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George Washington murals 'traumatize' students


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George Washington

George Washington High School in Northern California is considering removing two 83-year-old murals from its hallways critics claim are offensive to Native Americans and African-Americans.

The artwork “traumatizes students and community members,” according to a working group of the San Francisco Unified School District, the Daily Wire reported.

The district convened a “Reflection and Action Working Group” comprised of members of the local Native American community, students, school representatives, district representatives, local artists and historians,” Laura Dudnick, spokeswoman for the district, wrote in an email to the College Fix.

A majority of the group voted to recommended that the “Life of Washington” mural “be archived and removed because the mural does not represent SFUSD values,” Dudnick said.

One panel of the mural, titled “Mount Vernon,” depicts slavery in the United States and George Washington as a slave owner. A second, “Westward Vision,” signifies the genocide of Native American life and culture.

The Wall Street Journal reported the irony that the murals were painted in 1936 by a Russian-American artist, Victor Arnautoff, who “included those images not to glorify Washington, but rather to provoke a nuanced evaluation of his legacy.”

Historian Fergus M. Bordewich told the College Fix that it is “a deeply wrongheaded habit to project today’s norms, values, ideals backwards in time to find our ancestors inevitably falling short.”

“It betrays a very troubling intolerance of art and the ambiguity of art and the aspirations of art,” he said.

“It’s incredibly stupid if we try to erase history. It still happened, and you should argue about its meanings.”


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