Sunday, June 30, 2019

"Those in favor of covering the murals have said some of the images are offensive to various groups."

The New York Times reports that "the San Francisco Board of Education voted unanimously this week to cover a series of murals at George Washington High School that includes images of a dead Native American and slaves at work."

Somehow it will cost between $600,000 and $845,000 to cover them up.

Times columnist Bari Weiss is not amused:

"The implications of this logic are chilling. What happens when a student suggests that looking at photographs of the My Lai massacre in history class is too traumatic? Should newspapers avoid printing upsetting images that illuminate the crisis at the border, like the unforgettable one of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, facedown, drowned in the Rio Grande?  All are fair game for censorship in a worldview that insists that words and images are to be judged based on how 'safe' they make people feel."

Michael Kimmelman concurs:  "This is so appalling, a school board so shockingly reactionary, repressive and idiotic in the name of 'protecting' students that you wonder if its next move will be to burn books."

As does Charles Desmarais:  "I dread the day when another, and then another group or individual sets out to question a work of art in the public realm, not in the spirit of criticism and learning but to permanently deny us all the opportunity to judge for ourselves. I fear a time when nothing but the commercially sponsored and the innocuously peripheral make up our visual environment. Then we all will live in a poorer city, and the censors will know they were the cause."