Saturday, June 06, 2015

Who Were the Faculty and Staff Who Supported the Cop Killer Mural?

When Marquette painted over a mural, in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, that honored cop killer and terrorist Assata Shakur, it seems like the obviously sensible thing to do. Why in the world would Marquette want to honor a cop killer?

But some Marquette faculty and staff disagree. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Marquette University failed to consider the racial politics of erasing a mural of a controversial black female figure, and missed an opportunity to sponsor a discussion about the appropriateness of the mural’s subject, more than 60 Marquette University faculty and staff allege in a statement sent Tuesday to the university’s leadership.

The mural depicted Assata Shakur, an African-American activist convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973. She escaped prison, fled to Cuba, and became the first woman on the FBI’s Most Wanted list under her birth name, Joanne Chesimard. She is considered a domestic terrorist by some, and a wrongly accused folk hero by others who say she was targeted by authorities for her involvement in the Black Liberation Army and for being a Black Panther.

The statement from faculty and staff questions whether the university’s actions were “appropriate and proportional” and characterizes the move as a “hasty decision” that undermines the momentum of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.

“Any contexts about race, policing, and the present moment and historical legacy surrounding these issues were ignored, including any reflection on Marquette’s own place within the social justice landscape,” the statement by faculty and staff said. “Did the administration consider the chilling impact of the erasure of the image within the context of present conversations about police brutality and black life?”
What kind of yahoos signed this statement?

What, for example, is the meaning of “the chilling impact of the erasure of the image within the context of present conversations about police brutality and black life?” Is this a way of saying black people are rioting in Ferguson and Baltimore, and we don’t want to rile them up?

What in the world about the “contexts about race, policing, and the present moment and historical legacy surrounding these issues” justifies killing cops, or glorifying people who do?

But to answer the question: we know what kind of yahoos signed this statement. Politically correct yahoos, who are pretty numerous on the Marquette faculty, especially in humanities departments, Sociology and Psychology and the colleges of Education and Communications.

But exactly who did?

We don’t know, since the list of signers is secret. So is the unedited text of the statement.

We asked Journal-Sentinel reporter Karen Herzog for these two things, and she declined to provide them, citing the confidentiality of her source.

That raises the question of why the original manifesto and the list of signers was confidential. Are the people who signed it ashamed of the position they took? Why aren’t they willing to publicly stand up for their beliefs?

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