Harvard ‘ACT UP’ show gets rise from right-wingers

Tea Baggers Meet the Tea-Baggers Dept.
By GREG COOK  |  November 2, 2009

0910_actup_main
Taking a detour from directly bashing President Obama, right-wingers are now hot and bothered by a Harvard art exhibit. And they have an Obama administration foil toward whom they can channel their bile.

“This exhibit is a window into what the homosexual movement thinks of you, your children, religion, and America,” claims Brian Camenker’s MassResistance of Waltham. “It involves sexual perversion, child pornography, and anti-Catholic bigotry. And it’s what your ‘safe schools’ czar Kevin Jennings supports.”

The exhibit in question: “ACT UP New York: Activism, Art, and the AIDS Crisis, 1987–1993,” a historical survey at Harvard’s Carpenter Center of posters, stickers, and other graphics pushing for better AIDS treatment and advocating for gay rights. The Obama link: Jennings, assistant deputy secretary in the US Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, who made a gift to support the show — and whom conservative crackpots aim to hound out of the job because he’s a gay activist.

The Catholic League calls the group ACT UP a “homosexual urban terrorist group” and the exhibit a “sick display. . . . Harvard, of course, would never feature a display of Klan paraphernalia and say it was being done for the purpose of ‘dialogue.’ ” Says WorldNetDaily: “Obama’s safe-schools boss sponsors radical porn.” Gateway Pundit: “Figures. Pornographic Anti-Christian Harvard Art Show Funded by Obama’s Safe Schools Czar.” Fox News: “Safe Schools Czar Linked to Anti-Christian Porn Exhibit?”

Surprise, surprise, these bigots’ claims are bogus. The show is filled with angry, graphic examples of gay protest art (a vagina and a few penises make appearances), but doesn’t MassResistance really mean that anything homosexual is “sexual perversion”? Claims of child porn are lies and slander. The best “evidence” MassResistance can muster is one picture-less poster bearing the sentence “she had the girl bent over a table, knickers down.”

And the show’s criticisms of the Catholic Church are warranted — then and now. A 1989 poster in the exhibit by Richard Deagle and Victor Mendolia takes on the Catholic Church’s stand against AIDS education, condom distribution, and abortion. It reads KNOW YOUR SCUMBAGS next to images of then–New York Catholic Archbishop John O’Connor and a condom. Below the condom it reads, THIS ONE PREVENTS AIDS.

Pope Benedict XVI disagrees. “You can’t resolve [AIDS] with the distribution of condoms,” he told reporters during a trip to Africa in March. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.” Spreading that kind of ignorance gets people killed.

  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Barack Obama, U.S. Government, Pope Benedict XVI,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY GREG COOK
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   PERFECTLY HUMAN  |  April 16, 2014
    Sometimes I think you can understand everything about our society today by considering it through two themes — the perfection of technology versus the messily human handmade.
  •   THE LAST FRONTIER  |  April 02, 2014
    They say that temperatures in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica haven’t been above freezing in millennia.
  •   ASSURED ABSTRACTIONS  |  March 19, 2014
    “The golden age of abstraction is right now,” ARTnews informed me last spring.
  •   COMMON GROUND  |  March 12, 2014
    “I did everything in the world to keep this from happening,” exclaims the assistant to the rich man in Kerry Tribe’s There Will Be ___ _.
  •   LOCAL LUMINARIES  |  March 05, 2014
    Reenacting a childhood photo, portraits of fabulous old ladies, and dollhouse meditations on architecture are among the artworks featured in the “2014 RISCA Fellowship Exhibition.”

 See all articles by: GREG COOK