American Consequences - October 2017



I picture a (organic, GMO-free) butter- churning contest to

Half of Mount Rushmore will be blasted away. Or all of it. Lincoln, early in his political career, made comments that were racist. And Teddy Roosevelt’s actions in the Spanish-American War were clearly imperialistic. Maybe the cliff face can be ground smooth, made perfectly vertical, and turned into a climbing wall where people can learn the futility, frustration, and pain of the “American Dream” of “trying to get to the top,” by falling off. The Washington Monument and the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials are ideal sites for low-incoming housing in a city where capitalist exploitation has made housing prices unaffordable to the homeless. Until the housing is built, these places can serve as squats for activist collectives. 3. Edit the Declaration of Independence to remove the signatures of the 41 (out of 56) signers who owned slaves. Perhaps their names can be replaced with historically black names, although this too presents difficulties. According to the 2010 census, some of the most common surnames of respondents who self-identified as black were Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, and Wilson. (Woodrow Wilson was a notorious racist.) Or we can replace the 41 slave-owner signatures with the signatures of important historic figures who would have signed, but were prevented from doing so by the cultural inequalities of 1776. For an example, I’d

name Dolley Madison – who was not only a woman but also a victim of the 18th century’s dire lack of children’s rights, being only eight at the time – but she also owned slaves later in life. 4. Rebrand any commercial enterprise that contains an offensive name, even if it is unrelated to the offending figure or spelled differently. Lee Jeans and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce will become W. E. B. Du Bois Jeans and Sacagawea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. And Robert Lee, the Asian-American ESPN broadcaster who – after the white supremacist riots in Charlottesville – was pulled from announcing the UVA/William and Mary football game because of his name... That guy shall henceforth use the Chinese characters for he-who-must-not-be-named – R_____ E. L__. “George Washington” will be removed from 32 parks, schools, and monuments dedicated to George Washington Carver, to avoid confusing him with the slave owner. decide which one gets the coveted name of "Cheesehead City..." Montpelier will likely get "Maple Syrup Town."

88 | October 2017

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