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‘Destroy That Art!’ Cried The Woke Artists

In the current Whitney Biennial, a very big-deal art show in New York, there is a 2016 painting depicting the body of Emmett Till, the Mississippi teenager murdered by white supremacists in 1955. Artist Dana Schutz, who is white, created the highly abstract image from famous open-casket photographs of Till at his funeral. Till’s mother wanted the world to see what white supremacists had done to her son. Those photographs served as a catalyst for civil rights protest, and are now an icon of American history.

Schutz’s painting has been denounced by some black artists and others, because the painter is white. [1] Hannah Black, a British-born black artist, has written an open letter [2] demanding that the Whitney Museum not only take the painting down, but also destroy it. Here is the full text of her letter, which is drawing a number of signers:

OPEN LETTER

To the curators and staff of the Whitney biennial:

I am writing to ask you to remove Dana Schutz’s painting “Open Casket” and with the urgent recommendation that the painting be destroyed and not entered into any market or museum.

As you know, this painting depicts the dead body of 14-year-old Emmett Till in the open casket that his mother chose, saying, “Let the people see what I’ve seen.” That even the disfigured corpse of a child was not sufficient to move the white gaze from its habitual cold calculation is evident daily and in a myriad of ways, not least the fact that this painting exists at all. In brief: the painting should not be acceptable to anyone who cares or pretends to care about Black people because it is not acceptable for a white person to transmute Black suffering into profit and fun, though the practice has been normalized for a long time.

Although Schutz’s intention may be to present white shame, this shame is not correctly represented as a painting of a dead Black boy by a white artist — those non-Black artists who sincerely wish to highlight the shameful nature of white violence should first of all stop treating Black pain as raw material. The subject matter is not Schutz’s; white free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others, and are not natural rights. The painting must go.

Emmett Till’s name has circulated widely since his death. It has come to stand not only for Till himself but also for the mournability (to each other, if not to everyone) of people marked as disposable, for the weight so often given to a white woman’s word above a Black child’s comfort or survival, and for the injustice of anti-Black legal systems. Through his mother’s courage, Till was made available to Black people as an inspiration and warning. Non-Black people must accept that they will never embody and cannot understand this gesture: the evidence of their collective lack of understanding is that Black people go on dying at the hands of white supremacists, that Black communities go on living in desperate poverty not far from the museum where this valuable painting hangs, that Black children are still denied childhood. Even if Schutz has not been gifted with any real sensitivity to history, if Black people are telling her that the painting has caused unnecessary hurt, she and you must accept the truth of this. The painting must go.

Ongoing debates on the appropriation of Black culture by non-Black artists have highlighted the relation of these appropriations to the systematic oppression of Black communities in the US and worldwide, and, in a wider historical view, to the capitalist appropriation of the lives and bodies of Black people with which our present era began. Meanwhile, a similarly high-stakes conversation has been going on about the willingness of a largely non-Black media to share images and footage of Black people in torment and distress or even at the moment of death, evoking deeply shameful white American traditions such as the public lynching. Although derided by many white and white-affiliated critics as trivial and naive, discussions of appropriation and representation go to the heart of the question of how we might seek to live in a reparative mode, with humility, clarity, humour and hope, given the barbaric realities of racial and gendered violence on which our lives are founded. I see no more important foundational consideration for art than this question, which otherwise dissolves into empty formalism or irony, into a pastime or a therapy.

The curators of the Whitney biennial surely agree, because they have staged a show in which Black life and anti-Black violence feature as themes, and been approvingly reviewed in major publications for doing so. Although it is possible that this inclusion means no more than that blackness is hot right now, driven into non-Black consciousness by prominent Black uprisings and struggles across the US and elsewhere, I choose to assume as much capacity for insight and sincerity in the biennial curators as I do in myself. Which is to say — we all make terrible mistakes sometimes, but through effort the more important thing could be how we move to make amends for them and what we learn in the process. The painting must go.

Thank you for reading
Hannah Black
Artist/writer
Whitney ISP 2013-14

See the reprint in ArtNews for the names of the co-signers. [2]

So there you have it: prominent artists demanding that a museum not only remove a work of art, but destroy it, because the artist is white, and her subject is black. Think about that. Think about where this is going.

 

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94 Comments To "‘Destroy That Art!’ Cried The Woke Artists"

#1 Comment By Ellimist000 On March 30, 2017 @ 9:18 pm

Siarlys, agree 110%

God save us from the narcissists, black and white, urban/elite and rural/working class, left and right, one and all!

#2 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 30, 2017 @ 9:48 pm

In the last two or three years I have found myself almost…self segregating. I’m terrified of offending, of blurting out some horrible gaffe that sounds like I’m a hideous racist oblivious of my white privilege, I’m even policing my thoughts to some extent.

Well Andrew, get out more. It takes a truly rarified black intellectual with massive pretensions to generate this stuff. Its not being talked up much in the hood. A handful of activists at city hall maybe, but in everyday life, not hardly.

Rules and norms that can’t be met are better understood as threats and power plays.

Uh huh. By people nobody is paying attention to.

When you’re damned no matter what, you’d best just stay silent. — RD

No. Take a leaf from Charles Cosimano. Just do the right thing and damn the torpedoes. I’m not saying your book is deficient because you didn’t make a point of examining The Black Church. But, if you had chosen to do so, and had engaged with clergy and laity of the major black denominations, as yo did with so many others, you could have laughed off the critiques from people who by and large are committed atheists who think Christ was a white man (which is itself a dubious proposition).

#3 Comment By Thomas Aquinas On March 30, 2017 @ 9:53 pm

“Non-Black people must accept that they will never embody and cannot understand this gesture.”

That’s not true. Carole King–a little Jewish girl from Brooklyn–wrote Motown songs as good as those written by Smokey Robinson.

Non-black people, just like non-white people, can understand plenty about each other. Why? We share the same nature. Empathy and sympathy would be impossible if this were not so. Black Christians, for example, are drawn to Exodus and its story of the Hebrew slaves. But how can that be? How can 21st century American blacks relate to ancient Jews oppressed under Pharaoh? The question answers itself.

If this is not possible, then this “artist” provides the grounds for justifying chattel slavery: if blacks are so different, so entirely other, than why should a white person care if “Black Lives Matter” matters to blacks? Unless there is a common humanity–a shared nature–then this “artist” is at bottom offering an account of the human person that is not a bit different than one offered by the slave traders that decimated Africa.

#4 Comment By russ On March 30, 2017 @ 10:18 pm

You wanna see cultural appropriation in art? Check out some of the Italian art from the 1500-1600 period depicting biblical stories. It’s some seriously funny stuff. David holding Goliath’s severed head while wearing fancy European clothing and looking like a total patsy, for instance.

#5 Comment By russ On March 30, 2017 @ 10:31 pm

[3]

Or maybe the title could be David macroaggresses Goliath

#6 Comment By Adamant On March 30, 2017 @ 10:46 pm

Siarlys,

‘Uh huh. By people nobody is paying attention to.’

Those ‘nobodies’ swing large sticks in our universities, government agencies, and corporate HR departments. They have actual power in the real world, regardless of how ridiculous we find them to be.

#7 Comment By David J. White On March 30, 2017 @ 11:16 pm

The ultimate cultural appropriation was committed by Christians towards Judaism.

I disagree. The first Christians were themselves Jews, so their Jewish heritage was theirs to “appropriate.”

The wholesale cultural appropriation of Greece by Rome might be my candidate for “ultimate” cultural appropriation.

#8 Comment By M_Young On March 30, 2017 @ 11:55 pm

“Russian-Jewish on her mother’s side ”

Colour me shocked.

#9 Comment By Moone Boy On March 31, 2017 @ 1:39 am

stop treating Black pain as raw material. The subject matter is not Schutz’s

That first sentence right there, could actually be valid criticism in general; if that were the core complaint, I’d have a great deal of sympathy: a white person selling an image of a black tragedy, in a museum largely funded by white people, in front of an audience largely white, to probably rich white people.

Before people hop all over that, it brings to mind your comment/quote about kitsch: first one tear for the thing itself, then a second because of how good we feel in front of each other doing that.

It’s the second sentence that then morphs into:

Non-black people must accept that they will never inderstand this gesture

Now, that’s just demonstrably false, and offensive in the general terms it’s spoken. No one will exactly understand a particular loss of a child of that mother; people from different backgrounds will have different experiences. But to say no person who is “white” will understand in general terms? Do I understand correctly that she’s part Jewish and Irish, and yet she can come out with something like that?
(This is even aside from presuming that art can communicate or translate experiences beyond our own – or who gets to define the boundaries of what is legitimately “Black”)

#10 Comment By MrsDK On March 31, 2017 @ 6:26 am

Wow, Andrew, thank you for mentioning that you found Piss Christ to be beautiful. I was not a Christian at the time of the original uproar (now I am Orthodox), but I remember thinking that it was beautiful. Like you, I don’t know the artist’s intent…but sometimes, the more one blasphemes, the more one praises God.

#11 Comment By Elijah On March 31, 2017 @ 7:30 am

“A little off the subject, but am I the only Christian who thinks that “Piss Christ” is actually a beautiful work of art, both aesthetically and metaphorically?”

Yes, you are.

#12 Comment By Andrea On March 31, 2017 @ 8:04 am

Well, freedom of speech includes her letter. I support her right to express her beliefs and yours to call her alarming. I will be concerned if the museum actually considers destroying the artwork or if a group of vandals takes it upon themselves to do so. The best response to speech you disagree with is more speech.

#13 Comment By TA On March 31, 2017 @ 8:56 am

The Dallas Morning News writer has it correct. This is just a call for iconoclasm – a fairly clear sign of extremism that should be rejected.

The more people who know the story of Emmett Till the better. (as his mother wanted)

#14 Comment By Gromaticus On March 31, 2017 @ 10:38 am

From Ms. Schultz’s Wikipedia page

…her fictive subjects have ranged from people who can eat themselves, a gravity fanatic, imaginary births and deaths, and public/private performers. On the occasion Schutz’s museum retrospective at the Neuberger Museum, New York Times critic Karen Rosenberg wrote “Ms. Schutz has become a reliable conjurer of wickedly grotesque creatures and absurd situations, willed into existence by her vigorous and wildly colorful brush strokes.” She concludes, “Again and again Ms. Schutz has challenged herself to come up with a subject that’s too awkward, gross, impractical or invisible to paint. But she has yet to find one that stumps her.”

Jörg Heiser, who has compared Schutz to Austrian painter Maria Lassnig, describes the work in his 2008 book All of a Sudden: “Her canvases are ‘too big,’ the way showy gold chains are too big, but also skeptical and at times bad-tempered, the way intelligent teenagers are in their loathing of the bland aestheticism and brash sexuality of pop-modernity”. With regard to color, Heiser adds, “Schutz’s pictures favor a carefully chosen palette of vomit and mold and rot, between pink and purple, turquoise and olive, ocher and crap.”

In a battle between decadents, the best we can hope for is that they fight to a draw.

“You keep all your smart modern painters
I’ll take Rembrandt, Titian, Da Vinci and Gainsborough”
-Ray Davies

#15 Comment By Kitchen timer On March 31, 2017 @ 11:15 am

I can see both sides of this one. There could be some humanity lost when you go from the particular to the general, intending to go for the universal, but missing (in the eyes of some, at least).
This is an issue to be talked –and listened– about face to face, across a table.

#16 Comment By peanut On March 31, 2017 @ 11:25 am

“A little off the subject, but am I the only Christian who thinks that “Piss Christ” is actually a beautiful work of art, both aesthetically and metaphorically? I don’t like the title, or the artist’s intent, but I still find it incredibly powerful.

Christ was the holy and righteous Son of God, who came to an earth immersed in sin. He involved Himself with sinful mankind. All of the sin of the world was placed on Him at the crucifixion. A crucifix immersed in urine is far more accurate theologically than a cross fitted with jewels and diamonds.

And Piss Christ is also beautiful to look at.”

I am not a Christian, but I am moved beyond words by Andrew Hudgin’s poem on the affair:
[4]

#17 Comment By Thomas Aquinas On March 31, 2017 @ 11:31 am

The artist is culturally appropriating neo-Marxist critique, developed out of the thought of a white European Jew, Karl Marx. Can’t she find her own African philosophy, or is it just not that good? (Perhaps this is evidence of internal self-hatred of our own heritage, an inner inclination toward whiteness, a michaeljacksonian pigmentationism?)

Quit borrowing from our guys.

Use your own.

#18 Comment By Thomas Aquinas On March 31, 2017 @ 11:37 am

Siarlys Jenkins, the Benedict Option is semi-autobiographical. Essentially, what you’re suggesting is that Rod have lived a different life.

Takes a lot of chutzpah to suggest such a thing. May as well criticize Malcolm X for not writing enough about the Amish.

#19 Comment By Kacey Now On March 31, 2017 @ 11:45 am

The largest single book-burning the nazis did was the [5], a leader in transgender research — I can’t help but think about that when I see these photos, that an institution I use for trans counseling might be destroyed along with its records, the meaning forgotten, then images of that destruction deployed as propaganda by yet others who wish I didn’t exist.

#20 Comment By roberto On March 31, 2017 @ 1:49 pm

“MikeS says:
March 30, 2017 at 4:22 pm
These people are crazed zealots, like those who desecrated churches during the reformation. To them, alternative expressions must be eradicated.”

And unfortunately, sooner or later many white people will think that THEY must be eradicated. Threatening without having the force to act out the threat is very dangerous.

#21 Comment By Ellimist000 On March 31, 2017 @ 3:05 pm

Elijah,

After actually taking a look at it, instead of just hearing opinions and blind outrage about it, I agree with him, so no, he’s not.

#22 Comment By David Jonds On March 31, 2017 @ 4:37 pm

So full of dumbness that there is no need to go further. Some ideas are so dumb only artists will believe them.

#23 Comment By David On March 31, 2017 @ 4:59 pm

“Non-Black people must accept that they will never embody and cannot understand this gesture.”

Okay, two can play at this. Black people must accept that non-Black people can understand, but Black people cannot understand this understanding.

#24 Comment By Andrew On March 31, 2017 @ 5:40 pm

I love the juxtaposition of MrsDK’s comment with Elijah’s right below it. Thank you for the affirmation, MrsDK.

Elijah, take a look at the photo again (via Google), but pretend instead that it is a painting. It is gloriously beautiful.

@peanut, thank you for linking to that poem. I had never heard of it. That articulates exactly what I think is so moving about the art work.

#25 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 31, 2017 @ 6:04 pm

Those ‘nobodies’ swing large sticks in our universities, government agencies, and corporate HR departments.

Not really, Adamant. First, the strident voice of the letter under discussion here is not yet accepted by those swinging large sticks, although its disappointing that the NY Times would even bother reporting on this nonsense.

Second, those big sticks aren’t all that. Its not nothing that outside the rarified world of academia, most Americans going about their ordinary lives really aren’t being moved by this nonsense, not to uphold it, not to denounce it, just not on the radar screen. A lot of tin-pot emperors really don’t have any clothes on.

That first sentence right there, could actually be valid criticism in general; if that were the core complaint, I’d have a great deal of sympathy

I don’t. The subject matter is not Black’s either. In fact, by such criteria, nobody except Emmett Till’s mother has the right to make art about his death. Merely sharing the same color certainly doesn’t qualify anyone. If it happened in the world, any artist has the option to express it.

Siarlys Jenkins, the Benedict Option is semi-autobiographical. Essentially, what you’re suggesting is that Rod have lived a different life.

Ummm, could you elucidate on that, Thomas? What suggestion are you talking about?

#26 Comment By JHP2 On March 31, 2017 @ 6:06 pm

Seems appropriate that the author of the letter lives in Berlin.

#27 Comment By Hound of Ulster On March 31, 2017 @ 6:24 pm

What that poem brought to mind for me was the quote from St. Athnasius the Great: God became man so that we can become like god
And Jesus’s humanity does get lost in the shuffle from time to time in Christian theology.

I can understand why African/Black artists are sensitive to anything that looks like cultural appropriation. The history is Not Good. The reaction to Ms. Schutz’s work is completely wrong-headed though. Make better art.

#28 Comment By Mia On March 31, 2017 @ 7:05 pm

“When you’re damned no matter what, you’d best just stay silent. — RD”

I think that’s the whole point of the cultural appropriation nonsense, which was apparently invented by some lawyer and not anyone with a shred of knowledge about the historical development of art or any actual, related field. The idea is to stop all art, period, in my opinion. Cultural Marxism’s goal is usually stated to make ugly art on purpose, which they are pursuing with zeal, but this is an aspect of a related form of demoralization. If there’s no art being made (except their strongly leftist crap), then they have no competition, right? They have to shut the other side down somehow in order to gain a monopoly on things, so this seems like the next logical step. So my advice would be to ignore the trolls and do what you want. If they don’t like it, then they can make better art and get the marketplace’s attention, if that’s really what they are after.

#29 Comment By Cornel Lencar On March 31, 2017 @ 10:36 pm

The world socialist web site is denouncing Hannah Black without mincing any words:
[6]

#30 Comment By M_Young On April 1, 2017 @ 12:28 am

“The more people who know the story of Emmett Till the better. ”

Would that include his grabbing Ms. Bryant and bragging how if —— white women.

And yes, I believe that he said that, despite the supposed ‘confession’ — ten years ago but only recently revealed — by Bryant that ‘that part’s not true’.

#31 Comment By Daniel (not Larison ) On April 1, 2017 @ 6:47 am

This is all 11th-dimensional kitsch, folks:

“How sad it is that this child was murdered by racists. And how woke I am to be saddened by it.”

“Ah, but you are really woke if you are outraged that it was a white artist who made you sad.”

#32 Comment By Adamant On April 1, 2017 @ 7:06 am

‘A lot of tin-pot emperors really don’t have any clothes on.’

I’d love to introduce you to the zealots that comprise your average corporate HR department. They can and do insist rather strongly that you share their concerns. In a work environment that is largely ‘at-will’ they wield a power disproportionate to both their numbers and the stupidity of their beliefs.

#33 Comment By connecticut farmer On April 1, 2017 @ 9:37 am

Somebody should introduce the appropriately surnamed Ms.Black to “MacArthur Genius” T-N Coates.

#34 Comment By A. G. Phillbin On April 1, 2017 @ 1:40 pm

@Thomas Aquinas,

The artist is culturally appropriating neo-Marxist critique, developed out of the thought of a white European Jew, Karl Marx. Can’t she find her own African philosophy, or is it just not that good? (Perhaps this is evidence of internal self-hatred of our own heritage, an inner inclination toward whiteness, a michaeljacksonian pigmentationism?)

Prove now that there is the slightest element of “Marxism,” neo or otherwise, in this ridiculous piece of racialist bigotry disguised as art criticism? If there is “Marxism” in it, why, as Cornel Lencar pointed out, is the avowedly Marxist World Socialist website denouncing Ms. Black and her co-signers?
[6]
Better still, define “cultural Marxism.” Or is it just an epithet that so-called “conservatives” throw around at any cultural event or critique that seems to be to the left of themselves, or are simply unable to comprehend? What has Marxism got to do with particularist ethno-centrism, even of the “downtrodden?” Where did Marx (or any of his prominent followers) ever express sympathy for that? To me, you come off almost as ignorant and philistine as Ms. Black and friends. I say “almost,” because at least you are not calling to destroy a work of art, however much it might displease you.

@Mia,
Cultural Marxism’s goal is usually stated to make ugly art on purpose, which they are pursuing with zeal, but this is an aspect of a related form of demoralization.

Really? Did you read that in “The Journal of Cultural Marxism,” or some other Marxoid publication? Stated by whom? Listen, I have been around the far left for decades, and I have never met a “cultural Marxist.” Marxism is an economic, social, and political paradigm, not an aesthetic one. I challenge you to even define “cultural Marxism.” Yes, Marxist theory and politics can influence one’s artistic creations or tastes, but those influences are not always blatant, nor they usually the totality of either. Anyone who is pretentious enough to call himself a “cultural Marxist” is neither “cultural” nor “Marxist,” but a pretentious fraud.

This “cultural Marxist” meme that “conservatives” like to gibber about when encountering anything from Ms. Black’s ignorant ethnocentrism to male trannies wanting to change in the girls locker room is an absurd attempt to reduce everything they revile to one word, “Marxism.” It’s the “conservative” equivalent of the use of “racism” accusations by “leftists” — it is a discussion stopper, not a conclusion of analysis.

The use of this phrase debases your own argument rather than enhancing it. Or is it your intent to get people to your “left” to prove your point by putting a minus where you put a plus? If I didn’t already think that the two examples I gave in the paragraph above were things I strongly disagreed with, your argument would not have convinced me, and might have made me seek merit in those things where there is none.

#35 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 1, 2017 @ 10:50 pm

This “cultural Marxist” meme that “conservatives” like to gibber about when encountering anything from Ms. Black’s ignorant ethnocentrism to male trannies wanting to change in the girls locker room is an absurd attempt to reduce everything they revile to one word, “Marxism.” It’s the “conservative” equivalent of the use of “racism” accusations by “leftists” — it is a discussion stopper, not a conclusion of analysis.

Every word of that is Gospel Truth.

I’d love to introduce you to the zealots that comprise your average corporate HR department. They can and do insist rather strongly that you share their concerns.

Oh, I know about “at will” employment, and I am truly happy to see dyed in the wool conservatives joining the labor movement in opposition to it. But I’ve spent my life getting up in the faces of corporate HR departments, with some success, and surviving occasionally being fired, when I was careless enough to give them an unrelated pretext. Grow a spine.

Would that include his grabbing Ms. Bryant and bragging how if —— white women.

While doing some research for a biographical article well within the field of “black history” I happened to run across a long-forgotten periodical article by William Bradford Huie, about Emmett Till. Huie also wrote an excellent book on The Execution of Private Slovik which happened during WW II, and Three Lives for Mississippi about the murder of three civil rights workers. So he has some credibility.

It appears from the research Huie did at the time, that Till did reach across a counter and grab Mrs. Bryant’s hand, and ask “How about a date baby?” It appears he had been egged on by his Mississippi cousins, after showing them pictures of his “white” girlfriends in Chicago and boasting about how many white women he had “had.” So there is that.

But, it remains true that what he did was not more than a misdemeanor, if that, and that the men who killed him had taken it upon themselves to be judge, jury and executioner, and felt themselves entitled to do so because they were “white men” and Till was a “n*****r.” So his mother had a valid grievance.

#36 Comment By Hound of Ulster On April 2, 2017 @ 2:55 am

Forget it Siarlys, M_Young is wedded to his racist mythology. Let the dead bury thier own dead. And the woman in question did admit she made the accusation up.

God forbid that a black person might actually, you know, be innocent of charge brought against them by a white person.

#37 Comment By Ken’ichi On April 2, 2017 @ 7:53 am

>>roberto

Threatening without having the force to act out the threat is very dangerous.

Who says they don’t have the force?

#38 Comment By god is watching YOU On April 2, 2017 @ 7:54 am

The artist’s statement is the proper resource for understanding the artlst’s explicit intention:

Ms. Schutz said: “I don’t know what it is like to be black in America but I do know what it is like to be a mother. Emmett was Mamie Till’s only son. The thought of anything happening to your child is beyond comprehension. Their pain is your pain. My engagement with this image was through empathy with his mother.” She added: “Art can be a space for empathy, a vehicle for connection. I don’t believe that people can ever really know what it is like to be someone else (I will never know the fear that black parents may have) but neither are we all completely unknowable.”

Can the militant opposers of this art make claims about a so-called White consciousness using images and symbols of so-called Black experience …. well yes they can. It is the same sort of ‘identity warfare’ that gave the country President Trump: ‘White working class experience’ trumping (pardon the pun) ‘Elitist urban consciousness’. Is that where we are: ‘consciousness’ wars?

#39 Comment By David J. White On April 2, 2017 @ 2:07 pm

A little off the subject, but am I the only Christian who thinks that “Piss Christ” is actually a beautiful work of art, both aesthetically and metaphorically?

I remember that at the time “Piss Christ” was in the news I wondered whether Leftists would be so quick to embrace and excuse it if it had instead been “Piss Menorah,” “Piss Koran,” or “Piss Martin Luther King.” I think we all know the answer.

#40 Comment By WorkingClass On April 2, 2017 @ 4:30 pm

I guess black supremacy is a new wrinkle. It’s a lot like queer supremacy and female supremacy and all three are lot like SJW omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence.

What’s a po white boy to do?

#41 Comment By Hound of Ulster On April 2, 2017 @ 4:36 pm

Empathy…a lost skill in our fallen age.

#42 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 2, 2017 @ 11:54 pm

M_Young is wedded to his racist mythology. Let the dead bury thier own dead. And the woman in question did admit she made the accusation up.

This exemplifies the sort of shallow, lazy thought process that could conceivably bring our nation to an end, not with a bang but a whimper.

M_Young is often wrong, but he is not an evil genius plotting to take over the world. He is my fellow citizen, formed by his life experiences (which in my seldom humble opinion have led him to unsustainable conclusions). I will never tire of engaging with him. Besides, if the fascists should happen to triumph, I’m counting on him to hide me in his attic.

Mrs. Bryant (the woman does have a name) made a rather vague admission, not that she made the whole thing up, but that some things she is believed to have said at the time did not happen. Nobody approaching this matter with integrity would take that as a wholesale clarification of everything, or even of anything, since none of the published coverage has been any too specific about what she did or didn’t say happen and what she did or didn’t retract.

Its not like nothing happened. What did happen, as I said, might at most have been a rather small misdemeanor, if that. I do think thorough contemporary journalism might have some basis in fact, whatever a key witness said some sixty years later.

We also should not be afraid of inconvenient truths. No matter how full of himself Emmet Till may have been, the process is what really echoes down the ages. Two men took it upon themselves to kidnap, accuse, judge, and execute, not because of the gravity of what Till did, but because they were one color and he was another. That is still true, and its still worthy of being remembered.

What’s a po white boy to do?

Live your life. Pay no attention to that reflection in the mirrors. Pay attention to the silly little man behind the curtain. The working class is going to become the human race. The ring tone on my cell phone says so.

#43 Comment By EngineerScotty On April 3, 2017 @ 5:55 pm

[7]

#44 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 5, 2017 @ 2:41 pm

The history of humanity is a history of cultural appropriation: agriculture, domesticated cattle, metal working, the story in the Mabinogion of how pigs came to Wales… Oh, and Christianity, not to mention the demand of the subjects of the Umayyad Caliphate that they be allowed to convert to the new Established Religion so they could stop paying taxes. I have an Afro-Asian garden… nasturtiums and tulips.

Cultural appropriation… its how we became as rich and sanitary and well fed as we are. Deal with it.