George Washington High School, which is part of the San Francisco Unified School District, has voted to remove two 83-year-old murals depicting (ironically) the life of George Washington because of complaints that their depictions of African-American slaves working in the fields and a slain Native American in the West were offensive and might “traumatize” students and community members.
Adding an extra layer of irony is the fact that the murals were painted in 1936 by artist Victor Arnautoff, a protégé of Diego Rivera and a communist, who put the images in as a critical commentary on America. Back then, leftists wanted students to know about negative aspects of America’s past and decried whitewashing history. Now, they seem to think students are such delicate flowers, we have to whitewash history to keep them from being traumatized by what leftists used to want them to see. It’s yet another example of how the left is constantly redefining standards so that it eventually doubles back and eats its own, in the same way that Woody Allen was celebrated for helping mock and break down sexual taboos, and now Hollywood liberals refuse to be seen with him because he violated the taboos they're reinstated.
When I was in school, admittedly, we weren’t taught all the terrible things that America ever did in order to blame America for all the world’s problems. But we did learn the truth about what it took to build this country and give us students a chance at an education and a good life. That included what Washington and his troops endured during the winter at Valley Forge: ragged clothing that provided no protection against the freezing cold, so bad that men’s limbs turned black from frostbite and had to be amputated. Unbreathable air due to the stench from dead horses and lack of sewers or sanitation. Hunger and malnutrition that made it hard to recover from diseases. Diseases that included smallpox, typhoid, dysentery, pneumonia, influenza and typhus from body lice. As many as 2,000 troops dying, not in battle but just from the horrid conditions of the camp.
And they endured all that to go on to risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor battling a much better-equipped army to win their freedom and form this nation.
All so that someday, their descendants could whine that they can’t even look at a painting of their ancestors’ lives because it might “traumatize” them too much. I suspect that these people don’t know any more about what “trauma” really is than they know about American history.