One Halloween in grade school, I learned how to sew so that I could make a detailed Robert E. Lee uniform. While General Lee is a complicated figure who initially argued against secession, I now understand that his canonization is the rhetoric of the Lost Cause — hook, line and sinker. And the pit of regret weighs in my stomach.
The Lost Cause was manufactured to deny that slavery was the reason for the war. It was a Neo-Confederate, revisionist, white supremacist history created to suppress Black Americans and impose Jim Crow laws. As a nine-year-old, I was unaware of Lee’s history of violently beating his enslaved workers, committing war crimes against Black Union soldiers, and capturing free men for chattel. He was one of the most responsible for the killing of 750,000 Americans.
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly is aware that the continued portrayal of Lee as an “honorable man” serves as a dog-whistle to embolden the alt-right. His assertion that “compromise” could have stopped the Civil War is historically indefensible and in lockstep with Trump’s inflammatory post-Charlottesville comments. How can there be compromise on whether someone would be enslaved or not?
These statements are meant to mislead and distract. They are not benign feints. They are dangerous and deadly. They are skeletons in our collective closet. And they are not just trotted out for Halloween. They were never put away. Now they are ever more proudly and publicly paraded each day.
Tiki torches aren’t for the summer porch anymore.
Join Hyperallergic for an online conversation with cultural organizer and curator La Tanya S. Autry on February 1 at 7pm (EST).
This week, the Tonga eruption as captured from space, Boston gets a big gift of Dutch and Flemish painting, 30 years of New Queer Cinema, an important Marcel Breuer house is demolished, and much more.
At this free online summit, hear from architects Tadao Ando and Lesley Lokko; artist Himali Singh Soin; author Amitav Ghosh; design studio Formafantasma; and more.
Being bowled over by an unknown artist’s first one-person show does not happen often but when it does, it renews your faith that the art world is not just about buzz and hype.
Surrealist images of a Rice Krispies box or Yukon Gold potato explore how data is transformed into the visual language called art.
This immersive video installation utilizes waterscape scenes to speak about concepts such as existence, intimacy, healing, and aquatic ecology.
What is wonderful about the online photography exhibition What Have We Stopped Hiding? is that one is given entrée to the internal monologue of the artists featured in the show.
Self-taught artists were invited to exhibit, and sell, their fuzzy stacks of pancakes and tasseled tapestries.
Curator, educator, and transdisciplinary artist Jova Lynne is coming from MOCAD to lead Temple Contemporary exhibitions and public programs.
Our culture seems obsessed with the artist/model relationship, portrayed in countless movies and narratives as a relationship that is lustful and scandalous.
Creator Art Spiegelman said he was “baffled” by the decision and called the school board’s behavior “Orwellian.”
The winners of this year’s Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest prove that life is indeed better under the sea.