Denial and Suppression Comes Down on The Detroit Art Scene

Detroit art is influenced by Cranbrook, where Palestinian flags are now banned

Detroit art is vital. Cranbrook, as a degree-granting institution, is at the center of art and design excellence. Now it is also at the center of controversy, according to my student discussions. Heavy-handed self-righteousness arrived on campus ten days ago.

depicts that all is not fair in love and war - love of Detroit art

On November 4th, the Cranbrook administration, which is largely Jewish, had campus police go through and tear down Palestinian flags, including within personal studios. Simultaneously, an email of warning went out to students.

This is short-sighted, reactionary, self-defeating behavior on the part of the college, supported by powerful brokers. Sadly, it is beyond controversial. Suppression is taking a direct toll on the welfare of students, alumni, and the art itself. Both within the school and through associated galleries. Free speech and assertion of human rights is not antisemitism, no matter anyone’s political desperation.

These aggressive police actions triggered a series of reactions: Student letters expressing their distress and expectations. Manipulative changes to letters after they were signed. Blacklists. Gallery and online withdrawals. A dampening effect on student aspiration and outlook. Call it a little spate of Jewish McCarthyism.

Detroit art students reacted to the administration's suppression, as shown through this letter.
This is one of the communications that students put out to voice their concern.

Detroit Art Needs Cranbrook Leadership to Step Up

At every turn, there is a frustrated effort to separate the Palestinians from Hamas. Apparently, Cranbrook doesn’t make the distinction either.

Does Cranbrook have a university board that could make leadership accountable for what is happening on the campus? Of course, that would require truth and transparency. They could start with this truth: Hamas is a terrorist organization, dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel, and Hamas is not representative of the Palestinian people as a whole.