You might think that Shepard Fairey had learned his lesson. His original claim to fame — the iconic “Hope” poster — copies of which appeared in college dorm rooms all over the nation after Barack Obama’s election were ultimately mocked and desecrated.
Despite the cruel fate the artist and his work suffered, Fairey and a group of fellow artists have mounted a campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds for a new round of posters that they plan to have ready in time for Donald Trump’s inauguration in two days.
Unlike the 2008 effort, fueled by what turned out to be misguided optimism, the Trump posters will be vehicles for protest. The Kickstarter page explains:
Today we are in a very different moment, one that requires new images that reject the hate, fear, and open racism that were normalized during the 2016 presidential campaign. So on Inauguration Day, We the People will flood Washington, DC with NEW symbols of hope.
But what these artists fail to recognize is that they are not rejecting hate: They are nurturing it. They claim naïvely that “our America is one of equal humanity that does not demean or discriminate,” seemingly oblivious to the divisiveness of their mission. Referring to “our America” paints a line between them and us.
Elsewhere they state that the ideas they embrace “are not partisan.” That is a standard argument advanced by people on the fringe who insist it’s their way or the highway.
So far, the group has raised $1 million, which they plan to squander on cheap propaganda. Imagine all he good that money could do if it were genuinely invested in hope and not hate.