Walking to the Cry

Photo Credit: Lydia Mankins

This past weekend the Carnegie Mellon community was struck with a calamity the likes of which it has not encountered since the tragic mutilation of the fence in 2012.  The little boy at the foot of what many students have called “an eyesore” or “a giant metal dick” has lost his hand.

Those not familiar with the sculpture should know that it is comprised of an steeply inclined chrome rod a few feet around in circumference which is climbed by several skyward bound ladies and gentlemen. The artist,  Jonathan Borofsky, once described the sculpture as “a celebration of the human potential for discovering who we are and where we need to go.”

This description struck readme as particular awkward given the placement of the various characters in the design. While several men and even, notably, women, climb the rod which The Tartan once described as “a huge phallus”,  the only black people in the piece stand ever looking wistfully up at their more socially privileged counterparts as they ascend.

To add insult to injury, these two statues, a little boy holding the hand of–presumably– his father, or maybe his creepy uncle, are accompanied only by one dudebro in a douchey baseball cap. The three grounded loners are also subjected to the greasy hands of passersby and to tacky posed photographs of freshmen and prospective students each day.

The child and father/creepyuncle cling to each other to console each other against the harsh truths of our society, staring up at the ass of a sky-walking white-woman.

Now, however, they can no longer brace themselves against their everlasting torment, as the child’s hand has been roughly dismembered from his arm. Laughing students further added to his pain, terror and humiliation by placing the hand jovially upon his petrified head in a continuation of their sick game of putting silly things on the statue.

We must ask ourselves, Carnegie Mellon, is this truly what we expect from our community? Do we not expect more from ourselves and our peers? Will you simply stand by as your classmates barbarically and gruesomely torture those around them based on race, privilege and the quality of animatancy?

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