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ASPartOfMe
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10 Jul 2019, 1:50 pm

Introduction
Cancel Culture is a world view that posits that all art, terminology, and symbols deemed offensive should be eliminated and that all people holding such views should be othered. Nuance and context do not matter. A key aspect of Cancel Culture is presentism. Presentism posits that historical context does not matter what matters are that the thing is viewed as offensive now.

In the last month or two, the cancel culture seems to be going at a record pace with dead people, flags, murals, and holidays being in the crosshairs. It all gets confusing and each individual incident gets lost in the shuffle. This thread is not an attempt to reargue the merits of the deletions but to look at each incident and try to figure who won and who lost with an eye on possible long term ramifications. “Won” is defined for this thread not as necessarily the overall good but were the cancelers objectives met. By nature, my judgments have to be preliminary.

Incidents
Kate Smith was a singer best known for her rendition of “God Bless America” which became an unofficial national anthem. She also was the largest fundraiser for America’s cause in WWII, spoke out against racism in a 1945 speech, and had blacks on her TV show during a segregated era. She and her version of “God Bless America” had a second career of sorts as a mascot and good luck charm for the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team. A caller told the New York Yankees baseball team of two “racist” songs she had sung in the early 1930s. The Yankees stopped playing her version of “God Bless America” and when the Flyers got wind of the songs they canceled her version of the song and covered in black and then removed a statue of her.

A win for the SJW’s and the offense archivist, in particular, they got two prominent organizations to do what they wanted.


Owners of a bakery in Oberlin, Ohio got into a scuffle with two blacks who were later convicted of trying to rob the place. Students organized an effective boycott of the bakery alleging the bakery had long engaged in racial profiling. The boycott was aided by the Dean of Students at nearby Oberlin College. The bakery sued the college for defamation and won $33 million dollars in damages.

Winner Bakery
A loss for SJW’s and students of soon to be poorer Oberlin college.



Actress Lillian Gish is known as “The First Lady of American Cinema” had a 75-year career. A longtime Republican supporter she claimed she was blacklisted by Hollywood for her anti-interventionist views prior to WWII. Before her death she and her actress sister Dorothy gave an endowment to Bowling Green University who named a building after them. When the building was moved to the center of campus it was renamed after objections from students over Lillian’s role in the 1915 film “Birth of a Nation”. “Birth of a Nation” is noted for its many film innovations some still in use today was controversial from the time it was released. It was a pro “Lost Cause” mythology film that is widely blamed for the rebirth and mainstreaming of the Ku Klux Klan. Over 50 prominent directors, film critics, and scholars sent an open letter to the university objecting to the renaming. In response, the university said it is not going to reverse its decision.

Victory for cancel culture supporters but maybe a pyrrhic one if the open letter dissuades others from giving into SJW demands.



Victor Arnautoff was a Russian communist emigre who is considered one of the greatest muralists of the Great Depression era. He created a mural “Life of Washington” that depicts whites standing over a dead Native American and slaves working at George Washington’s estate. That mural was put in a San Francisco High School. The school board has announced plans to paint over the mural at a cost of over $600,000 because it is triggering to students at the school which is mostly people of color. The decision has been criticized by some art experts.

A self-inflicted loss for SJW’s. The mural validates their message that whites and America is racist to the core and has been that way since it’s founding.
A loss for taxpayers of San Francisco.



Speaking of founding fathers Thomas Jefferson was a key intellectual behind the United States secession from England, he was the primary author of Declaration of Independence. He was the country’s first vice presidents and it’s second President. He founded the University of Virginia and was a science advocate. He profited from the ownership of hundreds of slaves, wrote that blacks were inferior, and probably was a rapist. The city council of his hometown of Charlottesville, Va voted to rename a city holiday named for him to “Slave Liberation Day”

Probably no real winners or losers. The slave owning part of Jefferson’s life and his “affair” with his slave Sally Hemmings has been a matter of considerable public discussion since at least the 1990s. There is no indication of a massive takedown of Jefferson memorials and museums.




The “Betsy Ross Flag” was probably the original flag of the United States. In the 1870s descendants of Betsy Ross launched a successful PR campaign to credit her with it’s design a claim disputed by historians to make it a both a patriotic symbol and Ross a heroine for girls to look up to. In the last few years, there have been a few reports of alt-right types appropriating it. Nike reportedly at the request of former football player Colin Kaepernick dropped a sneaker with a Betsy Ross Flag design.

Major win for cancel culture supporters with unlimited potential upside. One of the most prominent and popular companies and two presidential candidates agree with their interpretation that the symbol has been appropriated by racists and that all symbols created by past racist figures no matter the intent of the creation need to be erased.

A win for own the libs trolls who have found a seemingly endless series of situations where the flag or something that looks like it have been used for innocuous purposes or by liberals.

A win for the alt rightists who used a symbol that was largely not associated with them that now is in some important corners.

A win for Nike, their stock price went up after the sneaker was pulled

The “upside” would occur should a racist(s) under the Betsy Ross flag does a terrorist attack(s). The SJW’s would completely own the issue emotionally and the racists would have a martyr(s) and a symbol.


Summary and Analysis
My feeling over the last couple of years was that opposing cancel culture had a “resistance is futile” feel to it as the bottom line is things were getting canceled, we could scream and yell all we want but what was once limited to campuses was gaining mainstream agency at a dizzying pace. The cancel culture had the advantages youth and thus time on their side, knowledge of how to use technology to run circles around opponents, and willpower and the belief that “progress” always wins out at the end.

The above analysis shows mixed results. There are two ways to interpret this.

Interpretation number one is that we are at a tipping point whereby the SJW’s have gone too far and people are finally getting fed up. At San Francisco and Bowling Green opposition is coming from beyond the usual Fox News and Breitbart suspects. Oberlin is a warning that canceling on the basis casual assumptions of racism might be literally costly. Biden’s early lead in the polls is arguably another indication.

Interpretation number two is that the tipping point theory is desperate wishful thinking by people holding on to the inevitable disappearing past. 4 of the 5 instances mentioned that things SJW’s wanted have been canceled have or probably will be canceled. The backlash and setbacks are a normal part of the march of history and progress so one should not be fooled by them.

The future will tell.


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Last edited by ASPartOfMe on 10 Jul 2019, 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheRevengeofTW1ZTY
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10 Jul 2019, 2:03 pm

In other words Social Justice Warriors are easily offended as*hole idiots and by guilting us and forcing us to destroy/rewrite/ignore history they are basically dooming us into repeating it.


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Sweetleaf
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10 Jul 2019, 4:59 pm

Never heard the term Cancel Culture...who coined that term?

Either way yes indeed those deemed SJW, get to carried away in wanting to ban any and everything someone somewhere may find offensive.

That said the thing about the Mural at the school depicting images of slavery does make sense. If multiple students were being made to feel uncomfortable, it probably is best to remove it. Not sure I'd agree with painting over it....If there is a way it could be moved it could perhaps be put in a museum or something.

But I could see how that image wouldn't be what people want to see every day at school so that one at least seems reasonable. The other ones you mentioned do seem ridiculous though.



kraftiekortie
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10 Jul 2019, 5:22 pm

If it is so desired, offense can be found in ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.....



TheRevengeofTW1ZTY
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10 Jul 2019, 5:49 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
If it is so desired, offense can be found in ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.....

Yes! For example I am offended by Donald Trump's hair. I might can forgive anything else about him, BUT THAT HAIR?! :eew:


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ASPartOfMe
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10 Jul 2019, 8:29 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
Never heard the term Cancel Culture...who coined that term?

That said the thing about the Mural at the school depicting images of slavery does make sense. If multiple students were being made to feel uncomfortable, it probably is best to remove it. Not sure I'd agree with painting over it....If there is a way it could be moved it could perhaps be put in a museum or something.

But I could see how that image wouldn't be what people want to see every day at school so that one at least seems reasonable. The other ones you mentioned do seem ridiculous though.


Variations on the term “cancel culture” are “call out culture” and “outrage culture”. I do not know who coined these terms although I assume it was a conservative(s).

The mural won’t be easy to remove, it is painted on the wall (fresco).

The Nation and CBS mentioned protests against it during the 1960s.

Mural update, more details
Academics, educators petition to save controversial school mural
Quote:
More than 400 academics and educators from across the country and around the world signed a petition that they plan to send to the district this week urging it to reconsider the decision.

The reason? Painting over the “Life of Washington” fresco is illogical, according to the petition circulated on nonsite.org, a peer-reviewed academic journal focused on politics, history, art history and literature.

The board, citing the feelings of students who were offended by the images, said that destroying the piece, located in George Washington High School, would be a form of reparations for historic racial injustices against African Americans and Native Americans.

In fact, petitioners argued, painting over the mural would accomplish the opposite.

“It exposes and denounces in pictorial form the U.S. history of racism and colonialism,” according to the petition. “The only viewers who should feel unsafe before this mural are racists.”

There is no public disagreement over the meaning of the images, said Charles Palermo, editor of nonsite.org and a professor of art history at the College of William & Mary.

“What remains is a mistake in the way we react to historical works of art — ignoring their meaning in favor of our feelings about them — and a mistake in the way we treat historical works of art — using them as tools for managing feelings, rather than as objects of interpretation.”

Board President Stevon Cook, who reviewed the document online, said he was unmoved by the petitioners.

“It’s another case of people trying to tell others how to respond to how their community is represented,” he said. “They should let me get back to my job and, if they’re so moved, they should commission their own murals. I’m focused on the real solutions, not online petitions from people that aren’t stakeholders in our schools.”

The petition included signatures from dozens of academics at universities across the country as well as artists, teachers, politicians and alumni from George Washington High School.

The board’s unanimous vote, with one member absent, followed a recommendation by a community task force appointed by the district to address concerns raised by parents and students about the 1,600-square-foot mural.

The community group recommended covering it with white paint because it said the mural glorifies slavery, genocide, colonization, manifest destiny, white supremacy and oppression — a complete misreading of the image, said Meryl Bailey, a Mills College assistant professor who signed the petition.

“Arnautoff’s work actually does the opposite,” she said. “I can understand how students might be disturbed by some parts of the mural. However, if we erase all the things that disturb us, we will forget them.”


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10 Jul 2019, 8:47 pm

Whatever you call it, the people pushing this nonsense need to be severely beaten with a bag of dried oranges.


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10 Jul 2019, 10:17 pm

Sounds like a "soft" version of the good old book burning :roll:


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11 Jul 2019, 4:38 am

VegetableMan wrote:
Whatever you call it, the people pushing this nonsense need to be severely beaten with a bag of dried oranges.


"Orange bag bad!" :lol:


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16 Jul 2019, 3:47 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
Never heard the term Cancel Culture...who coined that term?

That said the thing about the Mural at the school depicting images of slavery does make sense. If multiple students were being made to feel uncomfortable, it probably is best to remove it. Not sure I'd agree with painting over it....If there is a way it could be moved it could perhaps be put in a museum or something.

But I could see how that image wouldn't be what people want to see every day at school so that one at least seems reasonable. The other ones you mentioned do seem ridiculous though.


Variations on the term “cancel culture” are “call out culture” and “outrage culture”. I do not know who coined these terms although I assume it was a conservative(s).

The mural won’t be easy to remove, it is painted on the wall (fresco).

The Nation and CBS mentioned protests against it during the 1960s.

Mural update, more details
Academics, educators petition to save controversial school mural
Quote:
More than 400 academics and educators from across the country and around the world signed a petition that they plan to send to the district this week urging it to reconsider the decision.

The reason? Painting over the “Life of Washington” fresco is illogical, according to the petition circulated on nonsite.org, a peer-reviewed academic journal focused on politics, history, art history and literature.

The board, citing the feelings of students who were offended by the images, said that destroying the piece, located in George Washington High School, would be a form of reparations for historic racial injustices against African Americans and Native Americans.

In fact, petitioners argued, painting over the mural would accomplish the opposite.

“It exposes and denounces in pictorial form the U.S. history of racism and colonialism,” according to the petition. “The only viewers who should feel unsafe before this mural are racists.”

There is no public disagreement over the meaning of the images, said Charles Palermo, editor of nonsite.org and a professor of art history at the College of William & Mary.

“What remains is a mistake in the way we react to historical works of art — ignoring their meaning in favor of our feelings about them — and a mistake in the way we treat historical works of art — using them as tools for managing feelings, rather than as objects of interpretation.”

Board President Stevon Cook, who reviewed the document online, said he was unmoved by the petitioners.

“It’s another case of people trying to tell others how to respond to how their community is represented,” he said. “They should let me get back to my job and, if they’re so moved, they should commission their own murals. I’m focused on the real solutions, not online petitions from people that aren’t stakeholders in our schools.”

The petition included signatures from dozens of academics at universities across the country as well as artists, teachers, politicians and alumni from George Washington High School.

The board’s unanimous vote, with one member absent, followed a recommendation by a community task force appointed by the district to address concerns raised by parents and students about the 1,600-square-foot mural.

The community group recommended covering it with white paint because it said the mural glorifies slavery, genocide, colonization, manifest destiny, white supremacy and oppression — a complete misreading of the image, said Meryl Bailey, a Mills College assistant professor who signed the petition.

“Arnautoff’s work actually does the opposite,” she said. “I can understand how students might be disturbed by some parts of the mural. However, if we erase all the things that disturb us, we will forget them.”


Hmm I did not realize the purpose of the mural was to be critical of the racism in america, in that case it doesn't make so much sense to destroy it. If that is truly the case then perhaps it should be preserved and they could put a little plaque underneath or next to it, to explain about the artist who painted it and why. I mean could be used as an educational tool to remember the dark past and learn from it.

I suppose that is a good argument to keep it.



ASPartOfMe
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16 Jul 2019, 7:10 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
Never heard the term Cancel Culture...who coined that term?

That said the thing about the Mural at the school depicting images of slavery does make sense. If multiple students were being made to feel uncomfortable, it probably is best to remove it. Not sure I'd agree with painting over it....If there is a way it could be moved it could perhaps be put in a museum or something.

But I could see how that image wouldn't be what people want to see every day at school so that one at least seems reasonable. The other ones you mentioned do seem ridiculous though.


Variations on the term “cancel culture” are “call out culture” and “outrage culture”. I do not know who coined these terms although I assume it was a conservative(s).

The mural won’t be easy to remove, it is painted on the wall (fresco).

The Nation and CBS mentioned protests against it during the 1960s.

Mural update, more details
Academics, educators petition to save controversial school mural
Quote:
More than 400 academics and educators from across the country and around the world signed a petition that they plan to send to the district this week urging it to reconsider the decision.

The reason? Painting over the “Life of Washington” fresco is illogical, according to the petition circulated on nonsite.org, a peer-reviewed academic journal focused on politics, history, art history and literature.

The board, citing the feelings of students who were offended by the images, said that destroying the piece, located in George Washington High School, would be a form of reparations for historic racial injustices against African Americans and Native Americans.

In fact, petitioners argued, painting over the mural would accomplish the opposite.

“It exposes and denounces in pictorial form the U.S. history of racism and colonialism,” according to the petition. “The only viewers who should feel unsafe before this mural are racists.”

There is no public disagreement over the meaning of the images, said Charles Palermo, editor of nonsite.org and a professor of art history at the College of William & Mary.

“What remains is a mistake in the way we react to historical works of art — ignoring their meaning in favor of our feelings about them — and a mistake in the way we treat historical works of art — using them as tools for managing feelings, rather than as objects of interpretation.”

Board President Stevon Cook, who reviewed the document online, said he was unmoved by the petitioners.

“It’s another case of people trying to tell others how to respond to how their community is represented,” he said. “They should let me get back to my job and, if they’re so moved, they should commission their own murals. I’m focused on the real solutions, not online petitions from people that aren’t stakeholders in our schools.”

The petition included signatures from dozens of academics at universities across the country as well as artists, teachers, politicians and alumni from George Washington High School.

The board’s unanimous vote, with one member absent, followed a recommendation by a community task force appointed by the district to address concerns raised by parents and students about the 1,600-square-foot mural.

The community group recommended covering it with white paint because it said the mural glorifies slavery, genocide, colonization, manifest destiny, white supremacy and oppression — a complete misreading of the image, said Meryl Bailey, a Mills College assistant professor who signed the petition.

“Arnautoff’s work actually does the opposite,” she said. “I can understand how students might be disturbed by some parts of the mural. However, if we erase all the things that disturb us, we will forget them.”


Hmm I did not realize the purpose of the mural was to be critical of the racism in america, in that case it doesn't make so much sense to destroy it. If that is truly the case then perhaps it should be preserved and they could put a little plaque underneath or next to it, to explain about the artist who painted it and why. I mean could be used as an educational tool to remember the dark past and learn from it.

I suppose that is a good argument to keep it.

I agree. For all these years students at that high school were faced with a part of American History that was erased for my generation. We were taught he was the father of our country who at age 6 chopped down a cherry tree and could not lie about it to his dad. He kept the revolution going when it could have fallen apart during the brutal cold winter at Valley Forge. What a guy!! We were not taught about about how the Founding Fathers were slaveholders and the personal financial reasons for the revolution nor outside of Benedict Arnold were we taught how widespread loyalty to the crown was, never mind how loyalist my home area of Long Island was.

The mural is a very good example of the conflicting ways supporters and opponents of cancel culture view these representations. For the petitioners it is all about the anti racist context the mural was created. To the supporters of painting over the mural the context is irrelevant. All that counts is that it is viewed as offensive now.


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17 Jul 2019, 3:51 am

The impression I got from reading about it was the mural wasn't meant to come down on a side, but simply paint the unvarnished truth of the man the university was named after.

Regardless of what you might think of what is depicted, the work is absolutely exquisite. It is a tragedy to destroy such beauty.



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17 Jul 2019, 4:32 am

VegetableMan wrote:
Whatever you call it, the people pushing this nonsense need to be severely beaten with a bag of dried oranges.


You should be making the laws, VegetableMan :D


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