Tuesday, June 23, 2020
TKC MUST SEE!!! KANSAS CITY ACTIVIST DENOUNCES BRUTALITY IN J.C. NICHOLS FOUNTAIN THAT REFUTES MLK DREAM!!!
As always, our TKC blog community works to consider ALTERNATIVE viewpoints which mainstream media regularly ignore and today a local activist shares an important perspective that has been overlooked.
To wit . . .
AN ACTIVIST CLAIMS DEPICTIONS OF CRUELTY WITHIN THE J.C. NICHOLS FOUNTAIN CONTRADICT THE MLK DREAM OF EQUALITY, PEACE AND JUSTICE!!!
Even a quick peek at the fountain proves the advocate has a point.
Just a bit of backstory . . .
"The figures were sculpted by Henri Gerber in 1910 and adorned the mansion of Clarence Mackay in Long Island, New York . . . The purchase and installation of the fountain was funded by the J.C. Nichols family, the city and private contributions, including a collection by school children in the Kansas City area. It was brought to Kansas City in 1951, refurbished by Herman Frederick Simon and dedicated in 1960.
"The fountain has four "heroic" horsemen which are said to represent four of the world’s mighty rivers:the Mississippi River (fending off an alligator), the Volga River (with the bear), the Seine and the Rhine. It also has four smaller figures of children playing on fish, commonly referred to as dolphins."
Here's the crux of the argument against merging these old world symbols with MLK's enduring vision . . .
"The violence and brutality of the sculptures of J C Nichols fountain would blaspheme the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. if it were renamed "Dream Fountain." Slave owners closed their eyes to the sin of slavery and could not see the iniquity of their control of another human being. Just so, Kansas Citians often cannot see through the splash and spray of the fountain to see the triumphalism of the human subjugation of nature and the destruction of the environment symbolized in these sculptures, metaphors for the exploitation of white privilege and racism, part of the very structure of oppressive culture King sought to replace with "the beloved community."
"It is ironic that a Parks Board proponent of renaming the fountain has said, “The time has come for us to stop turning a blind eye towards racism of the past and present,” but eyes are not open to the clash between the sculptures and King's dream.
"How does this palatial background suit King's life story?"
It's a good question that neither politicos or nor the KC Parks Board has answered . . .
HOW WILL BRUTAL, OLD WORLD SCULPTURES OF VIOLENCE AGAINST ANIMALS SPEAK TO THE MLK DREAM?!?
Meanwhile, let's not forget that the local Black clergy call the MLK rename "minuscule" and also oppose it.
And so, if we're not talking about ripping out the J.C. Nichols fountain altogether . . . TKC FIRST: This name game just got a lot more expensive and would have to result in a comprehensive redesign.
Developing . . .