4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Museum of Us agrees to destroy itself

We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us

Erasure: “Some say it’s San Diego’s most famous landmark. We say, ‘most infamous.’”
Erasure: “Some say it’s San Diego’s most famous landmark. We say, ‘most infamous.’”

“Looking back, it was inevitable, really,” says Esther Erasure, Director of Change at the soon-to-be-razed-and-recently-renamed San Diego Museum of Us. “When we adopted our Decolonizing Initiatives in January of this year, we explicitly acknowledged that it would be an ongoing effort that required ongoing reflection. I think it was February when one of our board members pointed out that the museum’s Saint Francis chapel, while touted as nonsectarian, was actually quite Catholic in both design and decor. Catholicism, of course, was just one tool used by the Spanish colonizers to subjugate and eventually destroy the Indigenous population. Further, it was patently ridiculous to have a functioning religious space in a museum devoted to humanity. It wasn’t an exhibit in the Museum of God, you know? So the chapel was dismantled. But then another board member noted that the museum itself was designed by a White man to resemble a Spanish Colonial church and then built on ancient Kumeyaay land — a triple whammy of no-nos. We already knew we were going to get rid of that awful phallic tower when we switched from Museum of Man to Museum of Us. But upon further consideration, we realized the whole thing had to go if we were going to fulfill our mission. Really, the very notion of a museum is a bit absurd — as if we need to make pilgrimages to learn from our cultural betters. What we need is dialogue and exchange. And we invite the rest of Balboa Park to join us in our efforts to decolonize San Diego, starting with that monument to Dead White Male cultural imperialism right next door: The Old Globe Theater. Shakespeare, Shmakespeare. Whoever thought it was appropriate to build a replica of an English theater in a country that was born by rejecting English colonialism, anyway? And while we’re at it, how on earth is our city’s main urban park named after a Spanish conquistador? Why does it house a museum devoted to railroads, which did so much to aid the replacement of Indigenous civilization with our current White dystopia? Really, we just hope that our demolition will be remembered as the first domino to fall as America’s Finest City finally decides to join the 21st century.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

George Duncombe Cox: contemporary of John Keats

His poems reveal a long-abiding interest in matters of faith in God and humanity’s ultimate destiny beyond this world
Next Article

Mic’d singing not for me

No fault with the San Diego Opera whatsoever
Erasure: “Some say it’s San Diego’s most famous landmark. We say, ‘most infamous.’”
Erasure: “Some say it’s San Diego’s most famous landmark. We say, ‘most infamous.’”

“Looking back, it was inevitable, really,” says Esther Erasure, Director of Change at the soon-to-be-razed-and-recently-renamed San Diego Museum of Us. “When we adopted our Decolonizing Initiatives in January of this year, we explicitly acknowledged that it would be an ongoing effort that required ongoing reflection. I think it was February when one of our board members pointed out that the museum’s Saint Francis chapel, while touted as nonsectarian, was actually quite Catholic in both design and decor. Catholicism, of course, was just one tool used by the Spanish colonizers to subjugate and eventually destroy the Indigenous population. Further, it was patently ridiculous to have a functioning religious space in a museum devoted to humanity. It wasn’t an exhibit in the Museum of God, you know? So the chapel was dismantled. But then another board member noted that the museum itself was designed by a White man to resemble a Spanish Colonial church and then built on ancient Kumeyaay land — a triple whammy of no-nos. We already knew we were going to get rid of that awful phallic tower when we switched from Museum of Man to Museum of Us. But upon further consideration, we realized the whole thing had to go if we were going to fulfill our mission. Really, the very notion of a museum is a bit absurd — as if we need to make pilgrimages to learn from our cultural betters. What we need is dialogue and exchange. And we invite the rest of Balboa Park to join us in our efforts to decolonize San Diego, starting with that monument to Dead White Male cultural imperialism right next door: The Old Globe Theater. Shakespeare, Shmakespeare. Whoever thought it was appropriate to build a replica of an English theater in a country that was born by rejecting English colonialism, anyway? And while we’re at it, how on earth is our city’s main urban park named after a Spanish conquistador? Why does it house a museum devoted to railroads, which did so much to aid the replacement of Indigenous civilization with our current White dystopia? Really, we just hope that our demolition will be remembered as the first domino to fall as America’s Finest City finally decides to join the 21st century.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Mic’d singing not for me

No fault with the San Diego Opera whatsoever
Next Article

Acoustic entertainment and catered meals

Cathyrn Beeks, The Lyrical Groove, Ed Kornhauser, Tori Roze, Black Market III
Comments
3

With the way things are going -- pandemic -- civil unrest -- excessive heat -- rolling blackouts -- entire state of California on fire -- it should be the Museum of none of us. We're all doomed. 2021 please...

Aug. 21, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Aug. 23, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Aug. 23, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close