You would think it’s such an easy principle to understand and execute. In art, as with all products and services, it is the quality of the work that matters, not the artist, creator or provider. But in the era of The Great Stupid, where woke sensibilities routinely turn logic and wisdom on their heads and inside out, something as intrinsically sensible as this suddenly becomes hard to grasp.
Take, for example, the new South Carolina flag design, as fine an example of “bias makes you stupid” as one could imagine. You see, the South Carolina flag has long consisted of a crescent moon and a palmetto tree, but designs varied. Why a palmetto tree? Also known as the Sabal palmetto, cabbage-palm, cabbage palmetto, blue palmetto, Carolina palmetto, common palmetto, swamp cabbage and sabal palm…
…the tree is native to the southern United States, as well as Cuba and the Bahamas. In the Revolutionary War, South Carolina palmettos played a key role in the defeat of the British fleet at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island. The fort was constructed out of palmetto logs, which efficiently absorbed the impact of cannon balls, according to the State Legislature’s website. Col. William Moultrie’s 2nd South Carolina Regiment wore uniforms of deep indigo, so Moultrie used the color as the background for the moon and the tree when he designed the first South Carolina flag. Since 1940, however, South Carolina has had no required design for its state flag, leading to an infinite number of variations on flags, logos, posters, mugs, T-shirts, and other merchandise. See?
So South Carolina concluded that it was time to standardize the flag design, a reasonable decision. A commission was appointed, they engaged in extensive research, looked at hundreds of designs, and finally came up with the ugly thing you see under the title above.
Just about everyone hates the proposed design. The tree has been widely compared to a toilet brush. Others think it is reminiscent of Charlie Brown’s sick-looking Christmas tree. So it’s back to the drawing board.
The commission chose that version of a palmetto tree because it was based on a pencil sketch by Ellen Heyward Jervey (1879-1967) who was an amateur artist and a librarian when she made the crude drawing in 1910. She was a woman, you see, so her sketch was accorded such value by virtue of her chromosomes that it elevated the quality of her drawing in the warped judgment of the commission members. She was also a librarian; maybe this was another group that the bureaucrats choosing the design wanted to suck up to. I can’t find a biography or a photograph of Jervey, but I’m laying 2-1 odds that she was also African-American.
But Jervey’s occupation, race and gender still don’t make the palmetto tree she drew look any less like a toilet brush. This should have been obvious to all, but, incredibly, it wasn’t.
Because bias makes you stupid..