We’re Back (and Here’s Some Nooze: Erasing George Washington)

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(We had to go to the hospital today for Patty to have a CT scan, don’t ask me why, and then off to the supermarket, and now… some nooze.)

Eighty-three years ago, a Russian-born communist painted a huge mural (1,600 feet long) on the walls of what is now a public high school in the San Francisco school district. His theme was the life of George Washington, and he chose to emphasize Washington as a slave owner and a persecutor of Native Americans. Why this thing was painted in the first place–at public expense–is a mystery to me. But it was 1935, and on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s watch, a lot of hammer-and-sickle-friendly artwork got created.

Now the San Francisco school board has decided to destroy it (https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/california-school-board-voted-paint-021440930.html). Seems it makes the students “uncomfortable.”

When I was a kid in school, everybody used to mock the Soviets for constantly rewriting history. Now we do it, too.

But this is complicated, because the mural was, all along, a rewrite of history, and rather a hostile one at that. Academics all around are pleading with the board not to rewrite it again by painting over the mural with some pap about minority self-esteem.

Yes, George Washington owned slaves. At the time, slavery was lawful in every region of the earth. That doesn’t mean it was good. There were already abolitionists at work, like Betsy Ross and, later, William Wilburforce, who led the successful fight to abolish slavery in the British Empire, legislated by Parliament in 1833.

George Washington does not need me to defend him. Take away Washington, and the United States is never born. And this world, fallen though it is, would be infinitely the poorer for that.

Today we love to judge historical figures by our own moral and legal standards of 2019. But how would we fare, if they judged us by theirs?

But the Lord our God judges all; and we do well to remember it.

5 comments on “We’re Back (and Here’s Some Nooze: Erasing George Washington)

  1. That a communist painted it is no surprise. I always defer back to the communist goals, of which #30 states: “Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.””

    I’ve heard it said that Washington’s slaves were so fond of him, that they cared for his grave years after he died. The thing of course is that we inherited our slavery from the British, and slavery was universally practiced up till that time. Who do they think sold them to the Europeans in the first place? Even the Indians practiced slavery, some even had black slaves, but the focus is always upon European slavery.

    Attempting to end that age old practice overnight was no easy task. What do you do with them? They had no education, were illiterate, had no skills for the most part except picking cotton, owned no property, had nowhere to live outside of their plantation, and didn’t own anything. Needless to say, there were lots of reservations about what would happen to them. Regardless we’ve come a long ways. In some parts of Africa they are still practicing slavery, of course no one ever talks about that.

    1. Archaeological work at Mount Vernon revealed that Washington’s slaves had hunting and fishing equipment, including guns–and time to hunt and fish.

  2. Let’s get something straight. Great Britain did not end the slave trade because of Wilberforce or for any MORAL reason. Remember, this was the same group that refused the petitions of Virginia and North Carolina to end African slave trade BEFORE the revolution!

    No, GB ended it as a blow against the empires of Portugal, France and Spain all of whom needed blacks to work their colonies in the New World. As GB had no more need for such slaves (at least in the New World!), they were happy to interfere with their European neighbors by doing so.

    Don’t buy the moralistic rational for GB’s actions. Consider that they allowed the Irish to die of starvation while exporting food from that sad island country.

  3. None of our earthly heroes were faultless. Moses killed a man, so did David, after he stole that man’s wife. The Founding Fathers of the US had their shortcomings, but they were wise enough to see the value of liberty.

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