In the debates surrounding political correctness, some confusion often. Especially in a question, there are regularly heated Controversies: when and to what extent the criticism of allegedly sexist or racist language, art and behavior is entitled forms? How far you can go? Particularly unforgiving is argued, if it is dealing with literature and art.

the Latest example: A High School in San Francisco has decided to paint over an historic wall paintings. However, teachers and professors not only in the city but in the whole of California storm. 500 academics have urged in an open letter to the district, to reconsider the decision.

that’s the point: In the George Washington High School flaunts the large wall painting “Life of Washington” showing the most important stations in the life of the first U.S. President. The work dates from 1936 and was created by the Communist painter Victor Arnautoff. It is, however, not a historic ham, which glorifies the life and deeds of Washington. On the contrary, Arnautoff shows, among other things, the conquest of the country as a brutal war of white men against the indigenous people of North America. Washington is drawn in addition, in the unadorned as a slave holder he was. Twelve of the walls in the entrance area of the school the painting is to be seen.

appearance of suppression is an imposition for students

The critics of the image to consider it as a disgrace that students have to daily go to the presentations over, the show, such as indigenous people and Black victims of oppression and violence. At a public district meeting there was, according to the newspaper “USA Today” chants with the requirement to “Bring it down” (freely translated: “Away”). It is also a fact Already since the early sixties, there has been massive criticism of the work, which has not since subsided.

comment poem by Eugen Gomringer New from the Berlin poems of the war: Why language is a dangerous thing can be By Silke Müller

“USA Today” quotes the representative of a native American tribe with the words: “It’s about censorship, it’s about the human right: the right to learn without being hostile environment,” he said. “Even the best of intentions of harm.” The Chairman of the school district rejected the accusations of censorship. The students should learn everything about the truth of slavery, but not in the Form of a wall painting, but in a “safe learning environment”, which is not charged to the student.

critics say the decision simply for censorship, which is exactly the opposite of reach of what they do. You speak of “whitewashing”. In their eyes it would be a disservice, if you would remove the disputed representations. Finally, the victim would thus “disappear”. And they point out that it is the task of art is to move and shake. The historical truth is sometimes hard to bear and many people nowadays would react to the “Hyper-sensitive” when it comes to the depiction of slavery.

The Paint is expensive>

But the proposals met with obviously fell on deaf ears. The Chairman of the school district made in an E-Mail to the “USA Today” significantly”: “The decision that was taken two weeks ago, finished with the discussion”. From the looks of it, is that it is the “Life of Washington” soon.

source: “USA Today”

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