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White Artist Slammed Over Emmett Till "Open Casket" Painting

“I feel like she doesn’t have the privilege to speak for black people as a whole or for Emmett Till’s family.”

A painting of Emmett Till caught attention for all the wrong reasons at the 2017 Whitney Biennial. In "Open Casket," Brooklyn-based artist Dana Schutz depicts the aftermath of the African-American teen's death at the hands of two white lynchers after he was falsely accused of harassing a white woman in Mississippi back in 1955.

Schutz – a white woman herself – has since been accused of exploiting and profiting off of black suffering. According to The Huffington Post, a group of protesters blocked the image of Till's mutilated face from public view on the Biennial's opening day (March 17), including African-American artist Parker Bright whose shirt bore the words "Black Death Spectacle."

“I feel like she doesn’t have the privilege to speak for black people as a whole or for Emmett Till’s family,” he said on Facebook Live.

British-born black artist and writer Hannah Black has also taken issue with the artwork. “The subject matter is not Schutz’s,” she wrote in an open letter. “White free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others, and are not natural rights. The painting must go.”

According to The New York Times, Schutz has no intention of selling the piece. “I don’t know what it is like to be black in America but I do know what it is like to be a mother. Emmett was Mamie Till’s only son. The thought of anything happening to your child is beyond comprehension. Their pain is your pain. My engagement with this image was through empathy with his mother,” she said

She added, “Art can be a space for empathy, a vehicle for connection. I don’t believe that people can ever really know what it is like to be someone else (I will never know the fear that black parents may have) but neither are we all completely unknowable.”

In a statement to Artnet News, Whitney Biennial curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks insist they wanted to highlight "the importance of this extremely consequential and solemn image in American and African American history and the history of race relations in this country," but that hasn't assuaged the damage already done.

hey, heads up - the black community can express it's own history, plight and injustice with out the disservice of non black artists who falsify purpose and lack message. #danaschultz expressing her white shame by using emmett till as subject matter, using the sacrifice of a black child murdered on a false claim is dana re enacting the same white privilege that essentially murdered emmett. this shows a disregard for the community and a self serving expression with no true root or purpose in subject matter. we have abundant talent, purpose, perspective, voice and a light that shines in the darkest of days. black pain and injustice is not a subject non black "artists" have privilege to dabble in whatsoever. shame on #danaschutz and #thewhitney for showing problematic work. boycott museums that hire lame curators. brilliant letter by #hannahblack , kudos to all artists who co signed and protestors doing work. destroy the painting, thanks.

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Barack Obama Says He Doesn't Like The Term “Defund The Police”

Barack Obama's advice about the using the term “defund the police” is receiving mixed reviews. The former commander in chief explained his issue with the “slogan” in an interview on the Snapchat show Good Luck America.

Obama cautioned against using the term as he feels it to be exclusionary. “If you want people to buy your sneakers you’re going to market it to your audience. It’s no difference in terms of ideas,” he explained. “If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it's not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like ‘defund the police.’ But you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done.”

He also suggested that instead of “defund the police” people should say: “Let’s reform the police department so that everybody’s treated fairly.”

The 59-year-old politician seemingly theorized that the use of “defund the police” may have cost Democrats House seats in the recent election. “The key is deciding do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with? If you want to get something done in a democracy, in a country as big and diverse as ours, than you got to be able to meet people where they are and play a game of addition and not subtraction.”

Read some of the reactions to his comments below.

With all due respect, Mr. President—let’s talk about losing people. We lost Michael Brown Jr. We lost Breonna Taylor. We’re losing our loved ones to police violence.

It’s not a slogan. It’s a mandate for keeping our people alive. Defund the police. https://t.co/Wsxp1Y1bBi

— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) December 2, 2020

Imagine if Obama came out and gave a quick speech about how Defund the Police means reallocating resources to organizations that can help, instead of using cops to deal with things like mental health situations.

Says a lot about the man that he instead criticizes slogans.

— Dave Anthony PHD, MD, Esquire. (@daveanthony) December 2, 2020

obama doesn't like "defund the police" as a slogan because it is a specific actionable thing with a clear goal in mind. hope, change, yes we can & all that are better because they don't require you to actually do anything after saying them

— Shaun (@shaun_vids) December 2, 2020

What if activists aren’t PR firms for politicians & their demands are bc police budgets are exploding, community resources are shrinking to bankroll it, & ppl brought this up for ages but it wasn’t until they said “defund” that comfortable people started paying attn to brutality

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 2, 2020

The phrase 'defund the police' is awkward and misleading. It doesn't accurately convey the need to reallocate funding so that social services and policing are properly weighted.

The phrase mangles the meaning in a way that guarantees that many won't ever even hear it.

— Floss Obama🎅🏾 (@FlossObama) December 3, 2020

Obama is right. Defund the Police is a bad slogan. Reform the Police is better.

— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) December 2, 2020

obama is right. y’all need to stop saying defund the police when we mean abolish the police

— anti-lawn aktion (@antihoa) December 2, 2020

No one can push neoliberal thought like Obama. Suddenly, EVERYONE has decided that "defund the police" is just a slogan, and that it is responsible for Dems losing even tho none of them supported it.

The aim is to undermine activists just like he did w/ the potential NBA strike.

— Honeyves (@AdamantxYves) December 2, 2020

I need Barack Obama to leave the sloganeering to the movement.

Defund. The. Police.

We are keeping it. We are demanding it.

— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) December 2, 2020

We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety. https://t.co/Vu6inw4ms7

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 2, 2020

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Juice Wrld’s Mom Shares Touching Tribute In Honor Of His Birthday

Juice Wrld would have turned 22 on Wednesday (Dec. 2). In honor of his birthday, the late rapper’s mother, Camille Wallace, shared a touching message posted to his social media accounts.

“Jarad and I both loved celebrating our birthdays — mine is just two weeks before his. On our special days we used to wish one another Happy Birthday dozens and dozens of times throughout the day. Now I like to think of all the ‘Happy Birthday’ we saved for the future.”

The statement adds, “He will forever be the light of my life. Today, we celebrate him, his immense talent and creativity and his contribution to this world. Through his art, he spoke his truth.”

Happy Birthday, Jarad. We miss you. #lljw🕊 pic.twitter.com/TCoNQRLvuq

— . (@JuiceWorlddd) December 2, 2020

The “Lucid Dreams” rhymer, whose birth name Jarad Anthony Higgins, died from an accidental drug overdose last year. He passed away six days after his 21st birthday.

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G Herbo And Crew Charged In $1.5 Million Federal Fraud Case

G Herbo and several others including his manager, have been charged along with a few crew members in a $1.5 million federal fraud case. The 25-year-old rapper, born Herbert Wright III, is accused of committing identity theft by using stolen credit cards and IDs to pay for lavish gifts and vacations over a four-year period, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The 14-count indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts in September and publicized on Wednesday (Dec. 2), alleges that Herbo, his manager and promoter, Antonio “T-Glo” Strong.

The other defendants named in the case are Joseph “Joe Rodeo” Williams, Stephen Hayes Jr., Demario Sorrells, and Terrence Bender, obtained stolen credit card information, including cardholder’s name, addresses, account numbers, security codes and expiration dates. The information was reportedly obtained on the “dark web” and used to pay for luxury hotels, exotic car rentals, a personal chef, private security, commercial flights and private jets, two designer puppies, vacations and more.

The group faces conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft charges. Strong, who is alleged to be the ring leader and faces wire fraud charges, was arrested on Sept. 25. Williams reportedly turned himself in to authorities.

Herbo has yet to publicly comment on the matter. Earlier this week, the Chicago native was named among Forbes annual 30 Under 30 list.

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