Letter: Do not disrespect culture by removing symbol

I was shocked and saddened by City Council candidate Ashley Vanorny’s desire to desecrate artwork in the guise of political correctness. What she wants is wrong on so many levels. Even those with a casual knowledge of the arts realize that one should never “edit” a work of art.

The symbol she finds offensive is thousands of years old, and has been used in many cultures. The symbol was briefly appropriated by Hitler and the Nazi Party, however it remains a part of many other cultures.

When I was in Boy Scouts in the 1950s, we had a group that performed Native American dances. The symbol in question was freely used in our costumes and other decorations. Most of our Dads were World War II veterans, and they did not object to its use. They understood it was an icon used by the Plains Tribes.

Hitler, Stalin and all the other despots of the world try to “cleanse” history to fit their ideology. The Taliban and ISIS have destroyed priceless artifacts from antiquity to fit their agenda. When we allow art to be altered to fit our sensitivities, are we really any different?

You cannot erase history! The swirling logs/bent cross icon has a rich history in Native American culture. Would we not disrespect that culture by removing the symbol? Is this an example of what Vanorny would bring to the City Council?

Richard Pohorsky

Cedar Rapids


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