St. Louis University removes statue of Priest – to make way for protester statue?

It has been almost a year now that various factions of protesters have occupied the streets to express their discontent.  Last October Saint Louis University (SLU) became one of the targets of these protests in the wake of the Von Derrit Meyers shooting.  The night after a series of speeches given at Chaefits Arena on SLU’s campus by the likes of Cornell West, Jim Wallis, and Renita Lamkin thousands of protesters marched up grand avenue and onto SLU’s campus and camped out for a week.  The protesters left after a series of 13 “accords” were signed.  One of these 13 accords was “mutually agreed upon commissioned artwork”.

A statue on SLU’s campus depicting the missionary work of Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet has been removed from campus due to either the SLU administrations fears of offending people and/or in the vein of political activism.  The statue stood at Fuze hall, just steps from where the Occupy SLU protesters had camped out.  Their claim was that this statue depicted a scene of “white supremacy”, and was insensitive to the perceptions of Native Americans.  What those who have decided this statue does not belong on SLU’s campus have failed to recognize is the ministerial works of Fr. Desmet, notably his history of striving to bring peace to warring Indian tribes by being a conduit for God’s work.

 Jesuit missionary priest praying over American Indians
Jesuit missionary priest praying over American Indians

The statue of Fr. Desmet shows the Father exulting the cross above all, and laying his hands upon the Indian Chief as he prays for him.  Art speaks to each of us in different ways. Some may look upon this religious statue and perceive its message as God working through Fr. Desmet for the salvation of an entire people, but in the case of the Black Lives Matter or Social Justice philosophy this is a scene of racial injustice that needs to be destroyed at all costs.  Perception is the name of the game, but does one groups perception of a statue outweigh another? Is one group of people more equal than another? If one group were to constantly assert that their victimization and oppression were the result of the perceptions of others what becomes of those others and are they to blame?

In the recent months, Saint Louis University Alumni have battled with their Alma matter because of the drastic political changes the University has taken throughout the course of the 2014-2015 school year.  It is projected that SLU Alumni has withdrawn millions of dollars in donations.  But regardless of the consequences the administration of Saint Louis University continues to move in a direction of political activism, which many see as in step with the Black Lives Matter protesters.

Is Saint Louis University removing this statue to make room for the statue agreed upon per the 13  Clock Tower Accords?

H/T [The College Fix]

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