A local leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) defended paintings displayed in Silicon Valley’s East Side Union High School District administrative offices for Black History Month that mocked police, and which were removed after complaints from parents.
“White supremacy is a topic of conversation right now. I thought this was timely,” local San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP leader Reverend Jeff Moore told Bay Area public radio station KQED.
— KQED (@KQED) February 3, 2017
Moore, a counselor at Independence High School in San Jose, had arranged and consulted with Bay Area artist Mark Harris to choose 11 paintings to display for Black History Month.
KQED published photos of three of the pieces of art, which showed images such as a police officer with two little girls holding protest signs, one of which read, “Jail all racist killer cops.”
Moore stated that school superintendent Chris Funk had objected to a school district taking a political position, according to to local report.
Harris was quoted by KQED as saying: “My artwork expresses the real visceral outrage that a lot of African Americans have about the violence we’re still subjected to in the 21st century.”
Moore was one of a group of “small but vocal” Santa Clara County religious leaders who gathered locally in “symbolic solidarity” days after the death of black teen Michael Brown in an altercation with a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Though riots broke out in Ferguson and elsewhere, much of the initial story of that incident — including the claims that Brown had said “hands up, don’t shoot” to the officer — turned out to be untrue. Forensic investigation showed that Brown was shot while charging the officer, and after trying to seize his gun earlier.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana