Why We Need To Decolonize The Brooklyn Museum | NowThis

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Why We Need To Decolonize The Brooklyn Museum | NowThis 2.5
They want the art, not the people'—a coalition of 20 community groups in New York are calling for a 'Decolonization Commission' of the Brooklyn Museum after the controversial hiring of a white woman as the curator of African art. Here's how that could work.

Recently, the Brooklyn Museum controversially hired a white woman, Kristen Windmuller-Luna, as the curator of their African art collection, which led many to point out the diversity problem within the space’s staff.

“In an open letter, we address the hire as just a symptom of a larger structural problem and propose a Decolonization Commission as an opportunity to the curatorial crisis,” explained activist and educator Marz Saffore explained. “The aim of the letter was to redress the ongoing legacies of oppression in which the museum is complicit.”

She went on to state, “To be clear —this call to action was never an attack or campaign against the newly appointed white curator of African art, Kristen Windmuller-Luna. She may very well be a highly qualified candidate, but her hiring highlights several systemic issues latent in the art world itself.

Saffore and the groups who support the Decolonization Commission are wondering how the museum actually supports the community around it if its staff is predominantly white and it’s actively taking over the area.

So, will the museum listen to the groups who are begging for change? Or will they continue to operate in the neighborhood as usual and ignore the loud call for inclusion?

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💬 Comments on the video

Racism: "discrimination directed toward's someone due to their race"

So shouldn't the museum hire whoever is qualified? Maybe it's a white person, maybe it's a black person. As long as they understand the issues and art, their skin color is irrelevant when doing a currating job.

Author — J D


She tells you that only 4% of people in that position are black in the US. But doesn’t say only 13% of the people in the us are black. You have to put it all into perspective.

Author — A Casual Gamer


Affirmative Action isn’t equality, it’s evil!

We need meritocracy!

Author — Bruce Ohr’s wife works for Fusion GPS


I say higher the best what they look like don't matter

Author — lastboyscout


A black woman using Black Panther as an example never I never saw that one coming.

Author — Mick Loving


You make some good points and I hear your side but you lost me when you’re trying to quote Kilmonger and use Wakanda in your statement.

Author — TheWeebTrash


You oppose gentrification? That is why you can't have nice things. Racism is ugly and this video is full of it.

Author — Dave D


Who cares as long as she's qualified for the job just saying

Author — East Africa Kingdom


This video is not very focused. It seems to cover many issues which become entangled with each other.
The use of a quote from a superhero film is very superficial and doesn't really cover the complexity of museums holding and displaying artefacts from around the world. It's certainly an important issue to find out where objects came from and how they were acquired, but you can't just call for them to be repatriated without any of this knowledge.
It is true that there are very questionable objects being held by museums throughout the world, it is also an issue which is being looked into by these institutions.
The demonstration against a white woman getting the job for head of African art is an odd one as we were not party to the selection process or even who the candidates were. The video then seems to back pedal slightly, conceding that she might be the best for the job. The problem of racial (and any other type of) equality in hiring processes is an ongoing issue in all forms of employment.
Then there's the gentrification issue, which is also important but is very different to the first two. Again, another important point, one that sounds like a very important issue but there's no more information about what is happening around Brooklyn Museum.
Finally the building is situated on indigenous ground...but aren't all buildings in the US technically sitting on indigenous ground? What is the course of action for this? Would Decolonize be happy with an information board?

Author — John Howorth


Killmomgrr asked her to explain the artifacts to her, and somehow she still manages to whitesplain. Shame on her

Author — Lucky Skunk


"Museums are complicit in gentrification"... So museums make neighborhoods nicer and that's a bad thing? What should we do, stop trying to build anything nice in poorer areas?

Author — Ersatz Institute


SMH...the comments on this are exactly why the struggle for a non-settler/colonial base education is real.

Author — supersovak


that lady isn't even african, she didn't grow up surrounded by any actual african culture I'm guessing. People need to realize that african and african american are two very different things. Second, you don't need to be apart of a certain background to be a give people infomation. For instance, I know more about the slave trade than most african american

Author — Bry-Fi


Christ she would hate the British museum.

Author — Barney H


so, suddenly skin colour is important...

Author — Kenneth Jansson


I certainly hope the museum continues business as usual, and doesn’t give you psychos the time of day.

Author — wizard thoughts


We also need a movement for decolonisation of the British museums.

Author — Ashish


Actually there was no such thing as European colonialism or genocide of native Americans, what happened is that poor white refugees were fleeing starvation and oppression settled in America, Africa and brought much needed "diversity" into those places, of course the racist Native Americans and Africans didn't liked this and tried to genocide the poor white people who had to defend themselves from these black/red supremacists.
And because we all know that racism is power+prejudice that means that the poor oppressed white people cannot be racist.

Author — _ Bob