Mustache Controversy Creates Mayhem

Omar Carrillo, Section Editor

Geometrical facial hair and particularly aggressive footwear bring both anxiety and uncertainty to the mind, leading to troubling conclusions and associations.

  Or so was experienced by a possibly surprising number of both staff and students at Gresham when a fellow gopher, history teacher Bart Walker, took up the razor in a final step from a No-Shave-November streak of longevity; removing all hair present but a rectangular patch just above the lip, reminiscent of certain German Nazi leader, and sporting new all-black Timberlands as well.

  This was not an image particularly pleasing for many.

  In one case even resulting in a student refusing to make visual eye-contact with the teacher in question while they conducted their class.

  According to Walker, however, the intention was to receive feedback in any way possible.

  “It was a bit of a social experiment to see […] if it would get any sort of interesting reaction,” Walker was quoted as saying in reference to the event.

This explanation was not entirely satisfactory for everyone, however.

  “I teach ethnic studies, but I don’t come in in blackface,” global perspectives teacher Mark Adamski said. “I don’t think people should portray [Hitler] in any context.”

 “I’m surprised at the lack of controversy,” English teacher Ed Sage said. “The people I heard talk about it were not saying anything other than ‘it happened’ almost sort of flippantly. Like ‘There’s something wrong with that, but what’re you gonna do?’.”

  Regardless, it is evident that this was a situation uncontainable in a way from the start. It brings up the question of why in fact this was the case.

  Inevitably, the impact of the Second World War and it’s iconography is one unmeasurable and inescapable. It is worth noting that Walker depicted Hitler in a way meant for educational purposes, at least according to him, as he had been in the process of teaching about just this time period and place in the world. Therefore if his position is valid, what are the implications of that?

  Is it ultimately objectively ethical and technically valid for a teacher to depict themselves as infamous historical figures in order to further their own teaching process? Not that Walker had exactly intended for his actions to be interpreted just this way. Seemingly unanimously, it seems that no, it is simply unacceptable to perpetuate even just the image of someone as destructively vile as was Adolf Hitler.

  But “progress”, in one direction or another, is not a linear path. Though many may believe otherwise. And like most things, this does not by any means make any sort of conclusion uncontestable.