Political correctness gone awry

Letter to the editor

To the editor:
   The moment I read Chris Karmiol’s recent article regarding the new mural at Hightstown High School ("Questions raised about mural’s ethnic inclusiveness," May 3, 2002, Page 3A) I couldn’t help but think, "Oh no, here we go again."
   An artist can only hope to represent his or her life experience and vision. All great works are authenticated by the honesty that is transported through the work and graciously shared with the audience by the artist.
   For Mr. Plank to attempt to represent an all-encompassing vision would be false and condescending. Mr. Abalos’ statements have that all-too-familiar ring of political correctness — the all-or-nothing point of view. I am a poet but through my poetry I cannot attempt to represent, for example, the struggle of black women. I thank God for poets such as Maya Angelou, a talented and poignant voice for that cause. But does this mean I should stop writing poetry? Perhaps Mr. Abalos is guilty of what he accuses Mr. Plank of — narrowness of perspective. Would he raise such issues if the mural had been painted by a woman and marginalized men? To reduce art in all its forms to a checklist mentality denies the artist free expression.
   Leave Mr. Abalos to his sociology and leave Mr. Plank to his art.
   Thank you.
C.C. Ventura