The primacy of statues: In this morning's Washington Post, the op-ed page features two (2) columns about statues and statuary.
Aside from Halloween costumes, does anyone talk about anything else?
In her column, Kathleen Parker rolled her eyes about the primacy of statues. In a second column, Megan McArdle offered a wry aside about the man whose mental state no one's allowed to discuss:
MCARDLE (6/24/20): Chances are, you still remember clearly what President Trump said in 2017, after violent clashes in Charlottesville between white supremacists rallying around a statue of Robert E. Lee and leftist counterprotesters. “You had some very bad people in that group,” Trump allowed at an Aug. 15th news conference, “but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.” Almost three years on, anyone who tries to deny that Trump is a racist is apt to have those words flung back in their face."This came in for much derision," McArdle says as she continues. She's referring to the commander's question about the possible future status of statues of General Washington.
We recall those remarks, but most of us have slowly forgotten about what else Trump said, although it was almost as controversial at the time: “So this week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
"Time passed, and now it seems everybody's having them dreams!" Trump's prophecy was mocked at the time, but serious questions now fly about concerning statues of Washington—even concerning the well-known name of a well-known western state! We saw a professor on TV last night discussing that very same thing!
To some extent, statues do matter. So, it seems, do Halloween costumes. Could adults possibly just agree to stop attending such parties?
To some extent, statues do matter! But here's a point which occurs to us whenever we see these discussions:
We spent the first dozen years of our adult life in and around the Baltimore City Schools. You know the great kids who appeared in the tragic videotape to which we linked this morning?
Here in Baltimore, we were teaching kids their age at that very same time!
We spent nine full years in the classroom, mostly teaching fifth and sixth graders. And from that day to this, we've seen plenty of discussions of the primacy of statuary and Halloween garb, but we're not sure we've ever seen a serious discussion of what happens, and what doesn't happen, inside urban schools.
We humans! We care about statues and Halloween garb. Do we give a flying fark about kids?
The things we noticed during those years involve academic procedures. They also involve the happiness of good decent kids—the right of children to be happy, to feel good about themselves, and then to proceed from there.
We don't see any talk about any such matters; we never really have. We did see a professor last night discussing the triage of statues, and the name of a western state.
Does anyone give a fat flying fark about the lives of children?
Anthropologists tell us the answer is no. No one cares less than the folks at the Times, or so these top experts have said.