Brickbat: Susanna, Don't You Cry


Stephen Foster
KitAy via / CC BY

The Pittsburgh Arts Commission has unanimously recommended removing a 117-year-old statue of Stephen Foster, the "Father of American Music," from a public park. The statue depicts him next to a black slave playing a banjo.

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  1. “The statue depicts him next to a black slave playing a banjo.”

    I’ve advocated outlawing banjos for years.

    1. Sloopy won’t be happy.

    2. Common sense banjo control is nothing but necessary at this point.

      America cannot have black men playing banjos while white men, interested in music, watch. Then you would have those “jazz clubs” and other music hangouts.

  2. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto makes the final determination about what to do with the statue. He has said the statue should be displayed somewhere other than the public entrance to a major park. He has said he does not want to see the 117-year-old bronze sculpture by artist Giuseppe Moretti be destroyed.

    Perhaps in his garage, where he can look at it every day, pining for the time when POC were enslaved in this country? Racist. I suggest that its replacement be a sculpture of Foster in chains and writing out a reparations check to an other-gendered, sexually fluid yinzer who identifies as of color.

    Or of the Pittsburgh Penguins meeting the president in the White House to honor their second of back-to-back Stanley Cup wins. Who in Pittsburgh could possibly bitch about that?

    1. How does banjo music resemble Fist’s hockey rants?


    2. Lulz….”yinzer”…..that is good shit…..

  3. Detach the slave statue and give it a new home and keep Foster where he is?

    1. Then you’re admitting that white men are more desirable and black men playing banjos are a problem that needs to be cut away.

      1. Well,…aren’t they? What else could it be? Cut off his banjo?

  4. Dare I ask how we know banjo-man is a slave?

    1. Or black (whatever the hell “black” is)?

      1. He looks kind of bronze to me – – –

        1. You racist!

    2. the shoes

      1. I was wondering if anyone else noticed that modern shoes were added to the sculpture because the banjo player was originally barefoot.

        I know that I was not the only racist bastard as a kid. I loved to be barefoot and often was.

        1. They were first noticed after race riots and looting – – – –

  5. Good. The sooner we’re rid of statues of slaves, the sooner we can forget that whole unpleasantness ever happened.

    1. The proper phrase is “the late unpleasantness”.

      And unless you are a genteel lady of the south, your attempted use of the phrase is cultural appropriation.

  6. I’m assuming we’re all outraged over Foster’s cultural appropriation – he wrote about dear old Dixie and that Yankee never set foot south of the Mason-Dixon.

    1. Really? I remember, years ago, visiting the “Old Kentucky Home” mansion and hearing that Foster had stayed or lived there with the slave-owning family for a time.

  7. Time for a constitutional amendment outlawing any ‘arts’ or ‘cultural’ committee, public or private.

  8. When I was in Colonial Williamsburg a few years ago I attended a lecture on the history of the banjo. The banjo originated in Africa. So why would it be “racist” to depict a black man playing one?

    1. Because “perception is reality”.

    2. Because there is a white man in the sculpture also. (even Yankees count)
      All depictions of a white man with any other race is racist.
      The flag raising on Iwo Jima sculpture is a classic example of racist art.
      Go look at it while you can.

      1. Go look at it while you can.

        Good luck seeing through the scaffolding. My understanding is the rehabilitation will include adding two women, a copy of Mao’s Little Red Book and a UN flag.

    3. The same reason that seeing cotton, in any form, causes some black people to remember when they personally were picking cotton as slaves.

    4. The banjo originated in Africa. So why would it be “racist” to depict a black man playing one?

      Because Africa, of course. The truer the ass’n, the more “-ist” it is. Depicting blacks as black is racist.

  9. I don’t how many moral panics this country can handle simultaneously. The rape crisis, the gun violence epidemic, the racist statue troubles… something’s got to give.

    1. My nerves are strung tighter…..

      (removes sunglasses)

      ….than a banjo string.

    2. So far 24/7 media has been doing their best keep up, but adding Twitter Trump to the mix has definitely taken the whole thing over edge.

    3. You forgot the OPIOID CRISIS!

      Drugs are out of control!

  10. I lived in Pittsburgh back in the 70s and saw that statue and always thought it racist. The statue depicts a happy go lucky “darkie” playing away on his banjo while the elegantly dressed Foster writes it all down. As a naive depiction of cultural theft it can’t be beat. I’m sorry, but the statue is tacky.

    1. No black person can be happy go lucky unless the state tells them so, ammirite?

      We cannot be writing down black person’s IP because that would create so many uppity negroes, ammirite?

      Have you and your lefty friends ever considered that you think things are “racist” when they are not?

      1. Everything can be racist if you just try hard enough.

  11. Can we hunt down the ancestors of all those involved in the selection, creation, and placement of the statue and imprison them?

  12. Democracy theatre can always be counted on to elicit a smirk.

  13. Why not just cut out his slave?

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