Op/Ed By Howard Eagle –
Some of us in the Anti-Racism Community were absolutely baffled when we saw your Facebook event regarding the Take It Down! Organizing Against Racism Traveling [Pickaninny-Art] Exhibition ( http://www.rmsc.org/science-museum/exhibits/item/421-take-it-down-organizing-against-racism ). Surely you are aware of the fact that the Traveling Exhibition has been making rounds in the community for over a year now. It was first unveiled (publicly) at Central Church of Christ (101 S. Plymouth Avenue, Rochester, NY) in February of 2017, and since that time has been featured at numerous community locations, including FIGHT Village (186 Ward Street, Rochester, NY) and the Phillis Wheatley Community Library (33 Dr Samuel Mccree Way, Rochester, NY).
Quite frankly, we find it interesting (to say the least) that apparently, until now your organization has had no interest in urging or leading “CURB families” relative to so-called “exploring the story of one local carousel panel and [so-called] joining in the meaningful dialogue it encourages on individual, institutional and structural racism.”
When and where (exactly and specifically) will your people be able to so-called “join in the meaningful dialogue on individual, institutional and structural racism?” When and where (specifically) will that take place?
As a matter of fact, as you (Michael) know well, action-oriented, anti-racist-dialogue has been taking place and has been led by people who are not only well-informed and deeply-knowledgeable about the tripartite beast and illness ( http://minorityreporter.net/the-tripartite-beast-and-illness-of-individual-institutional-and-structural-racism/ ), but were also involved in spear-heading, and leading the ACTION that resulted in the pickaninny art panel being removed from the public, tax-payer-funded, carousel at Ontario Beach Park in March 2016 (after an eight-month long campaign and struggle — http://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/local-news/preservation-board-votes-to-remove-controversial-art/387116550 ). In other words, as I’m sure you know Michael — over the past year, anti-racist dialogue has been scheduled at every location where the exhibit has been displayed.
Currently, the exhibition is back at the location where it was first unveiled, i.e., Central Church of Christ (where it will remain until it is moved to the Rochester Museum & Science Center on March 26th (four days before your crew travels there to view it).
Also, as you know Michael (because you are on a list of people who were notified as recently as March 15) — prior to the exhibit being moved to the Rochester Museum & Science Center on March 26th — there is a final opportunity on March 19th (7:15 pm to 9:15 pm at Central Church of Christ) to view the pickaninny art exhibit, and participate in its utilization as a tool/springboard for engaging in action-oriented, anti-racist-dialogue regarding the historical and ongoing, contemporary existence, nature, essence, and continued manifestations of the tripartite beast and illness.
I must tell you (as Gloria Winston Al-Sarag would say — in a “Straight No Chaser” fashion) — it appears that you have not attempted to invite/convince/suggest that “CURB families” join us at the locations referenced above regarding “meaningful dialogue on individual, institutional and structural racism” — probably because you knew that they would not even consider coming into our neighborhoods. However, now that the exhibit is scheduled to be moved to the museum — apparently, if not obviously, many feel that it’s “safe” to travel to East Ave., but guess who will be there to greet you when you arrive?
I would suggest that you all ought to think seriously about the possibility and likelihood that (intentionally or not) your efforts really amount to actually helping to perpetuate, reinforce, and uphold the old, old, thoroughly entrenched, racist, status-quo — rather than helping to so-called “uproot racism in [historically one of the most racist suburban areas in Monroe County] Brighton.”
The Struggle Continues…