Goodbye Seward’s Day
In the latest fit of cultural fascism, our betters have decided the statue of William H. Seward, in place since only 2017, must be removed from a plaza in Alaska’s capital city. There is even a petition to do so put together by Juneau resident Jennifer LaRoe.
The statue depicts Seward, an abolitionist and secretary of State in President Abraham Lincoln’s administration, holding the 1867 treaty authorizing purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million.
Why, you ask, must Seward be banished to the cultural hinterlands? The state-owned, $250,000 statue on the Dimond Courthouse Plaza, LaRoe says, symbolizes white, patriarchal authority and disenfranchisement of Alaska Natives, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
Former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, one of six speakers when the statue was placed on the plaza, had another view.
“I just can’t help but believe that his vision will be realized over time,” Mallott said, “as Alaska more and more becomes a place in which the kind of America that we can be, the kind of America that we aspire to be, the kind of America that can take riches and create opportunity for every single one of us, will truly be realized.”
There, of course, will be the requisite hoo-ha about the statue’s removal, but what is important is that if it does go, if it is banished to the scrap heap of Alaska history, the state must in good conscience abolish the Seward’s Day state holiday.
How can it not? It is only right. Nobody wants – or would tolerate – state workers taking a day off from work to honor a guy who is all about white, patriarchal authority, a guy who disenfranchised Alaska Natives, a guy whose only contribution to Alaska is, well, Alaska.
We would miss the statue, but erasing the state holiday honoring Seward would give Alaska another day of work from its 23,000 or so state employees.
We know they would agree.