Recently, the school district of Royal Oak, Michigan, facing declining enrollments, had to consolidate two high schools into one. The former Royal Oak Kimball and Royal Oak Dondero High Schools are now combined into what was Kimball and is now known simply as Royal Oak High School. Dondero is now Royal Oak Middle School. This is good news indeed, for we can begin the process of forgetting that George Anthony Dondero ever existed, certainly one of the most idiotic people that Michigan has produced. Keep in mind that Michigan also gave us the Romneys, so that is saying a lot! Quoting from the Wikipedia article on Dondero:
Dondero was most notable for mounting an attack on modern art, which he claimed to be inspired by Communism. He asserted that “Cubism aims to destroy by designed disorder… Dadaism aims to destroy by ridicule… Abstractionism aims to destroy by the creation of brainstorms”. In 1952, Dondero went so far as to tell Congress that modern art was, in fact, a conspiracy by Moscow to spread communism in the United States. This speech won him the International Fine Arts Council‘s Gold Medal of Honor for “dedicated service to American Art.” When art critic Emily Genauer (future winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism) interviewed Dondero in the mid-1950s he stated “modern art is Communistic because it is distorted and ugly, because it does not glorify our beautiful country, our cheerful and smiling people, our material progress. Art which does not glorify our beautiful country in plain simple terms that everyone can understand breeds dissatisfaction. It is therefore opposed to our government and those who promote it are our enemies.” When Genauer pointed out the resemblance between his views and those of the Stalinist Communists he despised, Dondero was so enraged that he arranged to have her fired from her job at the New York Herald Tribune.
So here’s to you George Anthony Dondero, our idiot of the week. May your erasure from the halls of Royal Oak Middle School hasten the erasure of any memory of you from our minds.