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Huckabee: UW-Stout Censors Art 'in the Name of Political Correctness'

Image: Huckabee: UW-Stout Censors Art 'in the Name of Political Correctness'

Mike Huckabee (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Aug 2016 12:50 PM

Mike Huckabee says the University of Wisconsin-Stout is attempting to rewrite history and censor art "in the name of political correctness" by removing two historical paintings from prominent areas on campus.

"It's not enough that students have a 'safe space.' Campus officials believe the entire campus must be set up in such a way that no students ever 'have issues' or 'feel bad,'" the former Arkansas governor and two-time presidential candidate wrote Tuesday on his Facebook page.

"Two incredible paintings, 6 feet tall and up to 20 feet across, are being removed from the corridors of Harvey Hall because they have been deemed politically incorrect." The murals, titled "French Trappers on The Red Cedar" and "Perrault's Trading Fort" were created by Wisconsin-born artist Cal Peters during the Great Depression.

They depict Native Americans canoeing with French fur traders and were commissioned in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration, a New Deal agency that employed millions of jobless Americans on public works projects.

"Native Americans surely did canoe with French fur traders, but never mind that. Campus officials say the juxtaposition of Native Americans with Europeans in these paintings is an issue for some students," Huckabee writes.

"So the paintings will be moved out of the common areas and into out-of-the-way locations in the Harvey Hall library and a dean's conference room."

He adds that if the paintings bother some students, those same pupils would likely be offended by any representation of the native woman Sacagawea, who served as interpreter and "guided those evil European explorers Lewis and Clark" on their trek to the Pacific coast.

"Perhaps we should think twice before honoring her, lest we open old wounds. Better to forget her," Huckabee writes.

"You know I'm kidding, just to make the point that these university officials have truly jumped the canoe. It would make more sense to forget any university that insists on rewriting history and censoring art in the name of political correctness."

The artworks were deemed inappropriate for general display by a Diversity Leadership Team for allegedly reinforcing "racial stereotypes," with University Chancellor Bob Meyer agreeing with the group's assessment, The Washington Times reported.

For now, the paintings are in storage before their relocation to less-seen areas.

Not all on campus are happy about the decision.

"Shrouding or moving the painting does not educate anyone or stimulate any learning or dialogue," English and philosophy professor Timothy Shiell said.

"American history and representations of that history can be ugly and offensive. But hiding them doesn't change the past or the future."

Shiell added that Meyer did not consult with most of the university faculty, groups or student body before yanking the art.

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Mike Huckabee says the University of Wisconsin-Stout is attempting to rewrite history and censor art "in the name of political correctness" by removing two historical paintings from prominent areas on campus.
huckabee, uw-stout, censor, art, political correctness, wisconsin college
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2016-50-16
Tuesday, 16 Aug 2016 12:50 PM
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