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Subject: Kate Smith's statue removed from Flyers' stadium area ... thoughts? rss

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Mike K
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http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/26574394/flyers-remove-ka...

Knee-jerk reaction, or appropriate response?

To me, this feels knee-jerkish. The song in question was from the '30s, when there was a whole other standard of 'normal' in place. But honestly, I don't know.

What I do sincerely believe, however, is this: if you are of the belief that this was an appropriate response, then you MUST be against the use of the moniker 'Redskins' in the NFL. Otherwise, I find your beliefs incongruous.
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Elias Någonsson
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A knee-jerk doesn't have to be inappropriate. As far as I'm concerned, there's absolutely nothing wrong with removing it, while keeping it is more debatable. Keep in mind that a statue like this is an object of pride or honor, it's a way of praising someone or something.

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The song in question was from the '30s, when there was a whole other standard of 'normal' in place

Normalized obviously doesn't mean good, and while we can't analyze people without considering their context, plenty of things where normalized back then that should be dismissed now, and that some people dismissed already back then. Much like plenty of things are normalized today that we should dismiss today. We can't judge people well based on the ideas of today, but we can judge them based on the best ideas they would have been exposed to during their time.

I don't know enough about this person to know how they stood in regards to their time, but for a similar example the decision to remove the Lovecraft bust from the World Fantasy Awards was absolutely correct and necessary.
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Lee Fisher
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Well Yankees did it first.
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Coyotek4 wrote:

What I do sincerely believe, however, is this: if you are of the belief that this was an appropriate response, then you MUST be against the use of the moniker 'Redskins' in the NFL. Otherwise, I find your beliefs incongruous.


While I am fine with removing statues and renaming teams, I question your authority for determining what I MUST believe.
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Christopher Dearlove
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I have no idea. But assuming you can recognise racism better than Paul Robeson could is ... interesting.
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Bill Cook
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I'm all in favor of anything that causes the Flyers distress.
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Ben Foy
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How far are we going to go down this rabbit hole?
Ok, the songs were written in 1931. The singer generally didn't write songs and it doesn't look like she wrote these. But the songs were bad. The singer was on TV or Radio all the time but I'm not seeing anything about her saying anything racist. But she did perform in black-face during the 1920s.

 
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Steve Vondra
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Why is it so easy to determine a statue needs to be removed when a person sang a song, but a statue cannot come down if that person took up arms against the country, Take down Lee and Jackson before asking me about Kate Smith.

Aside: I met Ms. Smith in 1974. She was awarding the trophy at Garden State Park's "God Bless America Stakes". She got so excited when her horse won, I had to ask her what she had bet. The ticket was for $2 on one of the favorites, paid a little over $5. She was very sweet to those of us in the room.
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Edgar the Woebringer
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I'm more against the Redskins monicker than this. I can't imagine a more racist name than that. Tradition is no excuse for how f-ed up our ancestors were...we hopefully learn from our mistakes and correct them. Of course, to a WHOLE lot of people they weren't mistakes in the first place.
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I say the D.C. Franchise should be renamed the "Washington Lobbyists". The logo would be a bulging briefcase of cash!
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Aaron Abercrombie
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Statues representing ideals, Statue of Liberty, or for artistic expression, The Thinker = good

Statues for honoring/immortalizing real people = bad (or at least meh)



 
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aiabx wrote:
Coyotek4 wrote:

What I do sincerely believe, however, is this: if you are of the belief that this was an appropriate response, then you MUST be against the use of the moniker 'Redskins' in the NFL. Otherwise, I find your beliefs incongruous.


While I am fine with removing statues and renaming teams, I question your authority for determining what I MUST believe.


Er, I think the "otherwise I find your beliefs incongruent" is perfectly fine.
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Kelsey Rinella
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abercrab wrote:
Statues representing ideals, Statue of Liberty, or for artistic expression, The Thinker = good

Statues for honoring/immortalizing real people = bad (or at least meh)


Then we’d just have statues to “racial purity” in the south or something.
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EMBison wrote:
I'm all in favor of anything that causes the Flyers distress.

This. Except JVR. I've got plenty of time for JVR.
 
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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I'm still waiting for the statues of Robert C. Byrd to be torn down. He certainly did more damage than a Kate Smith song.
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Mike K
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aiabx wrote:
Coyotek4 wrote:

What I do sincerely believe, however, is this: if you are of the belief that this was an appropriate response, then you MUST be against the use of the moniker 'Redskins' in the NFL. Otherwise, I find your beliefs incongruous.


While I am fine with removing statues and renaming teams, I question your authority for determining what I MUST believe.

My point is that I cannot see how someone could rationalize keeping a moniker such as 'Redskins' for the sake of tradition and insist on removing said statue because 'it's the right thing to do'.

At best, I find this incongruous; at worst, I find this hypocritical.

And honestly, I don't know what the 'right' decision is, or even if there is such a thing as a 'right' decision.
 
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Mike K
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EMBison wrote:
I'm all in favor of anything that causes the Flyers distress.

As a Flyers fan, I can assure you that there's enough distress as it is.
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David C
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If it were about history and in a historical context - I think you shouldn't remove it.

If it were about what I wanted my sports franchise to look like in 2019... think of it as a uniform change.

Also: Paging the statue of Joe Paterno. Paging the statue of Joe Paterno.
 
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okiedokie wrote:
I'm still waiting for the statues of Robert C. Byrd to be torn down. He certainly did more damage than a Kate Smith song.


No kidding. What kind of White Man tries to make amends for the bad things he did when he was younger? It's monstrous - monstrous, I say!
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Coyotek4 wrote:
http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/26574394/flyers-remove-ka...

Knee-jerk reaction, or appropriate response?

To me, this feels knee-jerkish. The song in question was from the '30s, when there was a whole other standard of 'normal' in place. But honestly, I don't know.

What I do sincerely believe, however, is this: if you are of the belief that this was an appropriate response, then you MUST be against the use of the moniker 'Redskins' in the NFL. Otherwise, I find your beliefs incongruous.


Since the song in question was considered even at the time as satire... which she sung with a famous black singer/song writer, as satire ... all I can say is in another 50-100 years they will be burning effigies of every writer The Onion ever had and probably removing the Stars off Hollywood sidewalks of most of our comedic actors, especially those who started out in Saturday Night Live type venues.

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Political correctness gone wrong.
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Aaron Abercrombie
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Sue_G wrote:
bippi wrote:
If it were about history and in a historical context - I think you shouldn't remove it.

If it were about what I wanted my sports franchise to look like in 2019... think of it as a uniform change.

Also: Paging the statue of Joe Paterno. Paging the statue of Joe Paterno.


Joe Paterno's statute had to go because the idiots at Penn State couldn't wrap their brains around what he did. One of most privileged moments in Pennsylvania history was a bunch of white college students crying while they took it down.


I used to adore Joe Paterno. His fall was a big lesson to me. Everyone is fallible. Respecting someone for the good things they've done or successes they've had is fine. Does anyone really deserve a statue? That seems to elevate the person to a different level. It seems almost like worship. I don't think anyone deserves that.
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abercrab wrote:
Sue_G wrote:
bippi wrote:
If it were about history and in a historical context - I think you shouldn't remove it.

If it were about what I wanted my sports franchise to look like in 2019... think of it as a uniform change.

Also: Paging the statue of Joe Paterno. Paging the statue of Joe Paterno.


Joe Paterno's statute had to go because the idiots at Penn State couldn't wrap their brains around what he did. One of most privileged moments in Pennsylvania history was a bunch of white college students crying while they took it down.


I used to adore Joe Paterno. His fall was a big lesson to me. Everyone is fallible. Respecting someone for the good things they've done or successes they've had is fine. Does anyone really deserve a statue? That seems to elevate the person to a different level. It seems almost like worship. I don't think anyone deserves that.


Statues are less about the person portrayed and more about how the people who put it up see themselves. Statues are messages, and pretty explicit ones at that. People are nuanced, but we don't care unless the message no longer fits the culture. That's what is happening now; the culture is changing and the message of these statues no longer see you seems as appealing. But the people and thier work still have worth, they're just complicated.

Darilian
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Christopher Yaure
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1. There are at least two racist songs involved: "That's Why Darkies Were Born" and "Pickaninny Heaven".
2. Paul Robeson also sang the first song; I have not seen any suggestion he sang the second song.
3. Just because a politically-aware African American sang a song, possibly as satire, does not make it acceptable for a white woman to sing the song, especially without any indication she was doing so as satire. Note: they did not sing it together.
4. Kate Smith did many laudable things in her life. One can reasonably argue that they outweigh her singing and recording racist songs. But one can also reasonably argue the opposite.
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BJ
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Stupid question, why was a statue put up of her in the first place? Seems a rather obscure person to get a statue.
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