Posted on April 3, 2007

Cops Demand Removal of ‘Racist’ Art

Duffie Dixon, 11Alive.com (Atlanta), April 3, 3007

A pair of Atlanta police officers have filed complaints against a piece of artwork that is being displayed at City Hall East.

They are the latest complaints about the controversial display that some say promotes racism. Many of those complaining insist that the art be taken down.

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Of all the pieces in the City Hall East art display, [curator Freddie] Styles said he expected complaints about the sketches of nuditybut not the one that is getting all the attention.

“I thought it was an attractive piece visually,” Styles said.

The piece has 32 flags, with a hidden message that reads, “Politically It’s Okay To Hate The White Man.”

What does it mean? Artist Alvaro Alvillar said he wanted to provoke thought.

“It’s made to make you think about politically, is it okay to hate the white manwhatever your skin color is,” Alvillarwho is Hispanicsaid.

Some call it insightful, while othersincluding two police officers who work at City Hall Eastcall it racism. They want it removed.

The officers have filed formal complaints.

“There are other officers, and other members of employment of the city who have been reprimanded, and told to bring things down that were in their cubicles or in their work sites, so we feel that they should have the same rights as anyone else, that if something offends them, and it’s hanging in a public building, the city should pay attention to that and take it down,” said Atlanta police union spokesman Sgt. Scott Kreher.

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Styles, who is black, said it is something that drew him to the art, and that he has no plans to take it down.

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[Editor’s Note: This story was originally covered by AR News here.]

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