Oh good grief, Charlie Brown! More crybaby snowflakes could be getting their way at George Washington High School in San Fransisco, California.
Two of the George Washington murals, that are 83-years-old, may be removed because their depiction of American history “traumatizes students.” According to reports, showing Washington and other founding fathers with black and Native Americans is too harsh to be in the school.
The two murals under scrutiny, which have been in place since the school opened in 1936, include the “Mount Vernon” and the “Westward Vision.”
In one mural, entitled “Mount Vernon”, George Washington appears to be in conversation with another Caucasian man who gestures towards a seated African-American man holding corn, presumably a slave. In other parts of the mural, African-Americans are engaged in acts of manual labor like hauling large bales of hay and picking cotton in the fields, while Caucasian men are also laboring at other tasks with tools. Washington’s servant, who is pictured holding his horse, is also African-American. The mural is a clear depiction of slavery in the United States, and of George Washington as a slave owner.
The second panel, entitled ‘Westward Vision”, depicts Benjamin Franklin and other founding fathers looking at George Washington as he points off in the distance, while he points with his other hand to a map. On the right side of the mural, as if carrying out Washington’s call for westward expansion, frontiersmen, depicted in greyscale unlike other figures in the mural, stand over the dead body of a Native American man, signifying the genocide of Native American life and culture.
In the bottom right of the “Westward Vision” panel, a frontiersman and Native American chief sit at a campfire smoking a peace pipe. On the ground at the chief’s feet is a tomahawk, symbolizing the disarming of Native tribes. Directly above the Chief’s headdress is a broken tree limb representing broken treaties made by the U.S. government with Native Americans, and broken promises made by settlers.
It is literally history, folks. Should we just not teach it anymore? Should people not learn about how our country came about?
As philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”