Now Little Time Hockey purges Lillian Gish. Big Hollywood lodges a protest. "For a university to dishonor her by singling out just one film, however offensive it is, is unfortunate and unjust. Doing so makes her a scapegoat in a broader political debate. A university should be a bastion of free speech. This is a supreme 'teachable moment' if it can be handled with a more nuanced sense of history."
It's Bowling Green State University, and Ms Gish had a role in Birth of a Nation. Thus, she can be retroactively made an unperson. "Upon reviewing the totality of Lillian Gish’s acting career, no evidence was found that she denounced or distanced herself from director D. W. Griffith or her link from the film The Birth of a Nation."
Apparently, judging people's behavior in a past era on the basis of contemporary standards provides an all-purpose free pass for making the person, rather than the behavior, a thought criminal.
Bowling Green issued a statement this week in response to the letter from the actors in which it noted that campus leaders from various groups studied the issue -- and came to the view that the honor for Gish, given her connection to the film, sent a hostile message to some students.A Student Affairs type at Oberlin couldn't have put it any better.
"Bowling Green State University has a primary responsibility to serve its students, faculty and staff, and an obligation to create an inclusive learning environment. That obligation outweighs the university’s small part in honoring the Gish sisters’ legacy," the statement said.