The city of New Orleans has set aside $7.2 million in bond funding for public art in recognition of the city's black and brown artists, according to Democrat Mayor LaToya Cantrell. They've already spent some of the funds on about 60 works of art by local black artists.
It's important to remember that this is a city where government funding intended to improve the city's five levee systems to prepare for category 5 hurricanes was diverted to rebuild historic statues and historic pubs that were smashed by drunk dudes with beads.
Because the records were so skewed, the city of New Orleans requested a deferral of a federal audit. When the government gives you millions or billions of dollars, it will eventually want to audit that money to make sure it was used properly.
Because the Democrats in New Orleans squandered federal funds intended for the Army Corps of Engineers to work on the levees, they begged for some time to postpone the audit as long as possible. According to reports at the time, Louisiana US Senator Mary Landrieu assisted in delaying the government audit.
Cantrell attended the unveiling of the most recent of the sculptures paid for with bond funds, a big afro pick with a black power fist on the handle, on Friday, just in time for the Juneteenth celebration. The radical Black Panther Party embraced the black power fist as a symbol of resistance.
I assumed this story came from the Babylon Bee when I first saw it. I assumed it was a joke influenced by Mel Brooks' Star Wars parody film "Space Balls," in which Empire troops were ordered to comb the desert, with white soldiers scraping the sand with combs. The scenario repeats itself, with two pairs of soldiers sifting through the sand with gigantic combs, before the camera focuses on two black soldiers with an afro pick. It was thought to be amusing in 1987, yet it was entirely racist.
Seriously, though...a hair pick? This was the best thing that they could come up with?
One woman pointed out what a waste of money and what a disaster is this thing is.
“Of all of the AMAZING AND SIGNIFICANT contributions African Americans have made to our culture in science, entertainment, music, sports, academia, etc. this is what you chose to symbolize them?! Next you’ll be “honoring” women by displaying a sculpture of a large makeup mirror.”
Of all of the AMAZING AND SIGNIFICANT contributions African Americans have made to our culture in science, entertainment, music, sports, academia, etc. this is what you chose to symbolize them?! Next you'll be "honoring" women by displaying a sculpture of a large makeup mirror.
— EditProfile🤦🏻♀️ (@jenluvssocal) June 18, 2022
Others weren't too pleased by the sculpture, either:
What does a hair pic have to do with my enslaved ancestors?
— nicole bee (@obey_ivy_nicole) June 18, 2022