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Letter: Art project inspires reflection on racism

Art project inspires reflection on racism

My heart goes out to University at Buffalo student Ashley Powell. Most of the negative commentary about her art project comes from people who operate from pure emotion, self-promotion and from the blinding scourge of being politically correct. And this has given rise to great misunderstandings, obsessive media coverage and to verbal feeding-frenzies. Because of its popularity, PC now abounds as a kind of blind persecution against anyone who opens his mouth. Battles erupt even at the sacrifice of the truth. It is a weapon that stirs up dissension in our good nation, and is the death of any form of expression.

Powell is one more victim of this PC problem. Although I have not witnessed the “White Only” and “Black Only” signs in person at UB, I can imagine my reaction and thoughts if I ran into them. I would have been deeply moved by the ambush of these signs. A force-fed remembrance of a time not that long ago when such evils existed. A reminder that they still do exist, but perhaps in different and even more subtle forms. Upon seeing these signs, my brain would have spun out as it does when I first see a surrealist painting, where the mind goes into both panic and enlightenment in one spasm. The signs do what good art does. I hope Powell never stops creating, never becomes silenced.

David Butler