A Black Lives Matter chapter out of Memphis, Tennessee has turned its attention to an exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum showing the work of artist James Pate. The group is protesting the exhibit because one of Pate’s works compares Black-on-Black crime to the violence inflicted on the Black community by the Ku Klux Klan.
According to Memphisflyer, Black Lives Matter activists held a protest at the museum because they see the art as “morally and intellectually dishonest.”
However, Pate says his charcoal drawings, which portrays young Black men wearing the KKK hoods and displaying signs that are synonymous with gang activity, were inspired by conversations he had with his own Black community:
The press release issued by the Black Lives Matter Memphis chapter disagrees with Pate's assessment:
"Comparing 'black on black' crime to the KKK, a domestic terrorist organization, is morally and intellectually dishonest and has nothing to do with the history of the Black freedom struggle that is showcased in the National Civil Rights Museum," the statement reads. "To equate the KKK to a group of people who have been enslaved, segregated, and degraded into second-class citizenship is callous and outright offensive. Moreover, this exhibit fails to address the root causes of crimes in predominately Black neighborhoods, which is that crime is a reaction to a lack of resources."
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(Photo: National Civil Rights Museum via Twitter)
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