At first I thought it was a joke, a satirical painting, but learning that the congressman is a democrat, I could only conclude that for California Rep. Lou Correa (right), the painting represents a left wing political statement about the future of America – which is no less than “horrifying” for most people, the people he claims to represent in Congress.
Washington Post Each year, scores of high school students across the country compete in the Congressional Art Competition, submitting works of art for a chance to be featured at the U.S. Capitol.
Now, a teenager’s painting for the contest has become the center of a political controversy, drawing ire from conservative groups. This time around, the artwork stirred complaints even before making it to Washington.
The painting, a finalist in the competition, currently hangs in California, in the Santa Ana office of Democratic Rep. J. Luis Correa. It depicts the Statue of Liberty wearing a hijab, holding her torch across the left side of her body.
While the painting is simply a piece of art created by a local female high school student, its symbolism is clearly political. It evokes imagery similar to other works of art that have circulated since President Trump’s election, such as the “We The People” poster of a woman wearing an American flag as a hijab.
But for some conservatives, the painting has no place in the office of a congressman. When local activist group We the People Rising saw the painting in Correa’s office, its members set out on a campaign to have it removed, calling it a separation of church and state issue.
Early last month, a member of the group, which advocates for stricter immigration laws, wrote a letter to Correa requesting that his office take down the painting, saying it was “not appropriate” for the public office of a congressman. The group said it received guidance from a legal consultant.
“Ultimately, to attribute a specific religion to the Statue of Liberty is inaccurate, unprofessional and offensive,” wrote Mike McGetrick, an activist in We the People Rising and a resident of Orange, Calif. “In addition, the painting displays the torch of the Statue of Liberty, not as the heralded beacon of light, but rather held awkwardly to one side — in a perplexing, even disturbing, manner.”
In a videotaped meeting with a representative for Correa, McGetrick called the painting “reprehensible” and “more than a little bit insulting.” But Correa said that he will not be taking down the painting.
“My thoughts were, here’s probably a young Muslim lady who is trying very hard to be part of America, who is trying very hard to show people that she is an American, given the context that is going on around us in our country,” Correa said. “By me taking it down I’m acknowledging that she did something wrong.”
(She DID do something wrong! And you can bet she did it to show her disdain America. Notice how she moved the torch to the statue’s LEFT hand, pointing left, when it should be in her right hand. Muslims consider the left hand filthy because it’s the hand they use in the toilet.)