college vice president terminated from job after modifying mural on wall

Discussion in 'Education' started by kazenatsu, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

    May 15, 2017
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    A college vice president at Bellevue College (right outside Seattle) was terminated from his job.
    His offense? The school had a mural of two Japanese American children in a World War II internment camp. In the accompanying artist description to the mural, there was a reference to anti-Japanese agitation by Eastside businessmen, which the vice president decided to white out. They are claiming that the mural was "defaced", even though only one sentence within one paragraph was whited out.

    The sentence read:
    "After decades of anti-Japanese agitation, led by Eastside businessman Miller Freeman and others, the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans included the 60 families (300 individuals) who farmed Bellevue."

    Gayle Colston Barge was the vice president of "institutional advancement" at the college.

    The sentence was first whited out, and then a laminated description without the sentence as placed over the original placard.

    "It was a mistake to alter the artist's work," Weber wrote in the letter sent to students and staff. "Removing the reference gave the impression that the administrator was attempting to remove or rewrite history, a history that directly impacts many today. Editing artistic works changes the message and meaning of the work."

    In text messages to The Seattle Times, Shigaki wrote she was “traumatized by what happened to my art – to my community’s art – on campus."

    "I feel the feelings associated with both sides of my family being forcibly removed from Seattle – erased, unimportant, disregarded, disrespected, shamed,” wrote Shigaki, whose father was born in the Minidoka War Relocation Center prison camp in Idaho. In his letter, Weber apologized to Shigaki and to the Asian community, in particular the Japanese American community. More than a fifth of the college's 29,120 students and its 1,508 employees are Asian and Pacific Islander, according to college demographic data.​

    Seattle Times

    Notice how administrators get fired from schools over small offenses that could be "triggering" to certain groups of people.

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