What we have here is a failure to communicate. This article and the responses are chest thumping and howling targeting other chest thumpers and howlers.
Oh for the halcyon simplicity of yesteryear. This is cynical reaction by those who are products of Modernism, Structuralism, Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, and Deconstruction. Because of all that we now know far too much about our creation of and subjugation by language and the hidden links our lives and social hierarchies.
I sense here the fake outrage of those looking for a gambit to easy attention. The tension building in a collapsing economic-political culture as people struggle to redefine virtue as something other than greed and community as something other than oppression, requires that the messages, obvious and hidden, in all of our cultural products must be revaluated.
At the risk of further insulting our primate relatives, chest pounding and threats are counter productive. What is required may not be possible to achieve but we had better try. Throw the bums out and smash the infidel art leaves us right where we are and we probably won’t survive that.
It is very difficult to tease apart the bigotry from art but that is up to each of us. The end decision is to keep it with a proviso or archive it with warning labels but never destroy it. We must work to make these decisions products of broad cultural consensus.
I remember when this was never considered. I also remember watching a very old, favorite movie and quickly realizing that I would never watch it again. The ingrained racism and bigotry, once vaguely humorous, bordered on evil. The nature of the content of that film was one problem but the worse problem was my unawareness of it in the past. That type of realization should not be a surprise in the future. We all know people who we like but would not hold up as models for our children.
We are now required to sort and reclassify our heritage. That requires individual and communal care, analysis, and thought. Statues of successful slave traders should not be honored in public places. But the mixed history of the founders of the US as slave owners should mean public honor includes warnings of fundamental moral errors in our world. and questionable ones in theirs.
Ignoring this is a major factor in our institutionalized racism. We poisoned ourselves and now must purge the poison. That is not easy and may be deadly. But not all questionable decisions or preference ruin an entire life or body of work and history is, after all, a literary creation and the lie commonly agreed upon. We need to do a complete review of the lies we grew up believing.