Warning to my regular readers: This post is not funny or happy. It's a response to an unfortunate situation that I felt compelled to step into, as a matter of principle.
I had originally written this post in a fit of anger in response to the malicious and horrific harassment a fellow blogger and artist experienced as a result of two pieces of art she published on her blog, I Rock So What. The images were Native American themed, and it turns out that some in the Native American community found them offensive. After having a bit of time to reflect, I reconsidered my stance and rewrote this post.
My anger was not directed at the offended parties; rather, it was specifically due to their method of attack. Instead of calmly explaining why these images were offensive, and thus educating people who might not understand, they lashed out with threats of violence and harassed this young artist and her sponsors until she was forced to take her art down.
What purpose does that serve? Responding to ignorance with hate and censorship does nothing to educate. I'm not trying to say that her art is "right" or "wrong." My opinion is that it's her art; and she has a right to create in any way she chooses, especially on her own blog. I often see art that offends me in some way. But, art isn't reality; it's a creative vision, a dream of a person. If we try to censor all of our expressions in an effort to not offend anyone, then nothing will ever get created. Her artwork was not mean-spirited and it wasn't meant to be offensive. However, the same rights that should allow her to post her drawings on her blog also allow her detractors to compare her art to Nazi Germany.
Does this art offend you? If it does, I invite you to write a coherent, thoughtful response. I will post it here, with the pictures, which I am including here in the interest of free expression. This is what the artist herself has to say on the matter: Being Strong Armed.
The only way to progress is to create with wisdom.