Derb: March of the Termites
Art insults a holy martyr.
by John Derbyshire
If that's how bad things have gotten in the austere halls of the military, imagine what they're like in the precious little world of modern art.
To help you imagine, here's a story from that world.
A key event in the world of modern art is the Whitney Biennial, held at the Whitney art gallery in downtown Manhattan once every two years. The seventy-eighth Whitney Biennial opened March 17th this year, and runs through to June 11th. It features, I'll just quote from the prospectus here, quote, "sixty-three individuals and collectives whose work takes a wide variety of forms, from painting and installation to activism and video-game design," end quote.
In case the word "activism" threw you there, please don't imagine that any VDARE.com writers or any of Richard Spencer's acolytes will be exhibiting at the Biennial. "Activism" means anti-white, anti-male, and anti-American propaganda, nothing else. You probably already knew that, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded.
The background here is the murder of 14-year-old black American Emmett Till by two white hooligans way back in 1955. The two killers were acquitted at trial on evidentiary grounds, though they later confessed they'd done the deed.
It was a nasty business, though not as nasty as the killings of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom by blacks in Knoxville, 2007, or the massacre of four whites by two blacks in Wichita, 2000, or a thousand other black-on-white atrocities.
The Emmett Till murder caught the spirit of the age, though, and Till became an emblem of the Civil Rights movement of sixty years ago.
That movement has long since aged and matured into a quasi-religious cult of anti-whiteness, with Till as one of its holy martyrs. The priests of this cult especially like to speak, with husky cracking voices, of the spectacle of Till in his coffin, which was left open at his mother's request so that mourners could view his wounds.
Till's mother gave permission for a photograph of the open coffin to be taken, showing the boy's battered face. Copies of this photograph were passed around reverently by Civil Rights activists.
Most recently the Emmett Till cult seems to have been incorporated into the Black Lives Matter movement and raised as a battle standard in the Cold Civil War. We reported last summer that no less than three Emmett Till movies are in production. No doubt schools, highways, libraries, perhaps entire municipalities all over the U.S.A. have been named after Till. I wouldn't be very surprised to open my newspaper one morning and learn that our nation's capital had been renamed after him. After all, George Washington was a slave-owner, you know.
If the Till cult survives for a few hundred years (which also wouldn't surprise me) there will be churches built around priceless gold reliquaries containing Till's finger bones or shoelaces. We are in the mental atmosphere of martyrs, saints, and relics here.
Well, that's the background. Here is the art angle.
One of the items on display at the March 17th opening of the Whitney Biennial is a cubist painting based on that photograph of Till in his coffin. The painting is titled, with leaden lack of imagination, "Open Casket." Here's the thing, though: the artist, name of Dana Schutz is — you might want to steady yourself by holding on to something solid here — the artist is white, [Scream.]
Yes, folks, we have an exceptionally nasty case of cultural appropriation here — actually, from the point of view of anti-white cultists, a case of blasphemy.
There has been a terrific fuss: protests, demonstrations, indignant articles on CultMarx websites deploring Ms Schutz's shameless intrusion into black grief, demands for the painting to be not merely withdrawn from the exhibition but destroyed, and of course a Twitterstorm.
Here's a sample objection from a British-born black artist named, aptly enough, Hannah Black, currently working in Berlin, where I guess she is known as Fräulein Schwarz. Ms Black's own work — I quote from a review — "concerns bodies, or the condition of being bodied," end quote. Over to her, commenting at her facebook page on Ms Schutz's Emmett Till painting:
These are the passions and controversies of our age, listeners. These are the cultural heirs of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Turner. This is our civilization today.
Do you think we’d be going through all this sturm und drang about DACA if the
recipients were 800,000 Germans or Russians or—heaven help us! —white South Africans?
Do you think?
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