“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” ― George Orwell, 1984
In the latest chapter of “everyone is offended by everything”, San Francisco is about to drop some big money.
They city will spend up to $600,000 to paint over a historic mural at a public school depicting the life of George Washington.
It’s artwork that was once seen as innovative and educational.
Now it’s considered to be racist and degrading because of how it depicts Native American and black people.
First – history lesson.
The “Life of Washington” was painted by Victor Arnautoff 83 years ago. He was one of the greatest muralists in the San Francisco area during the Depression.
Now many are worried that the San Francisco School Board’s decision to destroy it will mean that artwork from the so-called New Deal era will also be destroyed because of changing sensitivities.
The 13-panel, 1,600 square foot mural is displayed at George Washington High School (which, at least for now, gets to keep it’s name).
It depicts white pioneers standing over the body of a Native American and slaves working at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.
The board made the decision last week. And of course it comes during a time when many are trying to rewrite history because they don’t like the fact that Washington and other historical figures owned slaves.
The eternally offended have gone so far as change the names of streets and buildings named after slave owners. So far, the names “Washington D.C.” and “Washington” state seem to be safe. Again, so far…
Richard Walker is a professor emeritus of geography at the University of California, Berkeley. He’s also director of the history project, Living New Deal. He points out the obvious – the Washington mural is meant to show the “uncomfortable facts” about America’s first president.
Because of that, it was actually one of many New Deal works of art considered radical when created. Even though he refers to himself as being “on the left”, he’s calling out his own people.
“We on the left ought to welcome the honest portrayal,” Walker said.
He also pointed out that destroying a piece of art “is the worst way we can deal with historic malfeasance, historic evils.”
Mark Sanchez is the vice president of the school board and a third-grade teacher. He said it’s all about feelings and calls the mural “harmful images” that students are forced to endure.
“Painting it over represents not only a symbolic fresh start, but a real fresh start,” he said.
Lope Yap, Jr. also weighed in. He is the vice president of the Washington High School Alumni Association and a 1970 graduate. He, as a former student, completely disagreed. He described the mural, saying he was “awed by the subtle ways Arnautoff was able to critique American history.”
He also pointed out that the depictions are “treasures, priceless art” and painting it over is tantamount to pretending the history depicted never happened.
“I’m not into censorship,” Yap said. “I would want to deal with history so we can prevent this from ever happening again.”
The mural is what’s called a “fresco”. That means it’s painted on the wall, so it’s not like it can easily be taken down. The destruction won’t happen right away, as the city expects lawsuits to delay the project. The board claims it plans to digitally archive the mural.
So why $600,000? Apparently most of that money will go toward a required environmental review and anticipated legal challenges.
George Washington High School has about 2,000 students, most of whom are low-income black students. Arguments calling the mural’s imagery “offensive” and “racist” go back to the 1960’s. The difference now is that in 2019, we are in a society hell-bent on destroying history.
Arnautoff was a Russian-born communist and social critic, ironically. He had been hired with Federal Art Project funds as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. For those unfamiliar with the history of the New Deal, it was a series of government programs meant to help lift the country out of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Arnautoff was one of a group of artists to paint murals at San Francisco’s Coit Tower that prompted anti-communists to delay the tower’s opening. One such piece was called “City Life”.
It showed images urban workers crowding around a newsstand of socialist newspapers and magazines, and at the time faced criticism for failing to include the conservative-leaning San Francisco Chronicle.
Harvey Smith is president of the National New Deal Preservation Association. He said:
“Victor Arnautoff was far ahead of his time, and we have yet to catch up with him in terms of making school curriculum more inclusive and historically accurate.”
Destroying the mural would be just another step in destroying the thousands of other New Deal murals across the country. Activists have already pulled off getting a series of New Deal murals at the University of New Mexico covered up.
A number of others in New York and Iowa have been vandalized, as well as painted over and subsequently restored.
“The mural is an immense public treasure during one of the few periods of American history where you had the federal government supporting public art, public spaces, public goods,” Walker said. “It’s been the right that has always attacked the New Deal with its social programs.”
Walker wants to see it covered up instead of destroyed, and is pushing for a requirement that freshmen take a course on slavery and California’s role in subjugating Native Americans.
That’s not acceptable to Sanchez.
“I understand the importance of art, and it should be the last thing we do, to attempt to cover any kind of art up,” he said. “The starting point has to be from those who feel they are harmed and how that is unacceptable, especially given the history of this country. When we don’t listen, we don’t learn.”
Earlier this year, I wrote about how painfully soft America has gotten.
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”
Law Enforcement Today reported about the high school students in Portland, Oregon (shocker) who walked out of school because they do NOT want school resource officers there. Why? Because cops are scary.
Apparently those students and their parents had their heads in the sand and missed the school shootings over the past several years, including those stopped by school resource officers.
We also reported about how TSA says that they are phasing out canines in airports that have pointy ears, because that’s apparently too scary to kids.
Note: it’s still perfectly acceptable to bring your therapy duck on the plane. Even if it has pointy ears.
On New Year’s Day, we reported on how New York Governor Cuomo pardoned murderers and other violent criminals so they wouldn’t be deported and so they could be with their families.
The week before that, we brought you the story of how Walmart in Northampton, Massachusetts wanted to donate $13,000 worth of training ammo to the local police department, but the town rejected it because bullets kill people.
You can’t make this stuff up.
If 2018 was the year everyone was offended by everything, 2019 is shaping up to be the year that feelings trump laws.
Last year, Law Enforcement Today spearheaded what became the National Task Force on School and Workplace Shootings. It started when we launched a video with some common sense solutions to stop school shootings, meant to spark a conversation among logical Americans.
Among the recommendations in that video… train, certify, hire and arm some of the millions of veterans and retired law enforcement officers looking for work to keep watch in our schools over our children.
Apparently that idea was “offensive.”
“I’m offended that you would suggest guns in schools would be a good idea,” said one Internet troll. “We don’t need more guns, we need more gun free zones!”
Yep. She actually suggested that.
Another point I brought up … we’re so focused on anti-bullying programs that we’ve stopped teaching kids how to develop coping mechanisms to deal with bullies. That’s leading kids to bottle things up and ultimately snap. Perhaps we need to look at the impact of these programs and whether adjustments need to be made.
“That’s terribly offensive,” said another Internet troll. “You WANT kids to be bullied? I can’t even talk to you I’m so upset.”
Then there was the point I made that we’re still running fire drills in an age where most schools will most likely never burn down … but we’re NOT running active-shooter drills.
“As a teacher, I think it’s offensive that you’d suggest we are doing a bad job by having fire drills,” said another troll. “What if a student was smoking in the bathroom and threw the cigarette in the trash? It could ignite the whole school and kill countless people.”
Yup. These are sadly all real quotes.
“I’m offended that you don’t think we should ban all guns from society if we want to stop people from killing,” commented the pot-head, self-declared socialist who has been calling President Donald Trump a dictator for two years now.
If the irony of that is lost on you … read it again.
Society is falling apart – and it’s not because of the NRA. It’s because of people who are offended by everything. I’ve written on this topic before … but it’s time for a refresh.
In December, we all experienced it when we saw demands to remove the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” from airwaves and block the Disney song “Kiss The Girl” from being sung at a college… because apparently they encourage date rape.
But nobody has a problem with foul-mouthed rappers swearing in front of their kids.
They’re good with celebrities who proudly prance around in movies or on stage wearing next to nothing.
They have no issues with the same “journalists” who attacked Supreme-court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for drinking in college doing shots and funneling champagne on New Year’s Eve on national television during the countdown, while other self-righteous journalists in their New Year’s Eve coverage talk about “vaginal steaming” while our kids watch the countdown to the ball drop.
My daughter isn’t allowed to sit “Indian Style” anymore. She has to sit “criss cross apple sauce.” Because we don’t want to offend Native Americans.
But it’s apparently not offensive to take a knee during the National Anthem.
There’s an uproar to remove a mural from the Dr. Seuss museum in his hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts … because there’s a picture of a Chinese guy eating with chopsticks, and apparently that is racist.
But somehow creating a scholarship that you can only qualify for if you’re black isn’t.
People are offended by the term “Fighting Irish” at Notre Dame and want that changed. Except, of course, the Irish who are fighting back against the PC police.
We need to remove statues of General Robert E. Lee and others because … fascism.
But apparently censoring speech and removing historical references that you don’t like isn’t fascist.
We need to change the emoji of a gun on the iPhone to a squirt gun … because we don’t want to trigger people.
But it’s O.K. for a Democrat running for town council to say that all gun supporters should have been on the Las Vegas strip during the mass shooting.
Rape a woman in Massachusetts and you might get 10 years behind bars. Get caught owning a bump stock (which was totally legal a few months ago) and you now might face life in prison in that same state. Despite, of course, the fact that you could fashion a similar device out of a belt and your finger.
The irony to all of this, of course, is that “political correctness” against “fascism” has become the very “fascism” that is being protested.
People are once again screaming for more gun laws, saying that laws will keep bad guys in line. If only we made murder and using drugs illegal … right? And yet when someone not in the country legally kills a police officer who immigrated here legally, you’re apparently racist for wanting to see stronger protection at the borders.
In the meantime, heart disease kills 610,000 people per year. So should we ban double cheeseburgers? Bacon? Ice cream? After all, if we reduce the number of heart-related deaths by just 10%, we’ll save twice the number of people killed by guns each year.
Ridiculous, right? Wrong! We need to ban everything!
Take this very article, for example. There will be many who don’t agree with it. Shut it down! Remove it! Free speech is alive and well as long as it’s the kind of speech we agree with!
Wait – your school mascot for the last 50 years involved a Chief or a tomahawk to pay homage to Native Americans? Everyone that went to that school is clearly a bigot.
You believe that a person should be judged and promoted in the business world based on the person’s skills and qualifications and NOT based on sex, age, skin color, sexuality, or socio-economic background? You a sexist, racist, ageist, xenophobic, homophobic PIG!
See the problem we have here? Those of us who have common sense are apparently the enemy.
Those of us who support police are now evil and stand by the devil.
Those of us who respect the American flag and the men and women who serve and protect it are now occupiers, Nazis, and bootlickers.
Those of us who support capitalism, the free market, and the ability for anyone and everyone to work hard and create something and provide for their family are now elitist.
But here’s the problem with all of this.
While you’re off wearing vagina hats, being triggered by 50-year-old murals and things like “duck duck goose” in our school districts … true incidents of discrimination are happening, because people are starting to become numb to the words.
Enough is enough. It’s time to declare that “political correctness” is nothing more than a tool used by those incapable of logic and reason to try to talk down to those they don’t agree with.
It’s time we start respecting law and order.
It’s time we take the handcuffs off our law enforcement officers and allow them to do their jobs.
It’s time we respect and enforce the laws here in America.
The fate of America is at stake.