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Congressman Comes Under Fire For Painting He Hung In His Office

While art is certainly something that can be considered to be subjective, there are certain pieces that may raise some eyebrows when displayed in a certain setting. For example, if you saw a painting that depicted the Statue of Liberty wearing a hijab hanging in the office of an elected representative of the United States, you may find that the painting gives you some pause. That’s the situation that Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) finds himself in, as he actually has this very painting hanging up in his office for all to see.

As the Daily Mail shares, Correa says that the painting was done by a student, and it’s hanging up with the other finalists from the congressman's annual student art competition. Fair enough, but doesn’t he see how the painting may rub some folks the wrong way? Apparently not.

“The Statue of Liberty stands for inclusion, acceptance, and freedom. The young woman who painted this is trying very hard to show people that she is an American,” he explained on his Facebook page. “If I took down her painting, I'd be telling the world her experiences don't matter and she did something wrong. This is her country too, and she earned that spot on my wall.”

Alright. Unfortunately for Correa, the painting doesn’t exactly convey the message that the student is hoping that it will. While it’s a fine painting in the artistic sense, few folks will be able to get beyond the fact that the Statue of Liberty is wearing a hijab for unclear reasons. That’s made even more confusing by the fact that it’s hanging up in his office, being that he’s a member of the United States government and all.

A group known as ‘We the People Rising’ has been trying to get the congressman to take down the painting, but to no avail. The group intends to protest outside of his office on September 11 if it’s not taken down by then.

“He shouldn't have anything religious in his office... I would like to see our Congress people be right-down-the-line patriotic,” said Mike McGertrick, a member of the group. “It's a bad example for our congressman.”

Correa doesn’t see it that way, and he’s holding firm in his position.

“You take it in the context of a lady, probably a Muslim American - with all that's going on, she's a proud American. That's what it says to me,” he said. “This is an art competition for our high school students. I want out students to express themselves through art. To take it down would signal that this is not welcome and that would send the wrong message.”

Call it a hunch, but we’ll dare to say that the painting will remain up for the foreseeable future. Is it the end of the world in the grand scheme of things? No, but it’s certainly a bad look to have it hanging up in the office of an elected official. Either way, we’ll file this under free speech and move on with our lives - but we’ll hope that Correa recognizes a differing perspective without delivering a canned response that falls along party lines.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: Orange County Register, YouTube

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