Artist: Lynching display on campus was art meant to bring awareness to social justice and racial inequality

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Courtesy – vbarajas04

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Courtesy – freakinflor3n

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Courtesy – insta_ramir

By: Robert Linggi

If you checked your Sac Link email over the weekend then you saw the campus-wide letter from Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez announcing a full investigation into an art project where two white male students with rope nooses around their necks were “suspended” in harnesses, as if they were being lynched from a tree, as part of an art display in front of Brighton Hall on Dec. 4.

The display only lasted a short time, but caused puzzled social media posts and apparently offend some people, according to Gonzalez.

“…it appears that the individuals involved did not intend for the display to incite violence, though it offended members of our community,” Gonzalez wrote. “The University did not approve the display, and I want to assure everyone that I am working to address the multiple issues raised by this incident.”

However the display’s artist, Sac State senior Christina Edwards, responded to Gonzalez today in a statement where she explained the display wasn’t supposed to be offensive, but instead meant to bring awareness to social injustices and inequality.

“I choose to express my art in a way that resonates with me, but I did not intend to offend anyone in or outside of the project,” Edwards wrote. “The purpose of this performance was to bring to light social injustices and the issues of inequality that impact me and my community as a whole. As a young African American Woman, I feel that not enough has changed in society in terms of racial and social equality that allows for true equal opportunities.” Edwards went on to say that while her art took place on campus, it did not represent the ideals or opinions of Sac State.

Edwards explained the goal of her art was to record the campus’ response to the tragic African American reality of lynching. She said she used intentional race reversal to highlight an issue in the hope it would promote change and equality.

“It was specifically a white man hanging from a tree,” said one of the volunteer performers, who ask to remain anonymous. ”If you switch the context up it would be provocative in that sense. Which signifies the lack of acknowledgement and recognition of the original context and crime.”

While Gonzalez’s letter said the university didn’t give Edwards permission, both Edwards and the performer said Sac State Facilities Services gave verbal permission for the display. The performer said while the university knew about the performance, they may not have fully understood it. “…when they figured it out they were pretty pissed, so how it’s all going to turn out is still up in the air,” said the performer. “We got negative feedback. We had a faculty member come up and start being kind of mean.”

The performer said the display ended when Sac State faculty, facilities and police asked for it to stop. He said the university employees were patient and tried to figure out what was going on, however they didn’t condone the performance.

In her statement Edwards wrote that she took every safety precaution during the display by using professionals to rig the climbing ropes and harnesses the performers sat in so they were safe and the equipment was visible throughout the performance.

Earlier reports that one of the performers was female and that the participants were standing on the ground were incorrect. According to the performer, there was a female from the university present who assisted, however she was not directly involved with the display.

Despite all the trouble the performer says he doesn’t have any regrets because the display was a strong work.

In ending his letter, Gonzalez asking for respect and sensitivity moving forward. It remains to be seen if the students involved will face any real repercussions for a situation that few people knew occurred before Gonzalez’s letter to campus.

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11 responses to “Artist: Lynching display on campus was art meant to bring awareness to social justice and racial inequality

  1. correction: “It was specifically a white man hanging from a tree,” said one of the volunteer performers, who ask to remain anonymous. ”If you switch the context up it would be provocative in that sense. [which signifies the lack of acknowledgement and recognition of the original context and crime] -performer

  2. If a white artist hung some black dummy then Al Sharpton would be on campus!

    Also, the art is accurate! There were thousands of whites who were lynched! Asians too! But the artist only sees the “injustice to blacks” issue! I suspect the artist has some sort of animus towards white people.

    • What you don’t say is that black people were burned alive and often castrated(ex. Jesse Washington). That is not the case with white people. That is a big difference.

  3. Between 1882 and 1968, the Tuskegee Institute recorded 1,297 lynchings of whites as well as the 3,446 lynchings of African Americans during that period.

    More blacks are killed EACH YEAR by other blacks when compared to the entire 86 years of recorded lynchings. Christina Edwards is a racist trying to play the race card.

  4. America’s Twisted Higher Education
    Outrages spelled out in “Public Schools: Lechers, Diversity, Nudists” are multiplied exponentially in the outrages regularly committed by students and school administrators in America’s public and private colleges and universities.
    For instance, the publicly-funded University of Tennessee (UT), conducts an annual Sex Week, this year replete with a workshop to teach students how to masturbate, as if they need it. Tennessee’s Sex Week also includes lectures on orgasms as a political act in addition to masturbation techniques.
    One event, “Get Wet: Exploring the Connections Between Sexual Pleasure, Health, & Advocacy,” asks students the eternal questions: “When is an orgasm a political act? When is lube a tool of the revolution?” and promises to “demonstrate how three components of sexuality–pleasure, health, and advocacy–flow into one another as we explore a variety of topics centered on reproductive justice and sexual freedom.”
    To further advance the educations of UT’s students, Sex Week also teaches students “which sexual health issues are involved in back-door lovin’, why you should care about sex workers’ rights, and how you can defend your own sexual freedom through self-love.”
    Not to be outdone, feminist porn star Tristan Taormino will answer any and all student questions, such as, “Can porn be ethical?” “What is ‘good’ porn?” and “why she thinks anti-porn feminists haven’t watched enough porn.”
    With universities like UT, why would America need whore houses?
    Undercover media analyst Mark Dice specializes in outing Americans as being out of touch with political and social realities. Dice recently showed that sad truth in his interviews of young collegians who have as much grasp on reality as the Obama administration.
    He was able to garner hundreds of signatures at a San Diego college campus on a fake petition to imprison all legal gun owners, “peasants,” in concentration camps, have them executed, and repeal the Second Amendment.
    Dice patiently explained, “We just want to make sure we disarm the citizens. We can trust the government to be the only ones with guns” and that, “These peasants don’t need guns. We want to put all registered gun owners in prison.” One student replied, “Yes, it’s too dangerous” for people to own guns.
    He told another, “We are going to ban all guns except for the military and police. We’ll do door to door confiscations, we have lists of all the registered weapons, so the military will just go and take those away from people.” Yet another signed the petition, as most did, despite Dice’s suggestion that we confiscate gun owners’ weapons and shoot them with them since, “If they like their guns so much, let’s just feed the gun owners some of their own lead.”
    When Dice threw in the absurdity, “We need to take these gun owners and put them into FEMA concentration camps to keep everybody safe,” most students concurred.
    Those Dice signatories may simply represent what Rush Limbaugh has described as prime examples of vacuous student “minds filled with mush,” not to mention with their next sexual hook-ups and beer-bong parties, but how do we explain the weird girls at President Obama’s alma mater, Columbia University?
    There, a gaggle of five co-eds at Columbia and Barnard College filmed a semi-soft porno film in Columbia’s Butler Library. . . (Read more at http://www.genelalor.com/blog1/?p=35595.)

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