The assistant director of an American Holocaust museum has staunchly defended the venue’s decision to house an exhibition exploring the reaction to the killing of George Floyd.
The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center in Florida, established to educate future generations about the Nazi extermination of six million Jews during the Second World War, is currently hosting a collection of 45 photographs of individuals reacting to the killing of Mr Floyd, the African American choked to death by white police officer in Minneapolis earlier this year.
It is entitled Uprooting Prejudice: Faces of Change, and features images by Minneapolis photographer John Noltner alongside quotes. One portrait features the father of Michael Brown Jr, who was shot dead by a policeman in Missouri in 2014.
The choice of a Holocaust museum to house the exhibit sparked a mixed reaction among sections of the Jewish community both in the United States and UK. However, this week the museum’s assistant director Lisa Bachman defended the decision, insisting a museum dedicated to combating prejudice was an ideal setting.
She told Jewish News: “The mission of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida is to use the history and lessons of the Holocaust to build just and caring communities free of antisemitism and all forms of prejudice and bigotry. We are educators and it is our duty to build bridges that move people from the unknown to understanding in an effort to build common humanity. Our goal is to make connections and create awareness for thoughts and ideas we may not have considered.”
She added: “The title of the exhibit is “Uprooting Prejudice: Faces of Change.” It is a series of 45 black and white photos of individuals depicting their powerful emotions and thoughts in response to prejudice. George Floyd is not mentioned or pictured, nor are the police, by any individual in the exhibit. We are living in a time of unprecedented isolation and division. We won’t always agree, but if we can listen to each other, we can be drivers for change and inspire our community. We encourage visiting the exhibit to see for yourself, to pause and reflect and help us encourage respect.”
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