America's National Cathedral removes Confederate windows


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/13/americas-national-cathedral.html


#2

Just as long as they don’t remove Darth Vader…

Also, in B4 hewing in hawing about the First Amendment to point out that the Cathedral is the private property of the Episcopal Church to do with as they please.


#3

If either of those Confederate Generals had ended the Civil War by throwing Jefferson Davis down a giant ventilation shaft then maybe we could reconsider the merits of their windows.


#4

#5

If it’s one of those depictions of them suffering to torments of hell; I’m fine.


#6

But, history, right? Erasing history, something something.


#7

29563418336_27e8c847e1_z


#8

Looks like Rush has lost some weight fleeing FL!

I think we should let the descendants of slaves make the decision of what goes in those two windows. Tasteful please. This country could have a real ‘look in the mirror’ moment debating the proposals for a few years.


#9

Windows to the past or something


#10

it’s not.


#11

Yea, the whole “National” Cathedral/Episcopal church thing is something I’ve never really been able to wrap my head around. It’s complicated, as they say.

Now, having said that I used to visit it a good deal when I lived in Washington. It’s a stunning building.

Are these windows, installed in 1953…

See, despite the constant and shrill coverage of the issue, this is the point that I think hasn’t been made strongly enough. Most/All of these “memorials” are not some kind of long-standing cultural artifact. They were installed during the era of civil rights protesting as a direct way of saying “fuck you” to those calling for equality.

A perfect example is the one in Helena MT that was just removed. They weren’t even a state at the time. This one was installed by a group in 1916 what openly supported the KKK.


#12

“Decision-making process,” the fuck you say?


#13

Change it.


#14

And…

… at the risk of being somewhat controversial:

I applaud their decision to remove these; it seems like the right thing to do.

Now, having said this, the Cathedral is probably one of the very few places that could argue that it was appropriate. In many ways they tell the history of the country in the art contained in the building, and the civil war was an important historical happening. Viewed in the context of the entire building, they don’t give the impression of supporting racism.


#15

No, they are apparently doing it right. They’ve actually gone to the trouble of deconsecrating the windows and plan to do real art conservation. I imagine they’ll even make the removal part of the history provided to tourists (although I’m just guessing based on the Cathedral’s behavior so far).

I see destroying confederate monuments of the 1950s and 60s as an ephemeral feel-good statement against racism, and a lasting cover up of the racism of that era. Put them in a museum with appropriate context, and use my tax dollars to send kids to that museum instead of using those dollars to murder brown people abroad, and that’ll do more for the world than any amount of righteous destruction.


#16

Personally, I don’t have a problem with tearing down the statues of confederate generals and such. I do agree that there’s a better way to do it. Perhaps just putting up new plaques which properly explain the context.

“Here’s a confederate general. He supported slavery, and so was a douchenozzle”. I mean, more flowery but you get what I am saying.


#17

Somebody was saying move all such statues to confederate graveyards. I think that would be great, with bronze plaques like “this confederate general was the racist douchenozzle who led these similarly misguided soldiers to their deaths in the name of oppressing black people” - but, as you say, more flowery. :slight_smile:


#18

If there aren’t already windows depicting MLK or Rosa Parks I’d love to see them created and put in as replacements: historically appropriate and a big middle finger to the kind of racist arseholes who insisted on having these traitors memorialised back in 1953.


#19

Well put!


#20

These stained glass depictions can more appropriately convey the history in a museum than in a sacred place of worship.

(Not picking on you as we agree on the decision to remove them, and I suspect we may also agree that current and future generations need to be aware of the unsavory aspects of our history rather than not at all.)