College campuses are reliably leftist, and they don’t come more leftist than Berkeley.
Effigies of black lynching victims found hanging on a Northern California college campus have sparked debate over whether the images are powerful protest art or just plain tasteless and racist.
The photographic images were found Saturday morning hanging at two prominent spots on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. They were discovered a few hours before a demonstration against police brutality organized by a black student union was to start. Police are investigating, but officials say they still don’t know who hanged the images or the motivation.
“It’s unclear if this is racially motivated effort or an effort at something else,” campus spokeswoman Claire Holmes said.
Do you think if these effigies had been displayed at, say, Bob Jones University, there would have been a question about the “motivation”? Why give the benefit of the doubt to the socialist redoubt in the Bay Area?
Because there is a “motivation”, however “queer”:
Sunday Dec. 14, 5 p.m.: An anonymous artists’ collective has taken responsibility for the effigies strung up in nooses at UC Berkeley on Saturday.
The statement from the collective:
“We are a collective of queer and POC artists responsible for the images of historical lynchings posted to several locations in Berkeley and Oakland,” reads a notice the group found posted on campus Sunday. “These images connect past events to present ones – referencing endemic faultlines of hatred and persecution that are and should be deeply unsettling to the American consciousness. We choose to remain anonymous because this is not about us as artists, but about the growing movement to address these pervasive wrongs.”
“For those who think these images are no longer relevant to the social framework in which black Americans exist everyday – we respectfully disagree. Garner, Brown, and others are victims of systemic racism. For those who think these images depict crimes and attitudes too distasteful to be seen .. we respectfully disagree. Our society must never forget. For those under the mistaken assumption that the images themselves were intended as an act of racism – we vehemently disagree and intended only the confrontation of historical context.”
“We apologize solely and profusely to Black Americans who felt further attacked by this work. We are sorry – your pain is ours, our families’, our history’s. To all, each image represents a true life ended by an unimaginable act of ignorance and human cruelty: Laura Nelson, George Meadows, Michael Donald, Charlie Hale, Garfield Burley, Curtis Brown. We urge you to further research the lives and deaths of these individuals. History must be confronted.”
POC means persons of color, I take it. Not colored persons, but persons of color. Nice of them to apologize, though. Five words out of 230, buried deep within the screed, directed “solely” at 13% of Americans.
Some of whom aren’t buying:
Berkeley Pastor Michael McBride told the Oakland Tribune that he sees no redeeming quality to the display.
“This is racial terror they are experiencing,” said McBride, who is also co-director of Intervarsity’s Black Campus Ministries at UC Berkeley. “I don’t care if it was a white person, a black person, a blue person, if it was an adversary or ally, these images strewed across campus have terrorized my students.”
I followed the suggestion of the “queers” and POCs and looked up every name they listed. All but one were lynched over a century ago. Hanged by the neck until dead by a terrorist mob yes, but none more recent than 1911. Did the queers and the POCs think we didn’t know that happened? And why equate murdered innocents with two people, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, whose actual law-breaking led people to call the cops?
I will give them full credit for re-exposing one lynching we may have wished to forget. That of Michael Donald in 1981.
Berkeley, man. No [bleeping] wonder.