Chronicles of the Crazy Time (15)

Okay, it was inevitable that the Washington R——- would eventually knuckle under to the  Grossly Indignant Virtue-Engorged Angry Committee for Renaming Absolutely and Perpetually (GIVE-A-CRAP), but the . . . Texas Rangers? Yes, says a Washington Post columnist:

The Texas Rangers Team Name Must Go

As the Washington football team finally gives up its racist slur of a name, there is one major sports team that has avoided the spotlight and resisted meaningful engagement with the violent and racist implications of its name. To know the full history of the Texas Rangers is to understand that the team’s name is not so far off from being called the Texas Klansmen.

There’s more at the link, if you want to drink deeply from the stupid well. Better cancel Lonesome Dove while we’re at it, just to be sure.

Reason‘s Robbie Swove reports another doozy out of—where else?—San Francisco:

Until last week, Gary Garrels was senior curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). He resigned his position after museum employees circulated a petition that accused him of racism and demanded his immediate ouster.

“Gary’s removal from SFMOMA is non-negotiable,” read the petition. “Considering his lengthy tenure at this institution, we ask just how long have his toxic white supremacist beliefs regarding race and equity directed his position curating the content of the museum?”

This accusation—that Garrels’ choices as an art curator are guided by white supremacist beliefs—is a very serious one. Unsurprisingly, it does not stand up to even minimal scrutiny.

The petitioners cite few examples of anything even approaching bad behavior from Garrels. Their sole complaint is that he allegedly concluded a presentation on how to diversify the museum’s holdings by saying, “don’t worry, we will definitely still continue to collect white artists.”

A few days ago a major fire destroyed the roof and other portions of the 250-year old San Gabriel Mission in the Los Angeles area (not for from where I grew up actually—I made many field trips there in elementary school), which was one of the missions founded by genocidal maniac and all-around horrible oppressor Father Serra (or so I am told today). The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but get a load of the Los Angeles Times‘s headline about the fire:

Just in case you don’t get the message from the headline, the second paragraph of this “news” story makes certain you know that the missions is “sacred ground for the Catholic faithful but also a symbol of a system that enslaved and terrorized indigenous peoples.”

The Times doesn’t just leave the matter there. It returns to the oppression theme over and over again in the story like a vulture to a dead carcass in the middle of the road:

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The blaze came amid rising anger over California missions and other colonial monuments that for many serve as painful reminders of the nation’s racist history. . .

Founded by Franciscan Father Junípero Serra in 1771, the San Gabriel Mission has long been seen as an essential link to California’s past, as well as to the brutality and racism that played a role in the state’s founding. . .

[T]he church amassed [its] riches on the backs of the Tongva and other indigenous people, whom the friars forced into labor and coerced into converting to Catholicism and assimilating to their culture. . .

In addition to destroying the lives of Native Californians, the mission system has deeply tarnished the image of Serra, its architect, who has long been considered one of California’s founding fathers. Serra was made a saint by the Catholic Church in 2015, fueling outrage from many indigenous activists and others.

There’s more in this “news” story about oppression than there is about a major building fire. How many fire engines? How long did it take to put out? What is the preliminary word on where it started? Any injuries among the firefighters? Nothing on any of these basic questions; instead, the reporter clearly spent most of his time calling up oppression studies professors for comments on how terrible the mission’s legacy is. Fortunately, the Times is on life support, not long for this world. And they wonder why.

Annnnnd of course USC’s film school is removing an exhibit of one of the school’s most famous alumni, Marion Morrison (you know him better as “John Wayne”) because Wayne made some incautious and insensitive racial remarks in a Playboy interview 50 years ago. Because “systemic racism” or something.

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