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Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Golden Rule

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/capitol-painting-cops-animals-removed-233286

It took me a few days to gather my thoughts about the content of this mural. My first reaction was that if those of us who are members of marginalized groups want to be seen as full-fledged human beings of equal intrinsic value by the police and all of society, then we need to offer the same consideration in return.

My next thoughts were about freedom of expression and art as social commentary, peaceful protest and non-violent rebellion against the status quo. If it's a choice between a mural with dehumanizing imagery or a physical clash of civilians versus law enforcement, the art is the lesser offense (at least in the short term). But for me, depicting cops as pigs is as offensive and dehumanizing as depicting black people as monkeys. Neither image contributes to creating a society where every person's humanity and citizenship are equally acknowledged, respected and protected.