Special to WorldTribune, May 5, 2019
The Left’s attack on history is expanding well beyond the removal of Confederate statues.
To some students at Hofstra University, Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, represents a “culture of bias and discrimination.” The students are demanding a statue of Jefferson be removed from the university.
Some at a northern California public high school – specifically George Washington High School – are calling for a mural of the school’s namesake and U.S. founding father to be removed in order to ease the suffering of students who are “traumatized” by its presence.
According to CampusReform.org, the Jefferson statue “has been the center of controversy” on the Hofstra campus in Hempstead, New York. It has been defaced with “DECOLONIZE” and “Black Lives Matter” signs and stickers.
According to a media advisory sent by the Jefferson Has Gotta Go (JGG) campaign, organizers of a recent protest included “students of Hofstra University, staff from Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, and supporters of Hempstead community.”
The JGG group said it intended to “expose the culture of bias and discrimination,” and demand “the statue of Thomas Jefferson is removed.”
Former College Democrats executive board member Miranda Pino told Campus Reform that “JGG isn’t just about a statue. Yes, the removal of the statue is important, but it is about what the statue represents: a legacy of racism and bigotry on college campuses.”
The JGG in its media advisory also demanded “an online, bias reporting system, an online complaint receipt program, and mandated, comprehensive, cultural competency training.”
The University’s Board of Trustees and Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz have yet to be persuaded to go along with the demands, the College Reform report said.
The JGG protest was held just hours after George Washington University students voted to ditch the school’s mascot, “George the Colonial,” named after George Washington.
At George Washington High School in northern California, meanwhile, a group is determined to remove a large mural of Washington that has been at the school for 83 years, saying it’s offensive and demeaning to Native Americans and African-Americans, The College Fix reported.
The offended group says the mural “traumatizes students and community members.”
In 1936, Victor Arnautoff painted the 13 panels that make up the “Life of Washington” mural at the San Francisco Unified School District campus. Arnautoff was a prominent Russian-American painter who created the murals as part of a Works Progress Administration project undertaken during the New Deal.
The Richmond District Blog noted the offended group’s conclusion on the mural: “We come to these recommendations due to the continued historical and current trauma of Native Americans and African Americans with these depictions in the mural that glorifies slavery, genocide, colonization, manifest destiny, white supremacy, oppression, etc. This mural doesn’t represent SFUSD values of social justice, diversity, united, student-centered. It’s not student-centered if it’s focused on the legacy of artists, rather than the experience of the students.”
Fergus M. Bordewich, a historian said in an interview with The College Fix that there “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.”
A student at George Washington High School told the Golden Gate Express: “One of the main reasons why it is controversial is because back in the [1930s] when it was painted, George Washington was the saint of the people. I’ve talked to a bunch of students here and I honestly think that they agree it is the true depiction of history and that we all have to know who George Washington really was.”
Bordewich added that the “mural is not a celebration of genocide, it’s a challenge to westward expansion. It’s incredibly stupid if we try to erase history. It still happened, and you should argue about its meanings.”