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Thread: Sculpture Culture Warfare

  1. #1
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    Sculpture Culture Warfare

    I see AOC has struck another blow in the all-important capital statue clash, pointing to a graven image honoring Father Damien of Molokai and announcing “This is what patriarchy and white supremacist culture looks like!”

    Damien spent his odious career serving the lepers of Molokai, eventually contracting the disease and dying of it. He was later made a Saint by the Catholic Church. Clearly a racist villain who needs to be erased from history.

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    As I understand it her objection is that there are not statues of indigeneous Hawaiians, not that Damien was a racist.

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    I just read what she wrote and it does make sense to me. Is this the only statue representing Hawaii in the capitol? If so, that's kind of dumb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    As I understand it her objection is that there are not statues of indigeneous Hawaiians, not that Damien was a racist.
    Yes. She said she would have preferred a queen. Then she could have said “this is what royalty looks like!”

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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Yes. She said she would have preferred a queen. Then she could have said “this is what royalty looks like!”
    You do not find Liliuokalani an historically significant person?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    You do not find Liliuokalani an historically significant person?
    If I had to pick one person who I would think would most importantly represent Hawaii in a group of state statues I would certainly pick her over Father Damien. While Father Damien himself was not a bad person as far as I know, and as mentioned, did much to care for people with leprosy, Liliuokalani would be a more appropriate choice. But instead we have a white guy born and raised on the other side of the planet, as if white guys are the only people who ever did anything historically important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I just read what she wrote and it does make sense to me. Is this the only statue representing Hawaii in the capitol? If so, that's kind of dumb.
    I recall seeing Kamehameha I there as well.

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    I like this Seekers song, I am Australian:

    https://youtu.be/ZOlPCmFG2pc

    I'd prefer my cultural references to be more inclusive, like that song. I think that is kind of what AOC was getting at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
    If I had to pick one person who I would think would most importantly represent Hawaii in a group of state statues I would certainly pick her over Father Damien. While Father Damien himself was not a bad person as far as I know, and as mentioned, did much to care for people with leprosy, Liliuokalani would be a more appropriate choice. But instead we have a white guy born and raised on the other side of the planet, as if white guys are the only people who ever did anything historically important.
    Oh I think I get her objection. But why is it necessary to go after the Saint simply because you want a different identity mix among the statuary? Why not just lobby for another statue? I think it’s because AOC’s brand of politics requires villains. For her purposes, it doesn’t matter if the image is Father Damien or Heinrich Himmler. Either would serve as a symbol of patriarchy and white supremacist culture. In her ideology, history, like beauty, is only skin deep.

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    Because suggesting a new statue without pointing out the white supremacy that went into the decision resulting in the current statue kind of misses the whole point of pointing out the white supremacy that is so deeply embedded in our society that a lot of people fail to notice it.

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