VivLeighFan

People have voted to remove Lillian and Dorothy Gish's name from a college theater

127 posts in this topic

6 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Hmmm...now why on earth am I now reminded of what Bing says to Frank during their duet in High Society here, James?

(...YOU know..."You must be one of the newer fellas!")

;)

I don't know those two guys since they have been erased from history;  one for being a child abuser and the other for abusing women.

 

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Please those on both sides of the argument....keep politics out.  This thread is heading for the Off Topics forum.

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3 hours ago, TomJH said:

And why vote to remove Dorothy Gish's name? She didn't appear in The Birth of a Nation.

I believe the theater was called the "Gish Theater", in honor of both but omitting first names. Perhaps they could have changed it to the "Dorothy Gish Theater".

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8 minutes ago, hamradio said:

Please those on both sides of the argument....keep politics out.  This thread is heading for the Off Topics forum.

Well the people calling for the name to be changed are the ones really bringing politics into a non-political area here. 

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To me this latest 'event' is similar to the Kate Smith one in that someone is being targeted because they were a participants in something that the vast majority of people today view as racist.

In the Kate Smith thread,  I made the point that if anyone should be targeted it should be authors, songwriters,  producers,,,: those that created the work,   and NOT those that just performed the work;  I.e. those just doing their job.    

I can understand being upset when an authors, songwriter, producer,,,, work is full of racist, sexist,  hateful,  content.    That clearly says something about that person.

But a performer?????

I just don't see how outrage is legit in these cases.

 

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11 hours ago, GGGGerald said:

Well, I'm also a black person. And if we remove all the names of people who appeared in racist films or sang racist songs, we may as well just take all names off of all buildings. Because no one is perfect.

You could make the argument that the majority of films made, now or them, are racist, sexist, or some other -ist. I think its very simplistic to consider Birth of a Nation (1915) "just a racist film". This film was revolutionary in the technical aspect of filmmaking, of box office, and of turning the film industry into a major business. And I say now because just a few years ago a newer film called "Birth of a Nation (2016)" and it was also quite racist.

People can name buildings after anyone they wish. And remove them if they wish. But, all you're going to end up with is a very bland, boring culture.

 

 

 

 

A "like" or a "thank you" wasn't enough for your post, Gerald. I give it a "love".

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12 hours ago, slaytonf said:

Priggishness is a failing not limited to any political philosophy.  And did not originate with the Civil Rights Movement.  Hateful pettiness can be found everywhere.  I notice it a lot here.  One thing lefters have, I notice, is enough patience not to get exasperated with it in others.  The logical fallacy, is to take extreme examples of priggishness and use it (as is often done by conservatives) to delegitimize honest objections to intolerance, bigotry, and racism.  I have long held that the concept of political correctness was developed by racists and bigots to allow them to parade their prejudices as legitimate.

slayton, you sound so reasonable in the above post. However, I disagree with you that "priggishness" and "pettiness" are qualities belonging solely to those on "the right". There's plenty of priggishness and intolerance to go round on both sides of the political/cultural spectrum.

I say this as someone who's always identified herself ("idenity" politics ? !) as a "moderate", if anything, leaning to the left. But there's been an awful lot of unreasonable self-righteous "objections" put forward by the so-called "left" to all kinds of things lately. 

And I think that the accusation that the term "political correctness" as a phrase used by "racists and bigots" is incorrect (no word play intended.) I'm pretty sure the term was originally conceived and integrated into common parlance by "leftist" individuals.

ps: Do you really think that the demand to remove Lillian Gish's name from a theatre is an "honest objection to intolerance, bigotry, and racism"? I admit, I don't know the details around this news story, but it does sound extreme, to say the least.

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I don't know if this is related but I watched the fine film A Raisin in the Sun last night on TCM. 

The scene where the white guy from the community association goes to try to buy them out so black folks don't move into the white community.  

Very similar scenes are happening today in CA but reversed and are now called gentrification.    

The BS that the white guy was laying on this nice upstanding black family is very similar to what people-of-color are telling whites now related to gentrification;   E.g. we are not prejudice,  we condemn racism.   But when a community has a certain way of life,,, a certain tilt towards a vibe,,, we don't wish for that to be distributed.

Watch that scene,  wow,   it is a winner! 

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1 hour ago, hamradio said:

Please those on both sides of the argument....keep politics out.  This thread is heading for the Off Topics forum.

Well politics is what it's all about.

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I think this is an idiotic decision. I understand Birth of a Nation is very problematic, but to go back and erase people's names off of a building because of a movie made decades ago is ludicrous. That's my personal view. I think that pretending certain historical events didn't happen is almost worse than the actual events themselves. 

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29 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

ps: Do you really think that the demand to remove Lillian Gish's name from a theatre is an "honest objection to intolerance, bigotry, and racism"? I admit, I don't know the details around this news story, but it does sound extreme, to say the least.

I'm also center-left usually, and I also don't like the extremes going on with either side these days, which get amplified via social media and 24/7, clickbait media. 

From what I read, the Black Student Union group at this university recently voiced objection to the campus' Gish Theater, named to honor both Dorothy and Lillian Gish, due to Lillian's starring role in The Birth of a Nation. The school trustees then voted unanimously to remove the Gish name from the theater. If I were to hazard a guess, the Student Union were probably inspired in part by the success of Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman film, which prominently features The Birth of a Nation in the movie, with clips and discussion about it. Lee's film was widely seen, was up for several Oscars (winning Best Screenplay), and recently premiered on HBO, ensuring that even more people saw it. This, coupled with the Outrage Machine that's been in effect for the past few years in regards to public displays of racially-insensitive material and personages, led to this extreme example of the phenomenon. 

To be honest I have no problem with the idea of removing Confederate statues, plaques or other memorials to museum settings (not destroyed!) if that is what the communities choose to do. And I can't fault the sports teams for removing Kate Smith songs/statues from their games/property, as they are privately held companies and can do what they choose. The same is true for this university: if the trustees vote to do so, then that is their right. However, I can't say that I would have voted to do so.

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This is from the article btw-

A university task force issued a report last month saying the Gish name and displays about “The Birth of a Nation” contributed to an “intimidating, even hostile, educational environment.”

Jeez, I understand (but disagree) if they want to change the name but "intimidating" and "hostile" are just melodramatic. :rolleyes: 

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5 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I'm also center-left usually, and I also don't like the extremes going on with either side these days, which get amplified via social media and 24/7, clickbait media. 

From what I read, the Black Student Union group at this university recently voiced objection to the campus' Gish Theater, named to honor both Dorothy and Lillian Gish, due to Lillian's starring role in The Birth of a Nation. The school trustees then voted unanimously to remove the Gish name from the theater. If I were to hazard a guess, the Student Union were probably inspired in part by the success of Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman film, which prominently features The Birth of a Nation in the movie, with clips and discussion about it. Lee's film was widely seen, was up for several Oscars (winning Best Screenplay), and recently premiered on HBO, ensuring that even more people saw it. This, coupled with the Outrage Machine that's been in effect for the past few years in regards to public displays of racially-insensitive material and personages, led to this extreme example of the phenomenon. 

To be honest I have no problem with the idea of removing Confederate statues, plaques or other memorials to museum settings (not destroyed!) if that is what the communities choose to do. And I can't fault the sports teams for removing Kate Smith songs/statues from their games/property, as they are privately held companies and can do what they choose. The same is true for this university: if the trustees vote to do so, then that is their right. However, I can't say that I would have voted to do so.

Here is an example of what I believe is an inconsistent approach to this type of 'remove their name' movement:

Gardner Street Elementary School in Los Angeles CA, is undergoing a most unusual soul searching this week, weighing whether to break a symbolic link with pop star Michael Jackson, whose name is on the auditorium of the Hollywood campus.

The final vote was to leave Jackson's name.   The main reason given was that Jackson was never convicted of anything.    

I guess Gish has a rap-sheet I wasn't aware of. 

But seriously I wish there were community leaders that had the guts to explain to the Black Student Union,  that while they understand where they are coming from, their targeting of Gish is misguided.    Instead it looks like community leaders just wimp out and pander.   (like the L.A. School board did with that Ava Gardner mural until there was major push back from artist and other in the community). 

PS:  I agree it is up to each community who should be targeted (e.g. named removed),  and which 'offensive' required said targeting.    So one should expect an inconsistent approach between communities.      

 

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5 hours ago, EricJ said:

Oh, come on, MORE racist than Not Without My Daughter (1991)??

Yeah, that film was something else. Also Midnight Express and Trader Horn (1931).....

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Next thing you know they'll be banning Kate Smith's recording of God Bless America because she supposedly sang a song with racist lyrics in 1938.  Ooops!  They already did!

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8 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Yeah, that film was something else. Also Midnight Express and Trader Horn (1931).....

No mention of Judge Priest? :lol:

MV5BYTM0NGVhZWYtNTQyZi00YjExLWE0N2QtNmFh

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1 hour ago, Gershwin fan said:

This is from the article btw-

A university task force issued a report last month saying the Gish name and displays about “The Birth of a Nation” contributed to an “intimidating, even hostile, educational environment.”

Jeez, I understand (but disagree) if they want to change the name but "intimidating" and "hostile" are just melodramatic. :rolleyes: 

Yeah, just how intimidating could Lillian Gish be? I could understand if the theater were named after Griffith. (Even so, I would disagree with it. He was a product of his time). Why not just do away with the displays then? Gish had a long, acclaimed career. I dont recall anyone calling her a racist in her lifetime.....

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

I'm also center-left usually, and I also don't like the extremes going on with either side these days, which get amplified via social media and 24/7, clickbait media. 

From what I read, the Black Student Union group at this university recently voiced objection to the campus' Gish Theater, named to honor both Dorothy and Lillian Gish, due to Lillian's starring role in The Birth of a Nation. The school trustees then voted unanimously to remove the Gish name from the theater. If I were to hazard a guess, the Student Union were probably inspired in part by the success of Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman film, which prominently features The Birth of a Nation in the movie, with clips and discussion about it. Lee's film was widely seen, was up for several Oscars (winning Best Screenplay), and recently premiered on HBO, ensuring that even more people saw it. This, coupled with the Outrage Machine that's been in effect for the past few years in regards to public displays of racially-insensitive material and personages, led to this extreme example of the phenomenon. 

To be honest I have no problem with the idea of removing Confederate statues, plaques or other memorials to museum settings (not destroyed!) if that is what the communities choose to do. And I can't fault the sports teams for removing Kate Smith songs/statues from their games/property, as they are privately held companies and can do what they choose. The same is true for this university: if the trustees vote to do so, then that is their right. However, I can't say that I would have voted to do so.

What did Kate Smith do?

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This is really getting stupid.  In S.C., there is a continuing movement and publicity to remove Tillman from the main building and Calhoun from the Honors College program at Clemson University.  Tillman was a racist to the core while S.C. governor after the Civil War and he founded the college.  John C. Calhoun held many offices and supported slavery, but he died before the war.

However, nobody is mentioning changing the name of Clemson itself.  Thomas Clemson owned a plantation with slaves and he married Calhoun's daughter who was connected with Calhoun's plantation with slaves.  He was also an officer in the Confederate Army.  Clemson is built on the former Calhoun plantation which was given to the state by Thomas Clemson.

Ironically there is another state college where probably 30-50% of the buildings are named for Confederate officers and the official spirit flags are reproductions of the flag that school's cadets carried into battle against Union forces during the war.  Nobody has mentioned changing anything there - at all?

 

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I think DW Griffith's name was scrubbed from some award awhile back because of his making this movie, but Lillian Gish only appeared in it. True, she was one of the main players, but she was also a favorite of Griffith's so its natural that he would cast her. She had nothing to do with how the film was scripted, so I think that taking her name off is a bit severe. 

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4 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I think DW Griffith's name was scrubbed from some award awhile back because of his making this movie, but Lillian Gish only appeared in it. True, she was one of the main players, but she was also a favorite of Griffith's so its natural that he would cast her. She had nothing to do with how the film was scripted, so I think that taking her name off is a bit severe. 

I suppose we should also begin removing the names of all those associated with movies about illegal or immoral activities?  Then prohibit movies about the subjects?

Another solution is for the BSU to go out and find a tech billionaire to build a NEW theater and tear down the Gish Theater.

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18 minutes ago, Hibi said:

What did Kate Smith do?

There was some hubbub recently about her having sung hit versions of the songs "That's Why Darkies Were Born" and "Pickaninny Heaven". The Yankees had been using her rendition of "God Bless America" during their seventh-inning stretch, but people complained about her, so the Yankees stopped using it. Then a hockey team (Philadelphia Flyers) that had a statue of Kate Smith outside of their venue had it removed based on the controversy. It was all rather stupid and overblown.

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21 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I think DW Griffith's name was scrubbed from some award awhile back because of his making this movie...

Yes, it was the Directors Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award that was the D.W. Griffith Award up until 1999, when the guild members voted to remove his name from it.

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