The Congressional Black Caucus held an event on Tuesday to rehang a painting that depicts police officers as pigs, which Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.) removed last week from a tunnel that connects the Capitol with a House office building.
Republicans have objected to the painting, by a Missouri high school graduate from the St. Louis area, "Untitled #1", inspired by the Ferguson protests.
It's baaack! The controversial artwork by a Missouri teen depicting police officers as pigs has been restored to the walls of the Capitol building following a brief respite, according to a report from the Washington Times.
"By re-hanging this painting in our nation's capitol, Rep. Clay is not only agreeing with it, but he's celebrating it", the LAPPL said in a statement co-signed by the Sergeants Benevolent Association of NY and the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose Police Officers Associations. "It's about defending the Constitution", Clay said, flanked by members of the Congressional Black Caucus. At around the same time Clay and other members of the CBC gathered to rehang the painting this morning, protesters less than a block away were erupting into chants at the confirmation hearing of attorney general nominee Sen. It was later rehung, but taken down again on Tuesday, by Hunter's colleague. It was selected as part of a competition that displays art projects in the Capitol.
When Mr. Clay hung the painting for a second time, Reps.
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"Just yesterday, we honored Law Enforcement Appreciation Day". Those rules prohibit displaying artwork that depicts "subjects of contemporary political controversy or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature".
Clay said Lamborn's actions show a lack of respect for his constituents and their First Amendment rights.
Clay bemoaned the "alt-right media sites" and "some Republican members" who refer to themselves as "constitutional conservatives" who don't support the "fundamental free speech of my 18-year-old constituent". The background includes the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and a young black man looking out from prison bars.
On Tuesday, Clay and other African-American lawmakers reinstalled the painting to what they said was its rightful spot - on a wall in the basement of the Capitol lined with other winning works of art from high school kids across the country. "Fast forward two years to Michael Brown", Clay said. Removing the painting amounts to stifling another person's perspective, not just a gratuitous insult against police. Clay said he's asked Hunter for an apology. Clay has said he wants to defend the right of a black teenage boy to express his experience of America within the halls of Congress.
The Orlando Sentinel reported in 1997 that a high school senior's painting won a first round of competition in the district, but it was ultimately rejected for submission, and never made it to the Capitol hallway. Also, we hope for your sake you don't have Twitter, David Pulphus.