Watercolor #4 in the Transforming Injustice! Series
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Watercolor #4, in the Transforming Injustice! series is entitled,
“They’re Still Not Hearing Us!”
The painting is inspired by an Associated Press news photo taken by Jacquelyn Martin, who captured this moment in history in her photo of demonstrators gathering to protest the death of George Floyd — on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
What inspires me is that this is a protest of voices calling out for justice and arms raised, imploring their government for change. It is not a protest of guns or clubs or other instruments of violence. It is simply a protest from hearts that cry out still, “They’re still not hearing us?”
Indeed “they” are not hearing. “They” responded with military force to this nonviolent event. According to Associated Press reporters Robert Burns and Michael Balsamo, the National Guard of the District of Columbia is investigating the use of one of its helicopters to make a “show of force” against protesters near the White House, while President Donald Trump is encouraging authorities to get tougher to quell the unrest over George Floyd’s death. The helicopter, normally designated for use in medical evacuations, hovered low enough to create a deafening noise and spray protesters with rotor wash.
In a phone call with governors on July 20, In a Monday call with governors, President Trump and Attorney General Barr encouraged more aggressive action against those who cause violence during protests. Trump said he was “taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America.”
More than 17,000 soldiers and airmen have been activated to confront nonviolent protesters. An article written by Luke O’Brien and published on July 21, 2020 in the Huffington Post begins with these very troubling headlines:
Trump Has Unleashed Authoritarian Violence In Portland. What City Is Next?
From tear gas to kidnappings, the Trump administration has thrust America into a constitutional crisis.
Luke O’Brien’s article also pointed out that during the last two weeks, federal law enforcement agents in Portland have terrorized peaceful protesters by bundling them into unmarked vehicles without probable cause and pulling masks over their faces — a development experts say is a “a classic way that violence happens in authoritarian regimes” and that has deeply alarmed several members of Congress.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) called it “the activity of a police state.”
“This is what dictators do,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) tweeted.