A popular series of U.S. history programs held for nearly two decades for school kids in Oak Glen, California, is on the verge of cancellation because left-wing Antifa types have discovered that the director of the programs is a conservative who they are now calling a “racist.”
Historian, author, and TV producer James Patrick Riley has been holding U.S. history programs at his Oak Glen farm for almost two decades. Kids have seen non-partisan, historical recreations of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, California’s Gold Rush Days and other eras at Riley’s Farm. Indeed, by Riley’s estimate, “hundreds of thousands” of California school kids have visited the farm and participated in the historical pageants and programs without a complaint.
But now, thanks to a small handful of hate-filled, left-wing agitators, schools are suddenly beginning to balk about participating at the Riley’s Farm historical events.
Is it because the Riley shoehorns modern political statements into their kids programs? No. Is it because they teach “fake news” history pushing their political views on kids? Nope.
It is because Riley, producer of the PBS history drama, Courage, New Hampshire, has posted conservative-leaning posts to social media, because he has written for conservative outlets such as American Greatness, and because he is a solid conservative. Because of this, left-wingers have targeted his school programs for destruction.
Yep. It is just because he is a conservative. It isn’t because his programs have been detrimental. It is only because in his personal life he is a conservative.
Riley described his popular and successful history programs as non-partisan saying, “There are no contemporary politics on display.”
“Unlike companies engaged in political virtue-signaling, we’ve never asked anyone to celebrate the cause du jour,” he added. “I have a political life on my own time. It has absolutely no effect on my living history programs. I hire a very diverse group of people who have one goal: making the learning of American history fun and accessible for children and families.”
Riley then told his American Greatness audience that his programs are now endangered:
Enter ubiquitous social media and a crusading socialist “blue wave” activist—who took the trouble to urge several public schools to blacklist our programs. For my thinking that the Reverend Louis Farrakhan is a bit more dangerous than some mythological (and certainly minuscule) “White Nationalism,” I was called a “racist.” For thinking Stormy Daniels was wildly over the top assaulting an undercover police officer, I was called a “misogynist.” For being bewildered by a sudden multiplicity of gender identities, I was called a “homophobe.” Suddenly, in these polarized times, Riley’s Farm is no longer considered a “safe space” for children by timid, progressive school administrators.
This sort of attack on Riley’s Farm is thoroughly un-American.
But Riley plans to fight this attack on the integrity of his programs and will keep giving them despite the hate-filled left’s un-American attacks.
Good for him.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.