In a world where everything can be racist, it’s always exciting to see what mental gymnastics liberals will undertake to brand something offensive.During Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearings, “random chance” was the latest to be racist. When it was time for Cedric Richmond, the current head of the Congressional Black Caucus, to testify against Sessions, he begin his speech by stating “I want to express my concerns about being made to testify at the very end of the witness panels. To have a senator, a House member, and a living civil rights legend testify at the end of all of this is the equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus.” Yes – because having your testimony be the freshest in everyone’s minds is the same as being sat in the back of the bus! Who knew?
Speaking of Richmond, the fight against Sessions’ appointment is hardly the only issue he’s been in the news championing. Richmond has also been fighting to keep a painting depicting police officers as pigs hanging in the Capitol. The painting was hung as a result of an annual competition where high school students compete to get their art hung in the capitol. This year, 18-year-old David Pulphus painted his own rendition of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, which includes officers depicted as pigs, a protestor as a black panther, and a black bird and white bird fighting. There’s also a black man being crucified by the criminal justice system.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) first pulled the painting down and left it in the office of Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) who represents Ferguson and the student. Clay then reported Hunter to the Capitol Police Chief – who wasn’t all too thrilled with the painting either. Police did nothing – but the painting was rehung.
Cedric Richmond warned “we may just have to kick somebody’s ass and stop them,” the next time it is removed. Well, it looks like he’s going to have to be brawling with the architects of the Capitol now. As CNN reported: Rep. Dave Reichert had sent a letter to the Architect of the Capitol with his concerns about the painting, which depicts police officers as pigs.House Speaker Paul Ryan also took a stand against the art, which hanged in a tunnel at the US Capitol, calling it “disgusting.” Friday, Reichert said Ryan’s office informed him the painting will be taken down after the federal holiday. Ryan told the congressman that the Architect of the Capitol made the determination, Reichert’s office said. The rules of the art competition state: “Exhibits depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature are not allowed,” according to the statement from Reichert.
Ryan said it isn’t a question of First Amendment rights.
“Of course, this young person has the right to do something like this wherever they want to,” Ryan said. “But we do have rules that govern these paintings, so it’s not as if you have a constitutional right to hang whatever you want in the House hallway in the Capitol gallery.”
While most of us are no fans of censorship, let’s set aside the debate over whether or not this should be hung in the first place. A better question to ask is out of tens of thousands of submissions, how was that one chosen as the winner?[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]