Professor Cherny Opposes Removal of Controversial Mural at SF High School

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

COUNTERPUNCH -- At International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 34 on July 9, Labor Fest held a panel discussion on the controversy over the Arnautoff murals including SF State University History Professor Emeritus Robert Cherny, Washington High School Alumni Association Vice President Lope Yap Jr., and African American art professor and muralist Dewey Crumpler, who painted the “response” murals at the high school in 1968 – 1974. All of the panelists opposed the destruction of the Arnautoff murals.

When Professor Cherny, who wrote a biography of Victor Arnautoff, began speaking at the panel discussion, a handful of people who favor destroying the murals harangued and disrupted the meeting for 20 minutes. The standing room only audience of mostly older leftists, veterans of labor, anti-war, anti-apartheid and civil rights struggles responded with “Shame, shame, shame!” The mainly white disrupters continued, grotesquely smearing those opposed to destruction of anti-racist art with shouts of “white supremacists!”