A Republican congressman personally removed a controversial painting Friday from the walls of the U.S. Capitol complex. The so-called artwork, which depicted police officers as racist, murdering pigs, had been proudly displayed by a Democratic colleague.
“I was angry,” California Rep. Duncan Hunter told FoxNews.com.
Hunter said he and a few colleagues unscrewed the painting from the Capitol hallway wall and delivered it to the office of Rep. Lacy Clay, a Missouri Democrat whose office had allowed the piece to be displayed.
The acrylic painting called “Untitled,” created by then-Cardinal Ritter Prep senior student David Pulphus, won first place in a congressional student art competition in St. Louis. It shows a police officer as a pig aiming a gun at black protesters. Above the scene, two birds -- one black, one white -- fight, and beside them, an African-American protester holding a scale of justice is crucified.
The piece rightfully drew outrage from law enforcement groups and fellow lawmakers. Fox reports that more than 27,000 law enforcement professionals had protested this “reprehensible, repugnant and repulsive” painting, done by a high school student who had won Clay’s annual Congressional Art competition. It had been hanging since June.
Ron Hernandez, president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, said in a statement that they were “very pleased.” “At a time of our country facing rising crime and a shortage of those willing to work the streets as police officers and deputy sheriffs," he said, "we need to make it clear that depictions of law enforcement officers as pigs in our Nation's Capital is not acceptable.”
In an earlier statement requesting that House Speaker Paul Ryan remove the painting, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the Sergeants Benevolent Association of New York, and the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose Police Officers Associations said, “This false narrative portrays law enforcement professionals as posing a danger to the very communities we serve. That is untrue and this ‘art’ reinforces this false narrative and is disrespectful on so many levels.”
Hunter said he’s friends with Clay, calling him a “great guy,” but “you’ve got to respect our men in uniform and what they do.” As for what will happen with the painting now, Hunter said, “Lacy can put it back up, I guess, if he wants to… but I’m allowed to take it down.”
Clay’s office has not yet commented, but the fact that a Congressman would allow such a morally ugly, inflammatory piece of agit-prop on the very walls of Congress in the first place speaks volumes about his character (or lack thereof) and his position on race, criminals and law enforcement. The fact that he is a Democrat is no surprise at all.
For more on Clay, who has been known to smear black conservatives as race traitors whose goal is to "maim and kill other blacks for the gratification and entertainment of ultraconservative white racists," check out his profile here at the Freedom Center's Discover the Networks resource site.