By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org
Colleges refuse to be outdone by municipalities in their contempt for historical statuary. Many colleges and university student and administrator have called for or are in the process of removing statues.
Officials at Yale University recently censored a stone work of art on campus depicting an armed Native American and Puritan side by side, which has been described as a “hostile” image by the Ivy League institution’s alumni magazine.
The stone carving was edited to cover up the Puritan’s musket, while the Native American’s bow was left as is, reports Yale Alumni Magazine.
The decision to censor the carving was made by both head librarian Susan Gibbons and Yale’s Committee on Art in Public Spaces, the latter of which advises President Peter Salovey “on ways to better represent the diversity of the Yale community through the art and other symbolic representations found around campus,” according to the university’s website.
The censorship of the school’s historic stone carving marks one of the first major accomplishments of the newly reconstituted art committee, which was charged in April 2016 with undertaking “an inventory of public representations … throughout campus,” according to Salovey.
THE BRONX –
Statues of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson at Bronx Community College will come down, the school announced Wednesday.
They are part of the college’s Hall of Fame for Great Americans, an exhibit that displays people who had a significant impact on the nation’s history.
The decision to remove them follows a violent weekend of protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the removal of similar statues there.
Both men were generals for the losing side of the Civil War, which ended in the 1860s. The Lee bust dates to 1900 and the Jackson statue to 1955, according to the office of City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who joined school officials for the announcement.
The date for their removals has not been set in stone.
Last year students at other universities demanded removal of historical statuary connected to the universities in which they are located.
LONDON — An outspoken group of students wanted to pull it down, and many alumni wanted it to stay. For months, the authorities at Oxford University have struggled with an awkward dilemma over the fate a statue of Cecil Rhodes, an imperialist benefactor seen by many as an architect of apartheid.
Now, after a vigorous debate, Oriel College, one of 38 largely self-governing colleges at Oxford, has decided it will keep the monument to its famous, if divisive, former student.
In a statement issued late Thursday, the college said that it had received more than 500 comments on the subject and that “the overwhelming message we have received has been in support of the statue remaining in place, for a variety of reasons.”
“Following careful consideration,” the statement continued, “the college’s Governing Body has decided that the statue should remain in place, and that the college will seek to provide a clear historical context to explain why it is there.”
Statues of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, have also been targeted at the University of Missouri at Columbia and the College of William and Mary, according to Inside Higher Ed. The statues have been covered with yellow sticky notes, calling Jefferson a “rapist”, “racist” and “slave owner”. No group has stepped forward and claimed responsibility for the notes at William and Mary but the school is not treating the incident as vandalism.
Students at Princeton University have called for the removal of Woodrow Wilson’s name from the School of Public and International Affairs, the latest development in a growing trend across American campuses as students home in on historical figures and their past intolerance.
Evidently, these students and their administrators they have in tow, possess such moral purity as to be superior to the likes of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. It is a dangerous thing when history is re-written to please certain groups. Totalitarian socialists like the Nazis and the Soviets immediately set about re-writing history as soon as they attained power to justify their power grab. We should not follow their example.