Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sneaky Racism in the arts in Minnesota

Ok so a friend and local artist told me about this mural that was painted here. In a park about five years ago. She had this concern about the ethnicities and posturing in the work, I've gotta say that on first looks there seemed to be racial undertone but it wasn't a definitive approach to the piece. While I only see white civilians surrounding a pool area,I also   recognize the looking upward in the piece this was her concern.  All this to say that I've experience several layers of prejudice and racism in my short lived life however this might not have been one of those moments, I tend to lean towards trying to offer the benefit if the doubt before I judge, so I jumped in the car and had her showme this mural.
Now at the first look I noticed that it was painted by a community and it is in the Dr. King park, where just two years it's senior there was heated debate about turning it into a dog park. How insulting to the legacy of Dr.King jr.? Never the less the community in favor of canceling the dog park won, soon afterwards this mural was erected.  So as I saw it it was focused immediately on the mid left corner where all the figures were looking upward much like the Duluth lynching in 192? Where five men where accused of raping and killing a white woman.  Two were lynched the next day national security took the others for trial and it was later realized that all the accusations were false.  Ok so all this is perception with regards to one thing that was blindingly obvious to me........ The monkey hanging in the tree above the crowd. No other animals in the entire mural, subtlety painted. We'll you tell me what I should think, see for yourself.
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