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PC Statues I: Catharine of Braganza and Christopher Columbus

NYC Blog 7 PC Statues – Part I:  Queen Catharine of Braganza and Christopher Columbus © 2017 by Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg #ghost

 

The social justice warriors as the snowflakes of the progressive kind, the extreme nuts of the left, the wacky liberals of social justice, have now discovered a new cause.  Once more, history must be corrected; America must be spanked; the imperfect must be destroyed instead of being understood or seen as a step forward to improvement.  Only total destruction is acceptable.  America can never cleanse itself of the original sin of being successful—recognizing merit instead of rewarding need and greed.

 

The snowflakes believe there can be no moral equivalence. Only they can be the judge of what is correct, beautiful, and truthful.  If something does not meet their impossible high standards, then it must be destroyed instead of being corrected or tolerated or understanding the zeitgeist of the time.  If perchance, the wrong people meet these standards, then the goal post must be moved because injustice can be never corrected but used to beat everyone else over the head of the original sin that America has ideals and merit.  All tactics in name of the greater good is justified.  No lie is too petty or great to make up for the sake of the cause. 

 

While it is wrong to criticize the snowflakes in any way, it is okay for the snowflakes to use any tactic possible from lies to fake news to slander and libel to physical attacks. The snowflakes can never be wrong; they are always on the high ground of certainty. If they do change their opinions, they forget they ever had ever been wrong their first place but will never permit their opponents to change their also.

 

Now suddenly, the latest warfare on the moral front is statues!  The statues put up by previous generations are now mocked as villains and tyrants.  A statue of General James Longstreet must be removed from the public square in New Orleans because he once fought for the Confederacy.  After the Civil War, he was a Republican politician who pursued racial reconciliation and had black support.  The students at the University of Virginia demand Thomas Jefferson’s statue must be removed because he owned slaves although he wrote The Declaration of Independence.  Abraham Lincoln’s statue has been vandalized in Chicago for whatever trump up wrong he supposedly committed.  Statuary Hall of Congress is littered with a dozen Confederate Statues that politically correct Congressmen now want removed after being peacefully ignored for over a century.

A preview of the nuttiness involved in the latest cultural war is the saga of the proposed statue of Queen Catharine of Braganza. “Here’s to Queen Catherine, Who Gave Queens a Name by Nadine Bronzeman, wrote in The New York Times of 11 October 1990, that  ”In a borough of remarkable ethnic diversity, the project has focused unusual attention on an underrepresented nationality: the Portuguese. It has also given a little something to a politician: On Tuesday evening at a benefit put on in the Plaza Hotel by the Friends of Queen Catherine, Claire Shulman, the Borough President, was inducted into the Order of Vila Vicosa.

The award was originated by King John IV, Catherine’s father, and was presented to Mrs. Shulman by Dom Duarte, the 42-year-old Duke of Braganza, who would be King of Portugal if Portugal were still a monarchy.

”For a nice Jewish lady from Queens, this is very amusing,” Mrs. Shulman remarked as she prepared for the festivities.

The borough acquired its name in 1683 after England had wrested control of what was then called New Netherlands from the Dutch. The Duke of York and Albany was granted control over the area by his brother, King Charles II, and ”was wise enough to name Kings and Queens Counties for his brother and sister-in-law,” said Henry Ludder, the Queens Borough historian.

Like most of her constituents, Mrs. Shulman had long been oblivious to Catherine’s rightful place in her borough’s identity. She learned about the Queen, she said, through an exhibition in the Queens Museum honoring Catherine’s 350th birthday in 1988 and through a trip to Portugal in May 1989.

”We have no Portuguese population here to speak of,” noted Mrs. Shulman, who has been negotiating with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for a site for the proposed statue.”  Eventually, a site was eventually secured at Hunter’s Point overlooking New York harbor for the proposed statue.

 

National Sculpture Society (NSS) Colleague Member, Audrey Flack completed the torso of her enlarged model of Queen Catherine of Braganza, Princess of Portugal and Queen of England in 1997.  She never got to cast the statue in bronze as opposition put a kibosh on the project. Opposition mounted that the queen was politically incorrect person to be honored. 

In 2017, a statue of Christopher Columbus was demolished in Yonkers while his statue at Columbus Circle was covered in red paint.  The latter is a statue of Christopher Columbus by Gaetano Russo placed in the middle of Columbus Circle in Manhattan, New York City. The statue was erected in 1892, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World when he was still called without contest “the great explorer.” The marble sculpture stands 70 feet above the ground on a granite column, decorated with bronze ship prows that represent the explorer’s three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. At the base of the column is a statue of winged boy holding a globe, paying homage to the global exploration? Below him, a bronze relief shows Columbus and his men setting foot on the new continent. (Source:  http://www.aviewoncities.com/nyc/columbuscircle.htm

Although Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, he has been blamed for a host of problems from the spread of disease to the Atlantic slave trade.  Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, ever the leftie populist, wants the statue moved despite his defense by the Italian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans who honor him with separate parades. In reaction, the mayor claimed he was misunderstood.  He said that instead of giving contested monuments might get plaques that offer explanations of the historical figures they depict.