Tear Them Down! But, Wait...
Updated: Sep 4
Update: Since writing this post, I have discovered that the sculptor Gutzon Borglum was a huge racists. I take back all the nice things I said about it being a masterpiece.
I’m an activist. I’m also an artist. This is my dilemma.
These little guys are the closest I’ve come to creating a sculpture. I called them my “potted peeps”. That, alone gives me a real appreciation for those artists that do.
I get that these statues represent men who are not the saints that we were taught to believe they were. They were slave owners. They should not be memorialized the way they have been.
That’s the activist. Then there’s the artist.
This all hit me when I read that some are calling for the destruction of Mt. Rushmore. This sculpture, to my way of thinking, is a masterpiece. It’s art created by an artist. As are so many of the statutes that are being destroyed. Those artists worked really hard on those statutes. I suspect that most of them had a distorted knowledge of the true history of these men. It was a paycheck. It most likely enabled them to continue creating art.
One of my FB friends had the idea of creating a museum of “politically incorrect” art. Other countries have done it. Just have a look at Budapest’s Memento Park where old communist statues of Lenin and Stalin, among others, can be found.
Let these art pieces remain intact. Start teaching our youth the real stories behind these men. Let them understand the concept that oftentimes the good comes with the bad. Let them learn the more truthful and objective history. Teach them about how many people had to suffer for the white man’s invasive arrogance.
I think that if the people who are so opposed to the statues would come up with this kind of solution rather than just demand that anyone guilty of destroying them should be thrown in jail, would find more of a consensus of agreement. If that’s even of interest to them.