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39 Responses to “A Carousel of Debate: The Preservation of Ridicule”

  1. Jim Mayer says:

    I agree. The other problem with just putting up a sign is that many of the visitors are families with small children. This is a historic carousel in a family park, not a museum. Kids are extremely perceptive: they see everything, but they are not always good at interpretation. It’s a mistake to think that every child that sees that panel is going to ask a parent about it or seek out the historical explanation.

    The first time I saw this issue come up I also thought adding an interpretive panel was an appropriate response, but as I listened to other people and thought about the issue I changed my mind. Adding an interpretive panel just isn’t enough.

    At the same time, I’m sensitive to “erasing” history that we don’t like. My preferred solution, here, would be to replace the panel with one having a visual feel similar to the the others, perhaps with a theme reflecting local African American history. I would take the current panel and make it part of an interpretive display at the carousel. That feels better to me than either leaving the panel blank or moving there panel to a local museum. Leaving the panel blank mars the carousel experience, and moving the panel off site snacks of hiding it away.

    By keeping the panel on site we would maintain its connection to carousel, but would ensure that it would only be seen within a context that talked about its hurtful history. That way we could encourage “teachable moments” while keeping the carousel as a fun place for Monroe County’s families.

  2. Marjorie Searl says:

    Excellent and articulate article. I agree with Jim Mayer, although I would not be averse at all to moving the actual panel to a local museum for safekeeping and putting a reproduction its place. I think that the intent of the Carousel is to be an amusement for children, and this panel is not and should not be amusing to our sensibilities no matter our identity. How well can the panel be protected on site?

  3. PM says:

    “For those in the Rochester community who have a hard time understanding why the Dentzel carousel painted picaninny panel disallows African-American families and children from a carefree experience at Ontario Beach Park…”

    Have you been to the park lately? There has been hundreds of black families who apparently are not enjoying themselves because of a painting on the carousel.

    This is someone’s solution looking for a problem.

  4. Eric Stark says:

    So you want to change my childhood memories just because someone has thin skin ?

  5. Matt says:

    @JimMayer

    I don’t think it will be any more of a solution to single out the panel in it’s own display over just leaving it among the other panels. That seems to compound the problem than solve it. It’s contradictory, to be completely candid. Why spotlight the controversial panel with an entire section devoted to it when you could leave it in place, where it has stood for over 100 years.

    I think a display highlighting all of the panels talking about context, composition, art style, and historical reference would help to discuss the carousel as a whole and not single out one specific issue with one of the panels. Therefore, history would be presented objectively and give the viewer the opportunity of interpretation.

  6. Martin Edic says:

    So, you’re advocating a revision of history? This carousel is an antique. It reflects the times when it was made. If they remove this panel they are trying to undo a reality that we hopefully have moved past and destroying the integrity of a landmark. I have no problem with finding a way to put it in context to educate young people who are unlikely to understand why it is there. But removing it is a defacement in the name of pretending that our history of racism did not take place. It should become a lesson, not a whitewashing.

  7. Walt Teeter says:

    I hope that the panel will remain with the carousel. Having grown up in the 50’s and 60’s and visiting this carousel with friends of all races we never made any comments regarding this depiction. We did comment on the bulging eyes but it we did not relate it any racial significance. In my opinion this is just some individuals trying to alter the history of the era. Congratulations of the decision, may it stand! My Age? 72

  8. Jim Mayer says:

    Martin, is your comment on response to the post or my response? If my response, then I think I addressed most of the points you raised. In any case, would you feel differently if the panel depicted scenes from “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”? The carousel is a historic toy, and, to me, what makes it special is that it is still a toy. I don’t want to hide our past and, at the same time, I don’t want to be exposing small children to racist propaganda that they are not in a position to understand. Living artifacts, no matter how historic, change all the time. I think we can find a way to remove the panel from the carousel without erasing the history.

  9. Darcy glanton brenner says:

    Get it together. My grandparents enjoyed this carousel , my parents, myself and know my granddaughter . This is history of Charlotte community. I remember my grandmother telling me stories of her and grandpa dancing in the dome dance hall and it’s gone. History to our children is important. Don’t destroy it.

  10. Tom J. Purchase says:

    If we can (and should) eliminate the Confederate flag, then we should get rid of this offending panel.

  11. Gary Shade says:

    The children that ride the carousel don’t see racism until it’s pointed out to them, mostly by they’re parents. Children whether black or white become racist’s because of the parent that raise them. If it wasn’t for the blind people that see race as an issue and the way the media plays it up there would be a lot less hatred in our world.
    L

  12. El says:

    Seems to me, people are very serious about preserving “heritage” or “history” when those things are especially offensive or racist. Not so much when beautiful architecture or landscaping is to be destroyed, no, but it’s sooooo important that we keep up reminders of how terrible we can be.

    No, we don’t destroy or revise history. No one is suggesting that. But to make adjustments so that people aren’t constantly reminded of how victimized and disenfranchised they were for centuries (even to this day) seems a small but generous gesture.

    The suggestion of moving historical but problematic pieces to museums seems reasonable to me. And, might I remind those making “thin skin” comments, that it is no up to US to decide what is or is not offensive. There are things that people take to seriously, sure, but there are also things that are inherently and specifically offensive. That certain people cling specifically to these particular items says more about them, I think, than it does about even our history. :/

    “Political correctness” is not running amok and it is not the butt of a joke. It is simply the idea that perhaps we should treat others with respect. Why is that such a terrible thing? I mean, unless you’re a bigot, I guess. Hmm.

  13. Ginger T says:

    El –

    I thought the same thing. Few people raise an eyebrow or a finger when it comes to architectural history of great merit being destroyed to put up, say, a Dollar General. Why is that?

    I also find it interesting that some of the commenters don’t seem to have taken the time to thoroughly read the post (or at least, have suffering reading comprehension skills). It’s not about whether you have “had a good time” on the ride or not.

    Maintaining this kind of imagery provides a subliminal background for justifying racially demeaning attitudes. It’s called “hegemony”: the dominance of one social group over another.

    If that wasn’t true, there wouldn’t be so many people saying, “I don’t see what the big deal is. It doesn’t bother me. That’s the way things were…”

    Racism isn’t history yet. Things are /still/ this way.

    Also – has anyone noticed that the pickaninny children are the only human references on the carousel? It seems that the children are classified as animals, considering the entirety of the decorative theme is animals, hence the “menagerie.”

  14. Howard J. Eagle says:

    So Eric,

    Part of your “childhood memories” includes white-supremacist-based, thoroughly racist, pickaninny, garbage, so-called “art,” which you want to preserve because….???

  15. Howard J. Eagle says:

    Martin,

    “…pretending that our history of racism did not take place?”

    You mean “pretending that [your] history of racism [s] not taking place” — don’t you?

  16. Howard J. Eagle says:

    Walt,

    You “did comment on the bulging eyes but [you] did not relate it any racial significance” — because obviously you were too ignorant to understand. In [your ignorant] opinion, this is just some individuals trying to alter the history of the era” — REALLY?? The history of the era is as follows:

    First, I would like to publicly thank Ms. Andrea Raethka for bringing the despicable, pickaninny, garbage, so-called “art” on the public carousel at Charlotte Beach to our attention last month. I must admit — it is quite amazing that for over 100 years the thoroughly racist, white-supremacist-based, despicable, hateful, dehumanizing image has stood untouched, on public display at Charlotte Beach — because apparently most people have not noticed it, or those who have — out of ignorance — apparently thought nothing was wrong with it, or those who saw it, and knew it was inappropriate, were perhaps too fearful, or too intimidated to say anything about it — because they didn’t want to incur the kind of wrath that Ms. Raethka has experienced, and probably is continuing to experience. If anyone here knows her, please let her know that if she needs support, we are here for her. All she needs to do is call 585-752-1426. Though it’s amazing that the garbage has stood so long (untouched), now that all of us are aware, it must come down — period. I don’t know if any of you are Jewish or not, but in any case, please allow me to paint (in your mind’s eye) an image — just so that you will have a clear reference point. I would ask you to close your eyes, but I’m sure you won’t cooperate, so just imagine if you will — an image of a caricature white man; short in stature — with a small, but thick, dark mustache, and dark hair, cut in Beatles-style (as in the singing-group from England) — with his arm raised high in the air, in open- palm-fashion, and an arm band on his shirt sleeve, emblazoned with a swastika. Can you see that in your mind? Now imagine that such an image had been discovered on the public carousel at Charlotte Beach. If that type of image had been discovered last month, it would have been taken down last month, and there would be no arguments, no debates, no nonsensical talk about leaving it there for historical purposes, no nonsensical talk about erasing history. And then, there is the silly, illogical, offensive, argument about the image being so-called “innocent.” That is, idiots (in the original sense and meaning of the term) have actually argued that when the image was created and placed on the carousel roughly 110 years ago — no hate, no malice, no negativity was intended. It was just, simply, so-called “art.” Really? Do you know what was occurring in this nation 110 years ago — in 1905, ’06, ’07 ’08 — race riots, in places such Harrison Arkansas, Atlanta Georgia, Springfield Illinois, etc… etc…, innocent — really? Remember, we’re talking about a time period in which the evil institution of chattel slavery had only been so-called abolished for 40 years — innocent — really? The time period sort of reminds you of some of the things that are currently occurring in this thoroughly racist, white-supremacist, nation-state (in Ferguson, in Baltimore, in Charleston, in Cincinnati, in New York City) — doesn’t it? Again, open your mind’s eye — can you imagine 110 years from now (in 2125) — an image of a black man running away from a police officer, while the officer shoots the black man in the back, and then plants a weapon at the side of the dead black man? Imagine such an image on the carousel at Charlotte, or any other public place. Imagine some idiot (in the original sense and meaning of the term) 110 years from now arguing that such an image is just, simply “art,” and that it needs to be preserved on public display — so that we won’t forget our history — imagine that. I’m sure that some of the things I’m sharing with you fall into the category of Lies My Teacher Told Me, or things my teacher never told me — because my teacher didn’t know these things, or because my teacher knew these things, but felt too guilty, too ashamed, too afraid — to teach them to me. So, the history of pickaninny, garbage, so-called “art” is not in my Social Studies book; not in my history book, but I am to believe that you want to teach me the history by publicly displaying hateful, evil, dehumanizing images on a public carousel — right. A colleague of mine pointed out that the silly, illogical, argument of leaving the racist image on the carousel (so that we won’t forget our history) — is comparable to arguing that since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and thousands of others marched, and protested, and sat in — to end legal segregation in the South, and in the North — in order to ensure that we don’t forget that particular history — the “whites only,” and “coloreds only,” and “no coloreds allowed” signs that hung over public bathrooms, bus and train stations, hotels, libraries, and yes — beaches — should have been left on public display — so that we won’t forget our history. It’s the same ridiculous idea in both cases. There is no difference. I imagine (though I acknowledge I could be wrong — since you all are, in a sense, historians) that you don’t know the history of pickaninny, garbage, so-called “art.” I imagine (though I acknowledge I could be wrong) that you don’t know that the garbage, so-called “art” is a creation of the minstrel era that began in the 1800’s with establishment of the racist Jim Crow caricature — and here you were probably thinking that Jim Crow was exclusively a reference to the segregationist laws that followed the racist, Plessy vs. Ferguson, so-called separate, but equal, U.S. Supreme Court Decision of 1896. Your teacher probably did not teach you that Jim Crow originated as a result of white, racist, so-called entertainers deciding to dress in raged clothing, and paint their faces charcoal-black, and their lips loud-cherry-red, and put on nappy, buck-wheat-style wigs, and travel around the country portraying black people as bumbling-fumbling, babbling idiots, buffoons, coons — who couldn’t utter a coherent sentence to save their lives, and were fearful of nearly everything. Their nappy hair would stand straight up on their heads, and their eyes would bug out of their sockets at the sight of a rooster, a worm, a butterfly, an ant, etc…, and this would cause racist, white audiences to laugh like crazy. It didn’t stop there. Of course the industrialists had to get in on the game (we know, just as today, they had their hands in nearly everything, especially where money was concerned) — so they (the industrialists) decided to routinely display those thoroughly dehumanizing images on commercial products — via packaging of products such as flour, meal, rice, sugar, whiskey, medicine, and of course, the famous pancake-box. They created post cards and lawn jockeys, etc… . So clearly the idea was to intentionally perpetuate disgustingly-negative, stereotypical, and dehumanizing images and myths about black men and women (in as many ways as possible), and let’s not forget about the children. The children were given their own special designation as pickaninnies, and to think that some D&C readers thought Ms. Raethka had made up the 17th century terminology. Actually, if we study the etymology of the term, we will find that it originated earlier than 1800, but it became popularized during the Jim Crow Minstrel era of the 1800’s, and was always (from the start) a thoroughly negative and dehumanizing concept — reserved specifically for black children. So, let me conclude this mini-history lesson by counseling you that, if you truly want to understand racism (with regard to the hateful image on the carousel at Charlotte, or in any other form) — you will never gain a clear, comprehensive understanding unless and until you place your examination into historical context or historical perspective (please remember that). If you want to understand fully and thoroughly, you will necessarily have to concretely-connect historical, social, economic, political, and cultural realities to current overall social, economic, political, and cultural conditions. Overall conditions that you see today, relative to race, did not fall from the sky; roll in from the sea, or grow from the ground. That is, the conditions are NOT natural. Instead, they were created, and have been maintained, and are being maintained via intentional, social, economic, political, and cultural engineering — period. Now, having placed this particular issue into historical context, let me tell you — as a local, state, federal tax-paying citizen of African ancestry, as a parent, as an educator, and as a member of Facing Race = Embracing Equity’s Race And Education Action And Change Work Group, I am deeply offended, and feel that my ancestors, my children, grandchildren, and generations yet to be born — are disrespected, dishonored and dehumanized by continued, public display of GARBAGE, PICKANINNY, SO-CALLED “ART” — such as the foul, thoroughly racist, depiction on the public carousel at Charlotte Beach. When I found out about the existence of the racist, garbage-“art” — I was reminded of the fact that there was a time in U.S. history when some, savagely-racist, white supremacists were so inhumane that they produced post cards — depicting African American children being literally used as alligator bait (just as some later produced post cards of black people being hung from trees, and in some cases, burned alive). Do we also want to place those images on public display (so that we won’t so-called forget our history)? If you want to ensure that we remember history, put it in a book; put it in a museum. I am strongly (in fact, vehemently) requesting that the garbage-“art” on the public carousel at Charlotte Beach be immediately removed, and placed in a museum or historical-archives-type-setting (perhaps at the Frederick Douglass Resource Center, if they will have it, or U of R’s rare books, and artifacts section, or Strong’s Children Museum — in that order — are suggested, permanent locations). Lastly, I believe it’s important to point out that even the great grandson of the man who created the disgustingly racist, garbage-“art,” and who still runs the business that his great grandfather established, has said that he has no problem with the despicable image being taken down. He was quoted in the D&C as having said:

    “If reasonable people in the community really think something like that should be addressed, then change it. Put in something that looks great and authentic. I’m not a real big fan of revisionism, but I do understand that we evolve and there are certain things that push buttons. Perhaps if something like that does happen, there should be a permanently placed small photograph and a note about why that was done. It shouldn’t just be dissolved into the ether. We do want to stay aware of who we were. I think the community needs to get together and decide what they want to do about it. But they need to come to a consensus on it. You people are going to do the right thing. I’m sure of it.”

    Thank you for your immediate attention regarding this potentially volatile matter.

    Howard J. Eagle
    Parent-Activist, Educator
    Facing Race, Embracing Equity (FR=EE)
    Race And Education Action And Change
    Work Group
    (585) 752-1426

  17. Howard J. Eagle says:

    Darcy,

    You are absolutely correct: “This is [part of the thoroughly racist] history of Charlotte community.” I find it simply amazing that you seem to be gloating and beaming with pride — as opposed to recoiling in disgust.

  18. Howard J. Eagle says:

    Gary,

    “If it wasn’t for the blind people that see race as an issue there would be a lot less hatred in our world.”

    WHAT??? WHAT??? So race, and specifically racism is NOT “an issue” in the thoroughly racist, white-supremacist-based U.S. nation-state???

  19. Carl says:

    The whole brouhaha about this thing is a tempest in a teapot. Leave the carousel alone and find something worthwhile to get worked up about.

  20. Lori Guarino says:

    I have thoroughly read the initial article and all of the subsequent posts and my head hurts. First – the article Carlie Fishgold wrote was outstanding. It educated me and opened my eyes to many things I was never aware of. It was both interesting and heartbreaking. If you are white – you shouldn’t have a vote on whether or not this is hurtful. This is very like the recent Confederate Flag debate and each time some (white) person trivialized the pain they were being told that flag caused… I was astounded. WE don’t get to fully understand the deep wounds that all black people in this country have. NOT that they have been slaves. But they have family stories that have been handed down and they have daily experiences we will never understand. Let’s just face it. Even if you think you’re not prejudice and your best friend is black …. you will still never truly get it. I was born and raised in Charlotte and until this whole discussion came up … never saw or had any conscious memory of that panel. Taking it down has become a pissing contest. Get over it. You don’t “lose” if it is moved to a museum. The biggest gut-punch that came from all of these comments was when Ginger T wrote: “Has anyone noticed that the pickaninny children are the only human references on the carousel? It seems that the children are classified as animals, considering the entirety of the decorative theme is animals, hence the “menagerie.”” I can’t comprehend how we could be so narrow-minded to leave that up there!

  21. Adrian Martin says:

    Just because most people (children or not) that see this image are not upset by it, does not mean that it’s not an issue. If a significant chunk of people are upset by the image, then we weigh the pros and cons of removing it.
    Pros: fewer people will be upset
    Cons: altering a historic structure and “losing history”.

    In my opinion, the con can easily be dealt with by, as many people above suggest, removing the image and preserving it in a local museum. If we do that, no real loss of history occurs. No childhood memories will be changed. If you want to relive your childhood memories of gazing at racist depictions of black people, you can always head to the museum.

  22. Dan says:

    A comment was made here and then repeated that “the pickaninny children are the only human references on the carousel.” That is not true. Look at two of the photos above, as well as ones on the related post “Rochester’s Carousel is ‘Not Garbage Art.'” The paintings in the center of the carousel feature several other depictions of people.

  23. Dan, the top outer ring of the carousel (where the black kids are depicted) is all animals, with the only exception being a dwarf (or some kind of freaky elf) chasing a fox.

    The INNER ring depicts all people… mostly white people standing very regal, proud, well dressed, etc. The only exception here is one panel depicting a native American warrior. All of these people are painted in a very realistic manner. Compare the style of these people with the cartoonish style of the black children.

    The difference is VERY clear in the way the black kids are depicted vs. all the other figures.

    I feel compelled to say I have two degrees in art and design from RIT with several years of art history research under my belt. I’ve been studying this carousel for the past two weeks, and have taken many more photos than what I’ve posted here. In my professional opinion, the intentions of the artist(s) are very clear. That is, African people are of a lower form of life than all others in the animal kingdom, and they exist solely for our entertainment.

    I just want to be clear, I’m not advocating for anything – neither removing the panel or leaving it in place. It’s not up to me. But I do believe it would be quite irresponsible to deny the true intention behind this imagery. The picaninny panel makes a very clear statement, and the carouselmaker did not leave this open to interpretation.

  24. Marjorie Searl says:

    Agree with comment 23 100%.

  25. Dan says:

    Re comment 23, in response to my comment — I’m not advocating for anything, either. I just wanted to point out that the statement about the black children being the only people depicted anywhere on the carousel was incorrect.

  26. Steve Shon says:

    Is the carousel primarily a historic monument to be preserved, or a ride designed to give pleasure to children? If it’s a historic monument, then yes, preserve it with a reminder of racism’s legacy. If it’s a ride for children, though, then remove the panel – unless racism somehow makes the ride more pleasurable.

    Children’s entertainment, in particular, is frequently revised when racism interferes with the work’s enjoyment or message. Thomas the Tank Engine originally described two soot-covered boys as “black as n*ggers,” the Disney Company chopped a racist centaur out of Fantasia, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was first printed as a story about a white factory owner who imported unpaid African servants to provide chocolate for British schoolchildren. The pygmies replaced in later drafts by Oompa Loompas.

    I’m not saying we should burn the original print run of Charlie, but I know what edition I’d rather read – or carousel I’d rather ride – on a sunny day at the beach with ice cream and suntan lotion.

  27. Laurie Manera says:

    First, I want to clear something up about carousels in general. They were not originally intended as “children’s amusements”. That designation occured only after the popularity of thrill rides such as roller coasters took off, leaving the more tame carousel being regulated to kiddieland. If you study the history of carousels and their popularity in the late 1800s and early 20th Century, you’ll find that they had just as many- if not more- adult riders than children. Just look at the size of the horses (or other animals). If they were intended for kids, why are they so large?

    But to the point, regardless of my personal opinion on this matter, I cannot fathom why Mr. Eagle is constantly referring to the panel as “garbage art”, but not the carousel itself? Both the panel and the carousel were made by the same people, so shouldn’t that mean that the whole thing is “garbage art” as he states? You can’t just pick and choose.

  28. jim says:

    I think the pictures of the white people are offensive also. Take them all down. That’s not a flattering depiction.
    It must really suck to go through your whole life searching for things to be offended by. Trying to find reasons to think everyone is against you… I think it’s called paranoid delusion ?

  29. Amiee says:

    I think it should be removed from where it is now, and placed on a wall in the same area, with a sign next to it explaining what it is, and why it’s now considered racist (it is). It IS historical, and should not be removed entirely or forgotten, but we as a society have changed, and I agree that the images are offensive in this day and age. If you don’t feel they are offensive, then that’s nice for you, but that doesn’t mean what you think is what everyone thinks, and it’s a “negative”, not a positive for the attraction. Just as we would not keep a swastika up in a German carousel, for the sake of history, we should not keep racially disparaging images up. Just because they “didn’t mean any harm” when it was made, isn’t an excuse. It’s harmful now, and without explaining the historical background, it’s a sign that is offensive, not educational.

  30. Nicodemo says:

    Talks about voting to remove the carousel and/or panel have recently come up again on the news this morning 3/2/16.
    It is a hurtful reminder though for those who are black in the community & you don’t necessarily have to know to much about our country’s past to get the message here. Obviously Charlotte has been predominantly white for much of it’s history until recently, in the 2000s, where now black people make up the majority of families visiting the park in recent years. I believe that this is the reason why this issue has finally come up, was just a matter of time. And it is because of this, that people are now reporting the carousel as being offensive. Before the change in demographics in the area, no one was complaining to the city of being offended since most were white families & didn’t feel the sting of racism, if anything it was probably hilarious lol.
    That being said yes I agree that the carousel should be relocated to a local museum for preservation of our local history no matter how harsh,offensive or delightful it may come across. Times have changed, demographics are changing so it is time to retire it.
    Finally, I have a few words for those who find it despicable & feel it should be destroyed. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana .

  31. Paul Grass says:

    I’d like to share some information with those of you that have not had the opportunity to visit the American Folk Art Museum in New York City.
    Folk Art is part of our history and represents an era of expressionism that is unique in its own genre.
    Unfortunately, there are some people, including newly elected Monroe County Executive, Cheryl Dinolfo, that have little to no understanding of what American Folk Art is.
    It doesn’t depict people of color in a negative way neither is it racist or condescending.
    So before jumping on the ‘bandwagon’ to remove the folk art panel on the carousel, in Charlotte, become knowledgeable about the difference between art and racism.

  32. Paul you’re right that the painting is folk art. However the depiction is of “picannies”; an anti-Black caricature typical of the period. These were intended to be one thing, and one thing only – a degradation of black people. Sometimes art is left open to interpretation by the artist, in this case it is what it is. So, it now will go where it belongs, in a museum, and you can go there and learn all about it.

  33. Paul Grass says:

    Thank you for your response yesterday.
    Understand that I am in no way a racist or bigot in any way. I am a graduate of RIT as well and volunteered many years of my professional career mentoring our city’s youth in engineering as well a devoting many hours with the robotic’s teams throughout our great city.
    I also hope we can agree to disagree.
    I am fairly knowledgeable in the ‘Arts’ as well.
    I did find the last sentence, in your reply, a bit condescending however. “and you can go there and learn all about it”.
    It would have been appreciated if it had read, “where the public can go to learn more about the topic”.
    Sincerely,
    Paul Grass

  34. Laurie Manera says:

    Nicodemo, who has been talking about removing the whole carousel? Everything I’ve seen regarding this issue is just about the panel. However, you have the right idea. Taking off just part of the offense (the panel) is a form of denial. It’s one piece of the whole; therefore the entire carousel should be considered “garbage racist art” and removed.

    Yes, I’m being sarcastic. And no, I do not support racism or white supremacy at all. I’m simply a carousel historian, enthusiast, and volunteer operator (different carousel) who is concerned about the historic value of this carousel and possibly others being chipped away by people wanting to remove any part of them that they don’t like.

    This isn’t the only one, there was a cavalry horse removed from a carousel in Saginaw last summer because it carried a barely noticeable, furled Confederate flag on its side. It wasn’t intended to be a racial issue, it was just one of two themed horses made to depict each side in the Civil War. But stuff got out of hand and threats of violence, etc. forced its removal.

    I know of other carousels that have themes or decorative designs on them or their animals that could also be seen as racist or problematic for other reasons. Are we going to remove them all? So many historic carousels have already been lost forever due to fires, natural disasters, neglect, and greedy collectors. Do we really want to keep nitpicking and devaluing surviving carousels until they too are completely parted out to appease the easily offended, or vandalized due to the publicity?

  35. Paul, if you’re trying to draw a comparison between the content on this website and the racist depiction on the carousel at the park, it’s a failed attempt. This website is privately run and if I wanted to post condescending images or text, there probably wouldn’t be a whole lot you could do about it unless I was being defamatory. Cheryl Dinolfo serves the people of Monroe County who in turn get to decide what should and shouldn’t go on within their public parks.

    And of course, we can agree to disagree. But you’re wrong. 😉

  36. Nicodemo says:

    Laurie, oh I thought there were other racist paintings on the the rest of the carousel like that old carousel made by some German ‘Dentzel’. Yea I learned through the news it was just the one panel and it was voted to be removed just a few days ago. I would leave the panel, but since it is offending some black people then it must be taken down and put in a museum (not the carousel). As for the confederate flag I have no problem with it, I totally disagree with the banning of it in public as was ordered a while back.

  37. Marjorie Searl says:

    I wish that once the panel is removed, it could have a technical analysis that could determine if indeed it is by the same artist who painted the other panels. The panel, aside from the painted border that encloses it, seems so different in style and subject from the others. I’ve long wondered if it was a replacement for one that was damaged, or if it was done by another artist with a very different sensibility. It would be interesting and perhaps informative to know more about the individual panel. Susan Blakney at West Lake Conservators might be able to provide answers.

  38. Paul Grass says:

    Well, I made an attempt to have a civil conversation with the individual that hides behind the guise of a “.com”, however I see there’s no way that will ever happen……
    And, I have absolutely no idea what point you were attempting to get at with your reply back to me either!?!?!?!?
    From my standpoint you most definitely need to take a deep breath, hold it in then let it out and chill.
    You are way to tightly wound and a very defensive individual as well.
    This ‘point’, I’m sure, ‘.com’, you will clearly understand.
    So, as not to waste any more of my precious time I bid you farewell.
    Paul Grass


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