This week, I found myself asking myself: if art had an antidote for hate, what would it be? As always, I thought of Martin Luther King Jr.
Last month marked the anniversary of the shooting that took place in a Quebec City mosque three years ago.
Six people were killed and eight were injured simply because they were Muslims. This kind of event happens a lot down the border but we are not used to it in Canada.
After participating to the commemoration, Quebec’s Premier François Legault posted some photos on Facebook. To his surprise, his post triggered an overwhelming amount of heinous comments. At such a pace that he couldn’t keep up deleting them and that his staff had to do it for him.
It came as a great shock to everyone that some people could be so mean behind their desktops after such a horrific tragedy.
In light of this, I asked myself what I could do. If art had an antidote for hate, what would it be? I thought about Martin Luther King Jr. and his message:
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
These words are simple but nonetheless true and relevant. Each time hate showing its muzzle brings us down, let’s keep reminding ourselves of this great man.
Sometimes, what unites two people is a project, an idea. In the case of Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott, it was the non-violent fight for equality.
Even after King was murdered, Coretta continued the public battle against injustice. She extended the Civil Rights movement to the Anti-War movement and the LGBT movement.
She even became vegan in the last 10 years of her life. Despite the FBI’s attempts to smear King’s reputation by releasing tapes of alleged affairs, the love between these two made history.
That’s why I painted them like monuments looking above into the distance. They shared a common dream greater than themselves.
In the end, their portrait doesn’t matter so much as where their gaze leads us to: a serene and unmitigated kindness.
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