The far-left loves to tear down or misappropriate traditional religious symbols to serve their own ideological purposes. Nothing is off limits, including Jesus Christ.
Radical activist Linda Sarsour has claimed that “Jesus was Palestinian of Nazareth.”
Hamid Dabashi, a professor in Columbia University’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, who accused Israel of being nearly identical to the ISIS terrorists, has claimed that Jesus Christ was “a Palestinian refugee.”
Now George Floyd is being depicted as Jesus Christ in a painting entitled “Mama.” The painting has been hung at the Catholic University of America, no less! At its unveiling earlier this year, the painting was blessed with holy water.
The killing of George Floyd occurred on May 25, 2020. It set off months of massive street demonstrations, some of which turned violent and cost the lives of innocent Americans.
During 2020, Black Lives Matter demonstrators in cities across the country carried copies of the “Mama” painting in which the traditional depiction of Jesus Christ has been replaced by an image of George Floyd. For them, Jesus Christ and George Floyd are one and the same, cradled by a black figure representing the Virgin Mary.
The “Mama” painting exploits for crass ideological purposes the iconic Pietà images that have shown the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of her son Jesus after his body was removed from the cross.
The painting “was commissioned by my partner Evie Schoenherr as a way to mourn George Floyd,” said the artist, Kelly Latimore. “The common question that people asked was, ‘Is it George Floyd or Jesus?’ The fact they’re asking that question is part of the problem. My answer was yes.”
A junior at the Catholic University, who described the painting as an “offense to the Catholic faith,” said that its display at the university was “just another symptom of the liberalization and secularization of our campus.”
The Catholic University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom started a petition to remove the painting. “We are asking through this petition that the University’s administration remove these images from public display on our campus, as we believe they are disrespectful, and sacrilegious,” the petition’s authors stated. “No political or social cause ever justifies depicting another in the place of Jesus Christ.” The university’s administrators have not listened.
White ex-police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd and sentenced to 22 years and six months in jail. The trial judge said that the sentence he imposed was based on Chauvin’s “abuse of a position of trust and authority, and also the particular cruelty shown” to Floyd.
Floyd did not deserve to die at Chauvin’s hands, to be sure. Deploring the murder of Floyd and holding Floyd’s murderer fully accountable for his crime is one thing, however. Portraying Floyd as Jesus Christ is an outrageous attempt to turn a drug addict who had a history of attempting to conceal narcotics when approached by the police into the left’s version of a “religious” martyr.
Leftists are also trying to make George Floyd into a civil rights symbol. “We can see the invisible stain of systemic racism in the murder of George Floyd and the fight against it with the Civil Rights Movement,” a history professor at Lewis University said last April.
Scholarships and fellowships have been created in Floyd’s name at colleges and universities. Statues of Floyd have been installed on public grounds. Floyd does not deserve such idolization. Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers, and Emmett Till are examples of true civil rights heroes, not George Floyd.
Critical race theory activists such as the anti-capitalist Ibram X. Kendi have exploited the George Floyd saga to make their case for a complete overhaul of what they regard as “systematically racist” American institutions and society.
In remarks to a CBS correspondent last April, Kendi painted Floyd’s murder as evidence that the “problem is structural,” adding that “white terror is as American as the Stars and Stripes.” Kendi rejected the murder conviction of Derek Chauvin as insufficient, rather than considering the verdict as proof that America’s judicial system is fully capable of producing a just result that fits the crime.
“Justice is not closing a case. Justice is not closing the cell door on Chauvin. Justice is closing the door on racist narratives and policies that endangered Floyd, that still endanger black people, that endangers America,” Kendi said. “Justice has convicted America. Now we must put in the time transforming this nation.”
In sum, the left has used the emotionalism of George Floyd’s death to make Floyd into a martyr. Floyd’s name has become the rallying cry in the left’s mission to vilify today’s America as an inherently racist country that must be brought down by any means the social warriors deem necessary.