Probably not. (How can one avoid being political, if trying to follow Jesus?)
Whenâ€”along with a zillion social media users and abusersâ€”I stumbled onto Watson Mereâ€™s 2017 artwork, â€œMy Brotherâ€™s Keeper,â€ my partisan spidey-senses tingled. Its depiction of Martin Luther King Jr. hushing President Trump was blatantly political. As the website Good explained,
The American-born artist of Haitian descent living in Philadelphia created â€œMy Brotherâ€™s Keeperâ€Â right before the Womenâ€™s Marchâ€”and Martin Luther King Dayâ€”in January.
That would be 2017’s January.
With viral intensity, Mereâ€™s image resurfaced in August of 2017 after the clashes between protestors and white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia. For many, it was also a perfect visual for responding to the Presidentâ€™s allegedâ€”and behind â€œclosed doorsâ€â€”derogatory January 2018 comments regarding other countries. Those countries included Haiti, where Mereâ€™s parents were born and raised.
- A womenâ€™s march, and a cry for equality.
- A response to protests centered around hate.
- Anguish over possible inflammatory language.
Mereâ€™s â€œMy Brotherâ€™s Keeper,â€ for current American culture and within the real and imagined perceptions of our global neighborhood, is compelling. And simple. And biased. Two powerful people from different eras, with different values. One white, one black. One is the poster child for American exceptionalism and bluster. The other is a poster child for national humility and nonviolence. And, of course, depending on your political bent and personal beliefs, you will view my conclusions about Trump or King as righteous or wrong. Continue reading →