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the original papercut
When I first saw on a protest sign the text “white silence is violence,” I felt offended. I felt as if I had been unfairly accused of hurting someone. Later, I realized that I just wanted to hang onto my silence, because it feels easy, and because making noise is scary. Over time I have come to acknowledge the truth of this statement. From my own experience, I realize how powerful this text is.
In this piece of art, I paired the English above with text from Leviticus 19, which instructs: “Lo ta’amod al-dam re’echa.” Literally, this command means “do not stand in the blood of your neighbor,” but it’s been interpreted to mean “Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened.”
In this country, which was built on and continues to operate according to white supremacy, every white person who is silent about this injustice is participating in the violence perpetrated by the state on people of color. Standing idly by in America IS standing in the blood of your neighbors.
Hanging this artwork is one way you can spark conversation — hopefully conversation that is uncomfortable, and necessary — and raise awareness for the ways that we can do better.
Profits donated: any extra over printing and shipping costs will go to the Minneapolis organizations listed below.
Organizations to Support
Reclaim the Block: organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety.
Black Visions Collective: This is what Black Lives Matter Minneapolis grew into, and they continue to organize for structural change. They are both on the ground and working on policy.