A silent protest in Love Park, downtown Philadelphia orchestrated by performance artists protesting the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The onslaught of passerby’s wanting to take photos with the LOVE statue exemplifies the disconnect in American society. Simply frame out the dead body, and it doesn’t exist. In this event, artist activists staged a scene where Kieth A. Wallace, an Actor, pretended to be dead for an hour in front of the statue while others took turns holding a sign with “Call Us By Our Names” written on it.
To see more photos from this performance, check out #CallUsByOurNames on Facebook.
I am not a journalist, I am merely a friend of the artists involved. I was not at this event.
As the photos show, the social experiment and silent protest highlighted the peoples reaction in the foreground of the photo. In this context the people become the performance art, and the faux dead body becomes a backdrop. As an artist, I don’t want to give you my interpretation of the art of these photos. They should speak for themselves. But I did talk to Lee Edward Colston II, an actor, who was involved in the event.
Here are some of his observations of the social interactions he witnessed:
I don’t know who any of these folks are.
They were tourists I presume.
But I heard most of what everything they said. A few lines in particular stood out. There’s one guy not featured in the photos. His friends were trying to get him to join the picture but he couldn’t take his eyes off the body.
"Something about this doesn’t feel right. I’m going to sit this one out, guys." "Com’on man… he’s already dead."
There were a billion little quips I heard today. Some broke my heart. Some restored my faith in humanity. There was an older white couple who wanted to take a picture under the statue.
The older gentleman: “Why do they have to always have to shove their politics down our throats.” Older woman: “They’re black kids, honey. They don’t have anything better to do.”
One woman even stepped over the body to get her picture. But as luck would have it the wind blew the caution tape and it got tangle around her foot. She had to stop and take the tape off. She still took her photo.
There was a guy who yelled at us… “We need more dead like them. Yay for the white man!”
"One young guy just cried and then gave me a hug and said ‘thank you. It’s nice to know SOMEBODY sees me.’
Houston, Texas: March and rally in solidarity with the Ferguson uprising, August 20, 2014.
"Whose streets? Our streets! Took over the streets in Third Ward, marching in solidarity with Ferguson, from the HPD cop shop on West Grey and St. Emanuel and through the hood. We out-smarted the cops who were trying to block the streets and keep us on the sidewalks. HPD, out of our community!”
Report and photos by Gloria Rubac
TW: Violence: Today, May 30, is the day four years ago that little Brisenia Flores and her father were murdered in Arivaca, Arizona by racist Neo-Nazi anti-immigrant vigilantes. Brisenia was shot point blank in the face during the home invasion and her father was killed and mother shot.
We must not forget, ever, what hate rhetoric can do. Remind people and be vigilant about what anyone espousing hate against another group of people can do and lead to.
Today, have a thought about this beautiful little 9 year old, her family, and the community who lost so much through this death that no one wants to remember or at that time that Obama and the media never mentioned or had any ceremony for to symbolically stand against hate, racism, and xenophobia.
Today, in Arizona Mexican American Studies has been banned, books have been boxed up and sent out of schools, and the state of Arizona is under police seige against anyone who is brown. If you haven’t been there to witness it yourself don’t think it’s not happening because from personal experience it is.
No more of the conintuing 500 year long war of extinction upon Indigenous people. It must end! - Three Sonorans
Minutement group leader Shawna Forde & Jason Bush were found guilty on eight counts & are on death row for plotting the deadly home invasion. Albert Gaxiola was found guilty of the murders & sentenced to life without parole.
The ACLU of Louisiana has come to the defenseof a Rastafarian boy who has been suspended from school and forbidden to return until he cuts his dreadlocks.
The boy was sent home from South Plaquemines High School when classes resumed Aug. 8 because his dreadlocks extended beyond the collar of his shirt, in apparent violation of the school dress code.
After he returned to school the following week with his hair pinned up, school officials told the student his dreadlocks remained in violation.
Rastafarians believeLeviticus 21:5forbids them to cut their hair, and dreadlocks are central to their religious beliefs.
“The wearing of dreadlocks for (the student) is akin to the wearing of a religious icon by another student,” the ACLU said in a letter sent Monday to the Plaquemines Parish School Board.
The student’s mother provided a letter to the school superintendent from the 1st Church of Rastafar I that indicated the boy’s family were members and explained the importance of dreadlocks to their faith.
The superintendent told the teen’s mother that was not sufficient to allow the dreadlocks, and when she asked what documentation would be required, he told the mother he wasn’t a lawyer.
“We would object if the school were to tell a Christian student they could not wear a cross or if it were to permit the wearing of religious icons of one faith and prohibited those of another faith,” the civil rights group said. “In discriminating against (the student’s) religious beliefs, the school is expressing a preference for certain religions, which is unacceptable.”
Although the school has not formally suspended the student, he has missed 10 of the first 11 days of the school year over his dreadlocks.
“The actions of the school and Superintendent (Denis) Rousselle are the equivalent of an unlimited suspension,” the ACLU said.
The ACLU said the school had violated the student’s constitutional rights, as well as Louisiana’s Preservation of Religious Freedom Act.
That 2010 law imposes “strict scrutiny” on any burden of religious liberty, which in this case would force the school district to demonstrate a compelling interest in requiring the student to cut his hair.
“(The student) will be able to prove that his dreadlocks and hair length are a sincerely held religious belief of his Rastafari religion,” the ACLU said. “It is also a method of self-expression, because it communicates to others an important fact about (the student): that he is a Rastafari for whom traditional religious practices are important to him and his family. By refusing to allow him to attend school, the Board is violating (his) statutory and constitutional rights.”
"Do you not understand that life in this country is inherently different for white people &Black people!?"
Yo…we comb/make our hair look “presentable” to fit in. We have to go out of our way to fit in,’cause the people who determine what does&doesn’t neither look anything like us nor appreciate/respect our culture&natural appearance.
So,again,why do adults expect the parents of a baby who was born a multimillionaire to subject her to the bullshit that money negates?? Why are adults, essentially, jealous of a baby? Shut the fuck up.