Today in Scott Walker Evil: Removing Painting of Homeless, Non-White Children
The Republican Governor of Wisconsin has already made national news so many times this year that this might have gone unnoticed. Scott Walker has had a painting of three children removed from his mansion and replaced with a painting of Old Abe--a "Civil-War era bald eagle," according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
The painting he removed was commissioned by the foundation that runs the governor's residence, and was hung in his office only this past November. It depicts three carefully-chosen real children: a girl who had been featured in a Journal-Sentinel column on homelessness, a boy whose father and brother had been killed by a drunk driver in 2009, and a girl who is a member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.
David Lenz, the artist, said that in light of Walker's budget cuts, the decision to remove the painting seems "symbolic." The Journal-Sentinel reports:
"The homeless, central city children and victims of drunk drivers normally do not have a voice in politics," Lenz explained in an email. "This painting was an opportunity for future governors to look these three children in the eye, and I hope, contemplate how their public policies might affect them and other children like them."
He added: "I guess that was a conversation Governor Walker did not want to have."
Walker's excuse was that he's commemorating the Civil War. Because what better way to remember that conflict than removing reminders of people of color from your residence?
You'd think that maybe, after the controversy over Maine's labor mural, the governor would avoid courting controversy over his choice of office decor. But Walker seems to relish appearing like a cartoon villain.