightingale Society hit back by sending a letter signed by historians and biographers to the Times, which stated:
"Seacole's battlefield excursions ... took place post-battle, after selling wine and sandwiches to spectators. Mrs Seacole was a kind and generous businesswoman, but was not a frequenter of the battlefield "under fire" or a pioneer of nursing."
This view was repeated by Lynn McDonald, the co-founder of the Florence Nightingale Society, in a letter published in the Telegraph this morning:
SIR – Mary Seacole’s memoirs, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands (1857), debunk many of the myths that surround her life.
Contrary to popular perception, she did not go to Crimea to set up a treatment centre for soldiers, but rather to run a restaurant, bar, store and catering service for officers. 
She gave first aid on the battlefield during the conflict exactly three times, post-battle. She never nursed a day in any hospital in any country, and never submitted the application to join the official ranks of army nurses. Instead, she dropped informally into government offices connected with the war, after the nurses had already left. 
By her own account, she had been too busy managing her gold investments to apply on time.
When Mary Seacole died, she left an estate valued at over £2,500 - pretty bloody impressive for that era. Given that her contribution to nursing has become an excuse for an ongoing brawl between liberal-left multiculturalists determined to inflate the contribution of non-whites to British history and conservatives who disapprove of lying about the past in order to cater to the prejudices of Guardian readers, why don't we all come together to celebrate the really significant fact about Mary Seacole - she was evidently a brave, resourceful, black female entrepreneur.

In 2012, the film director Danny Boyle used the Olympics opening ceremony to give the utterly false impression that blacks played a major role as captains of industry and commerce during Britain's Industrial Revolution. Bollocks. In Mary Seacole, we have an outstanding example of a black immigrant businesswoman - that's what her statue should commemorate. As black leaders and thinkers who've genuinely wanted to improve the status of black people in predominantly white societies have been saying since the 19th Century (Booker T. Washington is a good example), equality under the law, self-help and entrepreneurship should be the route to equality, rather than enforced wealth redistribution, grievance-mongering, anti-white "affirmative action" and dependence on the state. The black community needs to tell self-serving, vampiric race-hustlers to take a hike and to get on with creating more (legal) black-owned businesses and producing more black business executives rather than yet more black nurses - that's why we should be celebrating Mary Seacole's business nous rather than her "compassion".