The carnage of the George Floyd Terror, aka George Floyd Freakout, aka George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck, claimed another victim yesterday, and Ethics Alarms is designating him the Ethics Dunce. We really need a new category for people like Gary Gerrels, the now ex-senior curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Placed in a position where he could take a strong position against unhinged woke bullying, when every element of common sense, integrity, fairness and reality was aligned in his favor, he prostrated himself to the mob. “Ethics Coward,” perhaps? “Ethics Weenie”? “Ethics Fool”? “Useful Ethics Idiot”?
Garrels triggered the process of his cancellation by concluding a presentation on how to diversify the museum’s holdings by saying, “don’t worry, we will definitely still continue to collect white artists.” In a ZOOM meeting of museum employees, Garrels voiced a similar position, saying that the museum could not avoid collecting the work of white men, which he described as “reverse discrimination.” Shortly thereafter employees created and began signing an online petition demanding that he leave the museum.
“Gary’s removal from SFMOMA is non-negotiable,” read the petition in part. “Considering his lengthy tenure at this institution, we ask just how long have his toxic white supremacist beliefs regarding race and equity directed his position curating the content of the museum?”
Yes, the art curator’s statement that the museums’ collection would not be driven by race alone, and that the works of white artists would not be deemed unacceptable purely because of the artist’s color, was deemed a racist attitude born of white supremacy.
The petition’s assertion is nonsense on its face; there is no valid argument for it that obeys the laws of language and logic. It might as well claim that Garrels’ had outed himself as a cleverly disguised cannibalistic lizard-man from the planet Zoltar. The fact that people may sincerely and deeply believe utter garbage does not make such garbage stink less, or dictate that idiotic accusations be treated with respect. Garrels, and the museum’s management, had an ethical obligation to rebut (which a relative articulate child could do), reject and condemn the petition’s endorsement of a racist art acquisition policy. Instead, Garrels apologized and resigned.
“I want to offer my personal and sincere apology to every one of you,” he wrote. “I realized almost as soon as I used the term ‘reverse discrimination’ that this is an offensive term and was an extremely poor choice of words on my part. I am very sorry at how upsetting these words were to many staff.”
No, it is an accurate and fair choice of words. Your pals on the Far Left frequently believe that truthful characterizations of their objectives are offensive because such description make it more difficult to con the gullible, uneducated, ignorant and dumb. This does not make the characterizations wrong. It makes them dangerous
“I do not believe I have ever said I do not believe I have ever said that it is important to collect the art of white men,” he continued. “I have said that it is important that we do not exclude consideration of the art of white men.”
Well, you should have said that it is important to collect the art of white men, you craven twit, because it obviously is. Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Rembrandt and Van Gogh were white men. This is not a difficult argument to win, unless you have the spine of a cauliflower jellyfish (that’s one, or maybe Garrels, above).
That’s a promising option, except that jellyfish have more integrity than Gary Gerels and the large number of people like him.