A short film entitled “Why Don’t We Murder More White People” that was on display this summer at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco has generated a great deal of controversy.
The 11-minute video, created by Jonathan Garcia, played for 33 days from July 23 to Aug. 25 at the art center, a nonprofit organization funded by the city of San Francisco.
Garcia made the video under the YBCA Fellows program under conditions that are reflected on the center’s own page, from whom he received salary and stipend.
The film gathers the answers of people of different racial origins to the question of “Why Don’t We Murder More White People” by posing the existence of white people as a problem.
The interview subjects in the video respond to questions with thoughts like these:
“I’m angry at white people most of the time.”
“It’s like, just part of like whiteness to be abusive and violent.”
“Whiteness invades my life and my mind.”
Some of the speakers encourage violence:
“I think if you’re not supporting people of color and to end white supremacy, and you’re neutral, or you are that person that’s perpetrating it, then you shouldn’t—I think you deserve harm.”
“I think that harm is radical. But I think sometimes radical is needed.”
A young girl even claims to be convinced that the white race is evil by nature:
“I think that the insidious nature of whiteness begins at a very young age. And because of the historic tie that we have to white children as pure members of our society, we do not address the harm and the evil that they inherently bring to communities of color, to the school playground, to the classroom, to wherever they are.”
Although the creator has removed the video from his Youtube account and has also removed the announcement that was made on Twitter, some Internet users have uploaded it back to Youtube. It has provoked a strong reaction.
Many internet users believe that racism and violence against whites are being promoted.
“Imagine for a moment if this were said about a different group. However, these groups are allowed to constantly attack white targets on social networks, in the media, etc. This has to stop, immediately. This is stage three in the configuration of a future genocide. People need to wake up and see this for what it is and how widespread it is and how it is spreading through the educational system,” commented a man on Youtube.
Another viewer commented how Facebook had blocked his page when he uploaded this same video to his account.
“One of San Francisco’s most prominent cultural institutions has revealed its naked, violent hatred for an entire race of people. Conservatives could point out that the left isn’t as ‘tolerant’ as advertised, but Jonathan Garcia and Yerba Buena seem to have discarded the notion of tolerance entirely,” blogger Richard Moorhead explained.
“Imagine the indignation if the film were called “why we don’t murder more people of color,'” another citizen posted on Twitter.
‘Art should provoke and challenge’
Not only has the YBCA not published any corrections or disclaimers, but on the contrary, it defends the approach.
The YBCA’s executive director, Deborah Cullinan, wrote last Thursday on the museum’s official website that she believes that “art should provoke and challenge.”
“These are not questions that we can afford to shy away from, as white supremacist ideologies and race-related violence continue to flourish in America,” Cullinan said.
It is striking that a silent character in the video wears at all times a mask very similar to the one used by some characters in the violent horror film “The Purge.”
“The Purge” is about a future America where one night a year, all crimes, including murders, are legal.
Precisely the very creators of this saga, which already has a television series, were in the spotlight of controversy in early August for the film “The Hunt,” whose promotional campaign was launched just after the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
Universal Pictures’ film “The Hunt” focuses on a retreat for the wealthy and progressive elite who engage in “hunting” what they called “deplorables.”
“Deplorable” was the nickname chosen to call the conservatives who support President Trump.
The name comes from the phrase “basket of deplorables” used by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a speech during her 2016 election campaign to describe President Trump’s supporters.
President Donald Trump himself echoed this controversy and said, without specifically mentioning the violent film:
“What they are doing with the kind of films they are producing is really very dangerous for our country. What Hollywood is doing is a big damage to our country.”
Editor’s note: At the time of this writing, YouTube has removed the video from its channel for “violating YouTube‘s policy of inciting hate.”