‘We aren’t awake!’ The head of the National Trust rebuts accusations that culture will be canceled.
THE CHIEF OF THE NATIONAL TRUST has retaliated against claims that the organization is ‘woke,’ arguing that “people want to know more history.”
The National Trust has been chastised in recent months for failing to address linkages between its sites and slavery, among other issues. Now, the charity’s director general has defended the Trust, insisting that it is not “woke.”
Hilary McGrady, director general of the National Trust, defended the organization’s discussion of slavery and racism.
“I can’t pretend it’s always pleasant or that I enjoy it when people say hurtful things about you, but I have to believe the Trust is doing the right thing,” she said.
“I want to convey more stories about history so that it is more accessible to a wider audience.
“There isn’t much I can do if people try to politicize that.”
Ms McGrady told the Evening Standard that the Trust is “late to the game” when it comes to discussing colonial past.
“Almost every cultural organization is delving at its history,” she noted.
“In terms of people wanting to know where money comes from, the genie is out of the bottle…
“I have no intention of concealing anything [about our history]; what would be the point?
“One thing that may have changed is that there may be things that individuals find offensive, and we must be aware of this. The actions we take speak louder than the words we say.
“I believe that if you visit any of our locations, you will notice that we are not attempting to politicize anything. We’re attempting to communicate the tale of this incredible place.”
Tim Parker, the Trust’s chairman, was reported to have been fired in May following criticism from the Restore Trust, a splinter pressure group.
Mr Parker had blacklisted around 100 properties with ties to slavery, including Sir Winston Churchill’s and William Wordsworth’s mansions, and asked followers to support Black Lives Matter, which he described as a “human rights organization with no party-political affiliations.”
Mr Parker resigned because he had served his term plus an extra year due to Covid, according to Ms McGrady, and is “an absolute rock.”
“Honestly, Tim is the least woke dude ever,” she continued.
“It’s amusing that he’s referred to as woke.”
At the time, Restore Trust applauded his departure, saying, “His position was clearly untenable given everything that has happened.”