Recently, well know artist Michael D’Antuono had the above painting that he was selling removed from eBay for the following reason:
“[t]he painting you listed appears to contain images or icons associated with the KKK which are not allowed to be listed on our site as they represent an organization that glorifies hate and violence.”
Naturally, this has got around the internet and several people have pointed out that you can actually buy KKK memorabilia on eBay. Further outrage was cause when George Zimmerman a.k.a. they guy who shot Trayvon Martin, and who inspired this piece, sold a painting on eBay for $100,000. Myself, however, was annoyed by the art itself.
The description posted on D’Antuono’s website regarding this piece reads ‘Inspired by the Trayvon Martin case, this painting symbolizes the travesty of racially profiling innocent children and how present day prejudices affect policy.’ The fact that it seems to be against racial profiling while it racially profiles all white cops as closet racists out to mess up a minority’s day is laughable, but there’s also the fundamental misunderstanding of the case. Yes, Zimmerman shot Martin, but it wasn’t because he was black, and it was because he was racist. It was because in the end, he was being assaulted.
You see, Treyvon wasn’t as angelic as the media images portrayed him to be. He was a seventeen year old kid who was only in the area because he’d been suspended for school for having drug residue at the bottom of his bag. Zimmerman, however, was by all accounts a model citizen, and comes from a multi-ethnic family. There had been a number of break-ins in the area and he was suspicious of Martin, just like most people would be if a new guy was walking around the neighbourhood at such a time. Yes, he was advised to stay indoors by the police line, and no he probably shouldn’t have followed him. At the same time, Treyvon shouldn’t have turned around and eventually assaulted Zimmerman, ultimately putting him in the position where he made the decision to end Martin’s life, fearing for his own. Trayvon Martin wasn’t a victim of racial profiling, but of circumstance and his actions surrounding it.
Ultimately, this piece of art symbolises one man’s anger at an event he clearly didn’t bother to fully educate himself about. What’s worse is the afore-mentioned racial profiling of white police officers racially profiling a black child. This isn’t part of a solution to racial profiling, it’s part of the problem.
Peace and love