California High School Planning To Remove George Washington Paintings Because He Makes Students Feel ‘Unsafe’
Leftists have managed to claim victory over the imagined evils of monuments commemorating the Civil War. Names have been changed, statues have come down, and the Confederate Battle Flag has been banned.
Now, the left is going after our Founding Fathers.
A high school in Northern California — George Washington High School, to be specific — is mulling over a push to remove two 83-year-old murals from its hallways. Critics advocating for their removal say they are offensive to Native Americans and African-Americans. They say the pair of panels “traumatizes students and community members.”
A San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) working group says the murals should be removed and put in storage to protect the students.
“SFUSD convened a ‘Reflection and Action Working Group’ that was comprised of members of the local Native American community, students, school representatives, district representatives, local artists and historians,” Laura Dudnick, spokeswoman for the district, wrote in an email to The College Fix. “At its conclusion the group voted and the majority recommended that the ‘Life of Washington’ mural be archived and removed because the mural does not represent SFUSD values,” the letter continued. …
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Historian Fergus M. Bordewich told The Fix that it is “a deeply wrongheaded habit to project today’s norms, values, ideals backwards in time to find our ancestors inevitably falling short.”
“It betrays a very troubling intolerance of art and the ambiguity of art and the aspirations of art,” he said. “It’s incredibly stupid if we try to erase history. It still happened, and you should argue about its meanings.”
As it turns out, the California high school isn’t just getting rid of George Washington. They’re also cutting out Benjamin Franklin while they’re at it.
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In one mural, entitled “Mount Vernon”, George Washington appears to be in conversation with another Caucasian man who gestures towards a seated African-American man holding corn, presumably a slave. In other parts of the mural, African-Americans are engaged in acts of manual labor like hauling large bales of hay and picking cotton in the fields, while Caucasian men are also laboring at other tasks with tools. Washington’s servant, who is pictured holding his horse, is also African-American. The mural is a clear depiction of slavery in the United States, and of George Washington as a slave owner.
The second panel, entitled “Westward Vision,” depicts Benjamin Franklin and other founding fathers looking at George Washington as he points off in the distance, while he points with his other hand to a map. On the right side of the mural, as if carrying out Washington’s call for westward expansion, frontiersmen, depicted in greyscale unlike other figures in the mural, stand over the dead body of a Native American man, signifying the genocide of Native American life and culture. …
Oh. And leftists also want to get rid of James Madison, too. Don’t forget about him!
At James Madison Memorial High School in Verona, Wisconsin, a student is petitioning to have the name of her school changed. Why?
The student claims that the “significance of this name in association with my school has a negative effect on memorials [sic] black students. The lack of representation I feel in this school makes me feel more than unsafe.” The Weekly Standard reports that to date, the petition has received more than 1,500 signatures.
The petition on Change.org points out that America’s fourth president had over 100 slaves, and that fact makes the petitioner, Mya Berry, feel “unsafe.” She said that she has been called the “n-word” many times and was even threatened with a “lynching.”
This is an incredibly slippery slope. All of America’s Founding Fathers were imperfect men. Most were slave-owners, and I have no doubt others were genuine scoundrels.
But we owe them a debt of gratitude no matter what sins they may have committed. As Jay Cost writes: “If I contract somebody to paint my house, and I find out later that he is an adulterer, does that excuse me from paying what I owe? Of course not. By the same token, my debt for the painting does not oblige me to act as though he did not wrong his spouse.” …
Wiping out America’s history because there are parts of it that are unsettling or unappealing is a leftist way of trying to re-write what this country was founded upon. …
What do you think?
Calvin Custis Info Recent Posts Contact Calvin Custis is a teacher of American history and government and has written on politics for 10+ years.