From the Boston Globe:
Portraits in the Louis Bornstein Family Amphitheater will be dispersed to help foster a more diverse environment.
By Liz Kowalczyk GLOBE STAFF JUNE 14, 2018
The employees and students who regularly gather in the Bornstein Amphitheater at Brigham and Women’s Hospital include women, blacks, and Hispanics. The 31 gold-framed portraits of medical luminaries that cover the walls do not.
The portraits are all of men. Thirty are white, and one is Chinese.
On Thursday, the Harvard Medical School teaching hospital plans to remove the paintings of the former department chairs, as part of its broader diversity initiatives.
Many of the paintings have spent decades in the prestigious spot. They hang in a room that hosts a growing array of cultural events, including the hospital’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. Now they’ll be dispersed to department conference rooms and lobbies throughout the hospital.
The dominant aspect of the spirit of the age is childishness. These are the kind of gestures that spoiled children would come up with.
… The national activist group White Coats for Black Lives recently published a racial justice report card that criticized 10 top medical schools, including Harvard’s, for policies it says promote racial bias. Among the policies the group flagged are the dearth of plaques
As the New York mayor in Bonfire of the Vanities observed in 1987, Plaques for Blacks was a major policy of the day. But 31 years later, we’ve progressed to the point where Plaques for Blacks is to be applied retroactively.
Very grown-up …
At Harvard that includes a prominent sculpture of Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., a former dean who led the charge to expel three black students in 1851 when white students protested their admission.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. came up with the idea that doctors should wash their hands, which used to be considered an important contribution to health. But in 2018 his memory is unclean.