Simple case.

"Artists" have no special privilege.

The University is free to show their work or not, as it pleases.

And to those who make this about the race of the artist, I say that you are the true racists.

But you already know that.

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What these students don't realize is that a lot of the so-called art depicting black people in the US are CARICATURES which are not intended to depict any sort of reality about black people at all. Many white artists have been so affected by PAST depictions of black people (such as "blackface" and "minstrel art") and for them and in their eyes, THIS is what black people look like. As a black woman, I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and these murals depict the opinion of a white artist who was clearly influenced by garbage like THIS


But, the ugly mural SHOULD NOT BE COVERED UP. A BETTER way to protest the downright ugly depictions would be for any student artists on campus to create their own mural depicting the DIGNITY of the black people using the Underground Railroad and insist that THAT mural also be hung, or find dignified art similar to THIS




and get prints or request the original art's temporary display next to the bad art at the college to show the DIGNITY of those assisted by the Underground Railroad AND the dignity of those assisting them. The contrast would make this so-called "art" by Kerson look even worse than it does.

You always fight wrong speech with GOOD SPEECH; and you fight bad art with GOOD ART.

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"The white male's gaze simply cannot be trusted at the unconscious psychological level" Hmmmm. So by that logic, every work of art by a black male artist depicting a woman should be censored or destroyed as well.

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"There is nothing as worthless as bad art. As Oscar Wilde said, art is quite useless. You can’t eat it, drive it, or live in it. Its uselessness, however, is what allows it to be a pure vehicle for human value. Great art has something we cherish very highly, but history tells us that very little of the huge quantity of art that gets made does what art is supposed to do."

—Walter Darby Bannard

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Apr 27, 2022·edited May 26, 2022

I think at the end of the day the problem with Sam Kerson is that he's white (perhaps that should have been noted above btw), and that the general sentiment among bipoc students at VLS is that a white artist should not have his non-realist depiction of African Americans prominently displayed in such a quasi-public institutional setting, because (and however well-intentioned the intent) the subjective racialized biases of a white male of a certain historically-defined age are simply not unconsciously trustworthy or, more pointedly, are all but unavoidably unconsciously suspect. The white male's gaze simply cannot be trusted at the unconscious psychological level, and a psychologically racially aggressive and offensive (particularly to African Americans) white gaze may be attempting to sneak through under the radar under the pretext of non-realististically expressive art. In other words, ostensibly progressive pro-Black art may nevertheless be infirmly psychologically parasitized by the very racism it was ostensibly designed to protest as a result of the white psychological subjective racist milieu to which the white artist of a certain advanced age was irresistibly exposed. In such a potential case, it is ultimately the prerogative of the historically and presently victimized racial groups to be the arbiters of latent unconscious racist aggression contained within artwork to which they may reasonably be expected to be repeatedly exposed and thereby further victimized and aggrieved. In short, like in the case of (statistically overwhelmingly female) victims of sexual assault, it is incumbent on society and especially institutions entrusted with the public good to reflexively trust the perceptions, including aesthetic intuitions, of historically and presently still victimized racial groups, particularly when the trauma in question entails the still quite poorly understood transhistorical psychological evil contained within the historical evil of slavery as a whole.

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