‘Miss’ was amiss
I’m writing in response to the Hit & Misses (May 11) regarding the criticism of singer Kate Smith and actress Lillian Gish. In Smith’s case, a statue of her was removed from public view outside a stadium because of songs she sang, and Gish’s name was taken off a movie theater for appearing in “The Birth of a Nation.” Your point was they shouldn’t be vilified for one aspect of their work which offends current sensibilities, but be viewed through the totality of their accomplishments. That’s a fair position.
However, you stated these actions resulted because they ran “afoul of the purity police on the hard left.” It’s this statement I find offensive and wrong. You blame everything on one group whom you identify politically, as if no one on the hard right or the middle could possibly have the same sensibilities. You also state there are segments in “The Birth of a Nation” which “we” now view as offensive, thereby assigning to all society what you originally said was only one group. As our society has advanced and viewed history in different and, hopefully, more mature ways, using the divisive rhetoric in this editorial does not enhance that maturation process.