Sunday, August 15, 2010

Harlem Ignorance

There's a special type of ignorance that exists here in Harlem. It has to do with the belief that by keeping Harlem a violent cauldron of suffering, that it will somehow retain its "Blackness" and therefore stem the inexorable tide of gentrification. While overlooking the obvious self-destructive momentum that such attitudes imbue, its the fact that this belief is "unassailable" because its considered racist for non-Blacks to confront it. But I have and always will say, "Fuck that." Seriously, is the artist really saying that white reporters should be shot for reporting on the fact that the "gladiator" mentality that is behind so many of the intended and unintended shootings is wrong? Is he really defending the "right" of men of color to wantonly shoot each other and whoever gets in the way all in the name of some distorted masculine identity? As an artist myself, Im all for expression and controversy. That is why if Jay West would have painted this on a canvas or a private wall, I'd not say a word about it. But this is painted on the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building. Im sure ACP Jr. is rolling over in his grave right now.


Interpolater said...

sometimes the only power people feel they have, is fear.

Sam said...

You assume that the artist believes all of the things that you ascribe to him. I'm not so sure that those are his beliefs.

You also assume that so many are afraid to speak about these issues. I don't know what your evidence is for this.

I think the piece created the type of reaction he hoped to create.