San Francisco should be embarassed that its local elected officials are bowing to a well meaning but politically tone deaf group who do not want to shine a light on America’s history of violence and racism. The advocates for obliterating history seem to think that by destroying a symbol of the past, people can forget these events took place. I posted an earlier piece on 4.28.2019
Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 7.8.2019
The San Francisco school board “voted to destroy a significant monument of anti-racism. This is a gross violation of logic and sense,” according to a petition already signed by over 400 academics and educators from around the world
“What remains is a mistake in the way we react to historical works of art — ignoring their meaning in favor of our feelings about them — and a mistake in the way we treat historical works of art — using them as tools foor managing feelings, rather than as objects of interpretation.”
Despite the San Francisco school board’s recent vote to destroy a controversial school mural, the debate over the role of art and history is still raging. The Petition will be sent to the district this week urging it to reconsider the decision.
The reason? Painting over the “Life of Washington” fresco is illogical, according to the petition circulated on nonsite.org, a peer-reviewed academic journal focused on politics, history, art history and literature.
The San Francisco Unified School District’s board voted 6-0 on June 25 to paint over the mural, which features slavery and white settlers stepping over a dead American Indian.
“It exposes and denounces in pictorial form the U.S. history of racism and colonialism,” according to the petition. “The only viewers who should feel unsafe before this mural are racists.”
There is no public disagreement over the meaning of the images, said Charles Palermo, editor of nonsite.org and a professor of art history at the College of William & Mary.
Palermo said he expects to send the petition to the school board this week, even though supporters continue to add their names.