Vandalizing art

On principle, I do not believe in defacing public art or private property. Even when the property at stake is an ugly statue of white supremacist Bedford Forest. But if one were to do so–at least show some imagination.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

10 thoughts on “Vandalizing art”

      1. I wish, This was back in 1978-ish and I had no $$ to spend on filming my misdemeanors…

    1. Yes, I thought so also, and that painting the legs skin colored would have added a nice sexy touch.

  1. Of all the things in the world to get sufficiently exercised about to write a blog post on, you pick this one?

  2. It’s never appropriate to deface other people’s stuff. So I agree with this. Whoever did it was out of line. Also, the article was interesting.

    I’d seen photos of this before but I never knew that it was created by or associated with any white people. I had always assumed the statute of a clownish general on a horse from a merry go round was some kind of a provocative or insulting creation of African Americans intended as a satire.

    It never occurred to me that people who idolized Gen. Forrest would create a monument depicting him as a malignant dwarf riding a hobby horse. Go figure.

  3. So here's what I don't get: why haven't Southerners who want statues of great (people) figured out that World War I or II heroes would be a better choice? or Texas oil explorers, or Florida real estate developers or Kentucky horse breeders, or (fill in the blank). I know the confederate generals often date from the 1920's, but haven't there been any attempts to dilute the confederate statuary presence since then?

    1. The goal isn't to immortalize great people. It's to remind black Americans who's on top, who's not. You need slaver heroes, for that.

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