(Photograph by Rosina Teri Memolo. Accessed at: http://regulus-starnotes.blogspot.com/2017/07/on-passing-of-legendary-dc-street.html).
I posted this in the comments section of a Washington Post article on an upcoming show of DC graffiti artist Danny Hogg. I was so incensed by the comments about Danny Hogg that I wanted to repost my own comments here:
“Today, a small band of white supremacist thugs gather in this city; WaPo writers, readers, and editors vent their outrage. But reading this piece, particularly the comments on it, on the same day that these white thugs “descend” on the city is infuriating. It’s as if white supremacy is this foreign force invading Washington from without. But look carefully at the story of Danny Hogg (“Disco Dan”), the history of white flight, the 1968 “riots” (a justifiable civil war?), urban decay (blame the victims?), mass incarceration (genocide?), and gentrification (right of return for white people?). [And I would add: the crack cocaine “epidemic” (cross reference: small-pox blankets)]. Danny Hogg died at the age of 47 from complications of diabetes. Who dies of complications of diabetes at that age in twenty-first century America? Black men, that’s who. Poor people, that’s who. So, white liberal WaPo readers: I see and share your ire at the white supremacists who march in your city today. But where is your compassion for men like Danny Hogg? You want to criminalize his work; but take a look around and see what else has been defaced and erased. You see the another unaffordable high rise going up in neighborhoods formerly inhabited by POC, I see a landscape defaced and its history erased. The death/disappearance of Danny Hogg–and so many other black men like him–and the vitriol launched at him and his legacy in these comments bespeak of the same sort of race hatred that impels the white supremacists from whom we try to distinguish ourselves. Wake up, white America. As for those incredibly tedious comments about the quality of Danny Hogg’s work, I can only think of Craig Damrauer’s famous equation: “MODERN ART=I COULD DO THAT + YEAH, BUT YOU DIDN’T.” You can purchase a mug with that “tag” at either the National Gallery or the Hirschhorn–I forget which. You can find plenty of art there and gaze at it in air-conditioned comfort. Or, you could roam the streets of the city keeping your eyes fully open. Or you could just start making marks.”