Cathedral Round-Up #28: They’re not coming for George Washington, that’s just a silly right-wing conspiracy–

Titus Kaphar’s Shadows of Liberty, 2016, at Yale University Art Gallery

Is that… George Washington? With rusty nails pounded into his face?

Holding up “cascading fragments of his slave records.”

Oh. I see.

Carry on, then.

I was going to write about Harvard forbidding its female students from forming female-only safe spaces (College will Debut Plans to Enforce Sanctions Next Semester) in an attempt to shut down all single-gender frats and Finals Clubs, but then Princeton upped the ante with Can Art Amend Princeton’s History of Slavery?

No. Of course not.

Princeton University [has] a new public-art project that confronts the school’s participation in the nation’s early sins. On Monday, the university unveiled Impressions of Liberty, by the African American artist Titus Kaphar. The sculpture is the conceptual core of a campus-wide initiative that begins this fall and aims to reconcile the university’s ties to slavery. The Princeton and Slavery Project’s website has released hundreds of articles and primary documents about slavery and racism at Princeton…

Attaching strips of canvas or other material to the faces of people he disapproves of is apparently one of Kaphar’s shticks.

I’m old enough to remember when George Washington was admired for freeing all of his slaves in an era when most people took slavery for granted. Today he is castigated for not having sprung from the womb with a fully modern set of moral opinions.

Impressions of Liberty, by Titus Kaphar

Impressions of Liberty is Kaphar’s portrait of Samuel Finley–fifth president and one of the original trustees of Princeton (1761-1766)–interwoven with photographs of black actors in historical dress etched in glass.

For generations, slave-owning Christians—including Princeton’s founders—used religious ideas to justify a horrific national practice, [Kaphar] noted; Finley is holding a bible in Impressions of Liberty.

Note the framing: yes, Christians used religion to justify owning slaves. So did Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, pagans, and atheists. There’s nothing unique about Christians and slavery aside from the fact that Finley was Christian. No mention is made of pagan Africans who captured and sold each other into slavery, nor of Muslims who raided Africa and Europe in search of slaves. There were Jewish slave merchants and Confederates, as well, for slavery was a near-universal practice justified by people all over the world prior to its abolition by whites in the 1800s. The article mentions none of that; only Christians are singled out for criticism.

The article doesn’t say how much Princeton paid for the sculpture it commissioned to castigate the memory of one of its founders. The work currently stands outside MacLean House, but will soon be moved indoors, to Princeton’s permanent art collection. MacLean House–completed in 1756–is a national landmark that was home to Princeton’s first presidents, including Samuel Finley. It also housed George Washington during the Battle of Princeton.

According to the article:

On the one hand, according to records, Princeton was a bastion of liberty, educating numerous Revolutionary War leaders and in 1783 hosting the Continental Congress… At the same time, Sandweiss found that the institution’s first nine presidents all owned slaves at some point, as did the school’s early trustees. She also discovered that the school enrolled a significant number of anti-abolitionist, Southern students during its early years; an alumni delivered a pro-slavery address at the school’s 1850 commencement ceremony. …

Princeton’s racist history enabled it to provide social and political benefits for alumni—an advantage that students will continue to enjoy well into the future.

While I happen to think that universities have it much too good these days and deserve to be taken down a notch, I find this claim extremely dubious. Harvard and Yale are located in staunchly abolitionist New England and had very few ties to slavery, (Mr. Yale apparently knew a guy who had slaves, and Harvard Law School received some money from a guy who had slaves,) yet these schools are arguably even wealthier and more powerful than closer-to-the-South and more-tied-to-slavery Princeton. Stanford was founded after slavery was outlawed, and yet its students enjoy social and political benefits on par with Princeton’s.

We could argue that the entire area of the Confederacy reaped the economic benefits of slavery, yet today this region is much poorer than the Free States of the North. There isn’t just no correlation between slavery, wealth, and power–there’s actually a negative correlation. Slavery, if it has any effect at all, makes a region poorer and weaker.

Monumental Inversion: George Washington, (Titus Kaphar,) Princeton Art Museum

… Princeton University is spreading the mission across various pieces of art through a show this fall entitled “Making History Visible: Of American Myths And National Heroes.” At the exhibit’s entrance, viewers begin with Kaphar’s piece Monumental Inversion: George Washington—a sculpture of the leader astride his horse, made out of wood, blown glass, and steel. The sculpture depicts the former president’s dueling nature: He’s glorified within a great American equestrian monument but he’s also sitting astride a charred cavity, surrounded by glass on the ground. In juxtaposing Kaphar’s artwork and a George Washington plaster bust, “Making History Visible” forces visitors, hopefully, to see and feel the contradiction in colonial leaders who sought freedom from tyranny but did not extend that ideal to slaves.

I repeat: George Washington freed all of his slaves.

We might question the point of all this. Kaphar is free to make his art, of course. His paintings display quite excellent technical skill, I admit. But why do we, as a society, feel the need to commission and display attacks on our founders? Princeton’s students could just as happily go to class each day without looking at images of Finley’s slaves; unlike Washington, Finley isn’t famous and most students were probably blissfully unaware of his slaveholding until someone decided to stick a sculpture dedicated to it on the lawn.

How do Princeton’s black students feel after walking past a sculpture depicting slaves? Uplifted? Happy? Ready to go to class and concentrate on their lectures? I doubt it. Art may be “powerful” or “open dialogues,” but no one seems to feel better after viewing such pieces.

No, I don’t see how this selective dwelling on the past improves anything.

A world in which images of your founders and heroes are defaced, their corpses judged and rusty nails are driven into their portraits: it’s like a cruel dystopia, Lewis’s That Hideous Strength or 1984. According to Wikipedia:

During and after the October Revolution, widespread destruction of religious and secular imagery took place, as well as the destruction of imagery related to the Imperial family. The Revolution was accompanied by destruction of monuments of past tsars, as well as the destruction of imperial eagles at various locations throughout Russia. According to Christopher Wharton, “In front of a Moscow cathedral, crowds cheered as the enormous statue of Tsar Alexander III was bound with ropes and gradually beaten to the ground. After a considerable amount of time, the statue was decapitated and its remaining parts were broken into rubble”.[40]

The Soviet Union actively destroyed religious sites, including Russian Orthodox churches and Jewish cemeteries, in order to discourage religious practice and curb the activities of religious groups.

You know, they tell us, “No one is attacking George Washington; that’s just a crazy right-wing conspiracy theory,” and then they go and do it.

Incidentally, Georgetown, according to the article, “announced last year that it would grant admissions preference to descendants of slaves whose sale it profited from in the early 1800s.” How do you qualify for that? Do you have to prove that you’re descended from the specific slaves involved, or can you be descended from any American slaves? Because I had ancestors who were enslaved, too, and I’d like to get in on this racket.

In the end, the article answers its titular question:

When Impressions of Liberty is removed from Maclean House in December and enters Princeton’s permanent museum collection, its greatest achievement may lie in the realization that no apology or recompense can ever suffice. …

“No civil-rights project can ever fully redeem anything.”


7 thoughts on “Cathedral Round-Up #28: They’re not coming for George Washington, that’s just a silly right-wing conspiracy–

  1. Heard of the Peace Cross, yet? A monument built to memorialize it’s WW1 war dead, suffice to say after 90 years this memorial in a public park is currently ruled unconstitutional although it’s being appealed and may be torn down.


  2. Any where else this shit would be called cultural genocide but not when it’s the cultural icon of Southern Whites being destroyed.

    White men need to understand diviserty will not stop until we are exterminated and our onky logical responses are separation or beating them to the extermination punch


  3. We need to ruthlessly take away all the resources, like Colleges, that we built and eject them. While I really could care less about the Whites being “Supreme” if someone is going to be Supreme it might as well be us. Better to crush them than they crush us. If we were to stop worrying about what the Left thinks of us, they will hate us no matter what so…, we could wrap this whole thing up in our favor in about 6 months and we should. They will use every bit of power they have to suppress us. I’m actually not in favor of us doing the same philosophically. But in this case there’s unattainable moral goals and there’s the practical aspects of attaining and keeping enough power to be free and the two sometimes conflict. We must be practical if the other side is going all out for complete controlling power then we must counter it to save ourselves. How to do this.

    The overarching principle in all these it to balance cities and rural interest. We’ve had trouble with this before, (Civil War), the urban interest won and have been consolidating power every since.

    1. First we make sure all voters have some qualifications, high school diploma or equivalent, maybe pay a certain amount of property taxes, the actual numbers are not so important. The idea is that the voter have some skin in the game. Be a taxpayer or retired taxpayer who has put into the system instead of just receiving. This was ruled against by the Supreme court but this ruling can be tossed in the trash by a 51% vote in the House and Senate. Federal judges can be told what their jurisdiction is. It’s written right into the Constitution.

    “…In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make…”

    “…with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make…” The important part. The earlier part declares what powers they have but it ends with control of these functions by Congress. Congress could tell them to butt out of any Homosexual marriage rulings. They could do that with with lots of stuff they keep ramming down our throats. They could be stuck with only deciding water rights cases between States if they push too hard to SJW the Constitution to death.

    2. Federal judges, once again, have ruled that in the States there can only be representatives based on proportional representation of the population. Before they had representation in the Senates of most States based on regions and population based in the House. Just like the Federal government structure. This change gives more power to urban areas. It too can be thrown out.

    3. Make sure all votes are by real registered and documented voters. Voter fraud is at extreme levels in the cities. They have more people voting than there are even voters in some districts. With the other two rules in place we would have the power to just call all their votes illegal and ignore them. We could have an electronic voting system that is foolproof against fraud, (this can be done I’m 100% positive and I even have a simple cheap way to implement). The votes could NOT be changed and each person and organization could 100% check each vote for themselves. The only problem with any of the systems is you must control who gets to vote in the first place and who is authorized to vote. With the two other powers in place this could be assured.
    If most States changed to the older method designed to protect minority rights, rural areas, then it would vastly improve our position. These two changes would insure that we could not be rolled over legislatively. Now some States may be lost already like California but they will lose power anyways because of the complete stupidity and incompetence of their Representatives like Detroit and other minority run cites. In California the destruction of the spillway caused by not repairing cracks in it raising the cost from maybe $2 million to repair the cracks to as much as $500 million is illustrative of the way they run things. Not to mention they destroyed a valve in the damn that should have let the water out and they didn’t move heaven and Earth to repair it even knowing the record water level coming.

    All it would take is willpower to do this. The Republicans by party line vote have the power to do this right now and so do most States. I would say the majority. If pushed we could force the same on the other States with Constitutional amendments after power is consolidated.


  4. I know I sound like a broken record but a record sounds broken if it is…you will find Jews in the forefront and placed in all these organizations that are attacking Whites and Western Civilization. They do this to demoralize their enemies, us. This happens in a wide range of fields. I was thinking about one today. Anthropology. Carleton Coons used to be big in American Anthropology. Boas moved in and…boom he’s out…racist. Of course Boas then preceded to tell us everyone is the same and there’s no difference what so ever between populations. They do this in a bewildering array of institutions. Mostly they do this with cash, audacity and relentless repetition. They never give ground and always repeat the same thing over and over. (Very much like Trump). What triggered me on this was an article on how the Jews infiltrated the Jesuits and how the Whites eventually fought back with some of the same tactics. Andrew Joyce wrote the article. Anything by him or her, I’m not exactly sure, is stellar. Whoever writes this is a first class historian with a huge breadth of knowledge. She writes on all kinds of stuff and how Jews have corrupted institutions over and over.

    Anyways the whole entire comment section is one massive Jew bleating section, (they do this a lot in Andrew Joyce articles because she’s so effective), where the Jews pretend to be well meaning people giving us advice on how to counter the Jews and it’s all nonsense. All about how we have to do this and that and the other. All the prepositions on how we need to improve ourselves to counter them when the real problem is the Jews. All these other failings we have all the time in the world to work on. Getting rid of the Jews is the first step.

    It’s a shame I have to write about the Jew so often but if you look at a broad and bewildering array of problems in our country they are always at the end of a lever or the fulcrum screwing everything up. They have a knack for finding the weak point that it’s easy to move in too and wedge themselves in place. Then they dig in and push until they get their way.

    Every counter to them I’ve seen fails and the best policy is to just dump them one and all outside of the country and refuse to allow them any intercourse with the country all. That’s the only thing that seems to work that I know of.


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