If I were Trey Wilder, I would just leave it there. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. The Arlington artist’s original mural of Dak Prescott in a scene from Get Out is really nicely done. The tears look as realistic as the Cowboy quarterback’s long, Great Plains cheeks. But the blue sunglasses that now cover his watering eyes (along with some b.s. about the media and George Soros) can stand as a reminder that our society will — shrill libtard alert! — remain fucked until we do something about it in November and again in 2020. Choosing not to clean off or paint over the vandalism is sort of like what Anish Kapoor did with his 2015 sculpture at Versailles. After his vulva-esque “Dirty Corner” — dubbed “the Queen’s vagina” by trolls — was first attacked, with yellow paint, he okayed the cleaning. But after the piece was vandalized again, this time with some Anti-Semitic nonsense (even though Kapoor is Indo-British), he said to leave the scrawl where it was as a reminder of France’s poor treatment of Muslims. Think of Wilder’s Dak mural in Dallas the same way. Racism isn’t only a part of daily mainstream life now. It’s actually a way of life. They’re not even burdened by the common decency to hide it anymore. Where’s my rifle …
How you feel about Wilder’s mural tells us all we need to know about which team you’re on. In a country that’s presumably free, a (really skillful) painting of a black man being brainwashed by white people upsets you only if you’re OK with black men being brainwashed by white people in reality. Most North Texans are, because based on the online responses to Wilder’s Dak mural, most North Texans — including Prescott, a black man himself (on the outside at least) — believe that black people should set aside certain times and places to protest the gross racial injustice that still plagues us and that is promulgated by that self-enriching gas-bag in the White House. My question to you then, dear Imperial Cyclops, is this: When would be a convenient place and time for NFL players to protest systemic racism and police brutality? How’s Monday at the library at 3pm? Oh, you’re busy then? And the library’s too far from your house? OK, let’s shoot for Tuesday at 4 at the QuikTrip down the street from you. Will that work? Because, as you know, it’s all about you and what makes you comfortable. Somewhere an honest-to-goodness snowflake is pointing and shouting.
Racist whites said the same thing to the Freedom Riders, bus boycotters, sit-inners, and marchers in the 1950s and ’60s, telling Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, John Lewis, the Little Rock Nine, and thousands of other heroes, black and white alike, that their protests were at the wrong place at the wrong time, which, as it turned out, was pretty much everywhere 24/7. As much as I’m sure Colin Kaepernick and his fellow kneelers and fist raisers love the death threats and the juvenile names — and as much as Kap probably isn’t going crazy not playing the best sport in the world, a sport for which he has been trained over decades to be a solid backup — they, to me, are brave. There are only a couple kinds of characters that white America tolerates more than guys like Colin Kaepernick. Only one, actually: “child molester.” Every other type — even “white racist moron” — sits above Kap. Yes, we have fallen far, when Klansmen and –women can run for government office openly and not be shamed off the ballot and out of existence but be welcomed. My not-half-bad instincts tell me to blame the doofus on Pennsylvania Avenue. He has to be the main reason why skinheads can soil our streets and internets now while proud and, I will say, brave resisters like Kap are ostracized, fired, beaten, or even killed. The explanation is simple. Skinheads are white, (most) proud resisters are not, and the average white American is still a racist asshole.
As much as I don’t particularly care for closeted or openly racist whites, who hide behind the flag and call it “patriotism” when it’s really just racism — we may be lapdog liberals, but we’re not blind — I understand their eagerness to drape themselves in red, white, and blue when we bring up Kap and his comrades. The flag, mostly, means our military. The selfless, courageous, often intelligent men and women who are paid to protect our freedoms — including that First Amendment thing everyone keeps raving about — wear the flag every day. Lots of them have actually died while looking at it. Imagine that as the last thing you see, the blood draining from your body in a land thousands of miles from home, a piece of fabric with some colors on it. That’s some powerful, sad stuff. For Kap and his fellow kneelers, though, disrespecting the flag is the point, because while it’s worn and perhaps genuinely worshiped by our military the most, it’s become fetishized to the point of mainstream acceptance by right-wing jerks. Driving through my suburban neighborhood now, I see a house with an American flag out front, and I think two things: “former or current military” (thank you for your service and sacrifice) or “racist white jackasses.” Telling this version of our formerly glorious symbol to go pound salt at the most conspicuous time possible –- before the kickoff of an NFL game! the beer! the half-dressed gyrating girls! the commercials! –- Kap and his brothers in knees are saying something that we will never be able to ignore, try as we might to bury our heads in the Afghanistan sand: We are born racist assholes. And while I would say there are black racists –- and Hispanic racists and Asian racists and Indigenous American racists –- I can’t, technically, because you really can’t be oppressed and not hate your oppressor even a little bit. You need to hate him to transcend him. It has something to do with yin-yang and self-hatred that I don’t have time to explain here. Just believe me when I say we all have work to do.
In case it’s not clear enough, Colin Kaepernick will never play another down in the NFL again unless he comes out as a black Klansman (see: Stuff, pg. 18). Kudos to Prescott for at least pretending to consider the question from all angles in an Al Gore/John Kerry kind of way. He could have avoided it entirely but didn’t. Now we know all about Dak. Thanks. So how ’bout dem Cowboys?
Trey Wilder paints as if he has nothing to lose, which is the way all artists should live and breathe their practice. He’s been getting death threats, sure, and the insults and juvenile names go on for days. “second rate paint thrower” (Inish Scull). “nobody” (Bobby Crookshank). “the rembrandt of wall painters? lmao boxcar painting bozo? commissioned bye [sic] take a knee matters group?” (Lynn Hudson). “just tagging” (Holly Moore). “IGNORANT RACE BAITING UNINFORMED MOMMYDADA ISSUE TROUBLEMAKER” (Rodney Lee Jr Lawrence). “first class asshole” (Anthony Bendetto).
I can’t wait to see what he does next.